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TODAY IS Saturday August 18th
Simpson runs away with Players Championship
Monday May 14, 2018 12:00am

(PONTE VERDA BEACH, FL) - Starting with the largest Sunday lead ever at The Players Championship was harder than Webb Simpson imagined. Hearing one big roar after another from the crowd following Tigers Woods playing four groups ahead of him didn't help. Through it all, Simpson managed his game and his nerves. Only when he had the crystal trophy did he start to crack. He looked out at his wife, a big supporter during the past few years of frustration as Simpson coped with the ban on the anchored putting stroke he used to make two Ryder Cup teams and win the U.S. Open. And he thought about his mother at home in North Carolina, her first Mother's Day since Simpson's father died in November. Simpson navigated his way through a few mistakes, but not too much stress in his four-shot victory Sunday at the TPC Sawgrass. Staked to a seven-shot lead, no one got closer than four shots, even after Simpson made double-bogey on the 18th hole when his only remaining task was to finish the hole. He closed with a 1-over 73 to end more than four years without winning. Woods made another big run that revved up the crowd and revived hopes that he was close to winning. So did Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Danny Lee. None could do enough to catch Simpson during a week of low scoring at the final Players Championship in May. Justin Thomas left the TPC Sawgrass as the No. 1 player in the world. He closed with a 66 to tie for 11th, more than enough to end Dustin Johnson's 15 month reign at the top of the ranking. Thomas is the 21st player to reach No. 1 since the ranking began in 1986, and the seventh American.

Webb Simpson following his win at The Players Championship (photo courtesy of John David Mercer/USA Today Sports)






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