Tiger Woods shook off a double bogey at the 14th hole on Sunday and held on to win the US PGA Tour Players Championship, setting another career milestone in the process.
Woods, who had a share of the lead with Sergio Garcia and David Lingmerth after completing the weather-disrupted third round on Sunday morning, carded a final-round 70 for a 13-under par total of 275.
That put him two strokes in front of Swedish PGA Tour rookie Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman. Garcia, tied for the lead at the 17th, finished with a quadruple bogey and a double bogey, giving Woods the last laugh after a couple of days of verbal sparring between the two.
Woods won the US tour’s flagship event, worth $9.5 million this year, for the second time — more than a decade after his victory in 2001. Since then he had posted only one top-10 finish at TPC Sawgrass until Sunday.
Woods notched his fourth PGA Tour title of the year, and it’s the earliest in a single season he has ever won a fourth title. “Each year I’m trying to get better,” Woods said. “So far this year, I’m off to a pretty good start.”
His 78th tour win came in his 300th start -- he also won in his 100th and 200th starts. Woods had built a two-stroke lead through 13 holes of the final round, but he found the water off the tee at 14 and ended up with a double-bogey that dropped him into a four-way tie for the lead with Maggert, Garcia and Lingmerth.
Garcia and Lingmerth, playing in the final group right behind Woods, had both just birdied 13. “Just hit absolutely the worst shot I could possibly hit,” Woods said of his tee shot at 14. “But it was the only bad swing I made all day. I told myself I could still win the tournament.”
Garcia got to 13-under with a birdie at 16. Maggert fell back with a double-bogey at 17, closing with a two-under 70 for 11-under 277. Streelman carded a 67 to grab his share of second on 277.
Lingmerth was the last player with a chance to challenge Woods, but he was unable to convert his birdie attempt at 17 and pull level and he closed with a bogey for an even-par 72 for 277.