Webb Simpson wins The Players in TPC Sawgrass runaway

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Only one man came close to landing a glove on Webb Simpson at the Players Championship on Sunday and even that shot from Tiger Woods was the merest of glancing blows. He went out and won this thing, so you have to give credit to him.

Simpson held his nerve on Sunday to win...

Reigning U.S. Open champion Brooks Koepka ripped off a 9-under 63 on Sunday, equaling the course record that Simpson tied as well on Friday, joining seven others who have toured the course in that number of strokes.

Justin Thomas also has cause for celebration going into Memorial after becoming the 21st different golfer to become world No. 1 following his joint-11th finish at the Players.

I could have stuck Jordan Spieth in #Play72 above since his quad on the final hole knocked him from T17 to T41. I'm comfortable on the golf course.

But this ultimately was all about Simpson, who had missed the cut in four of his previous eight appearances at the TPC Sawgrass and had gone 107 starts on the PGA Tour since his most recent victory in Las Vegas toward the end of 2013. I didn't play particularly well in the first couple of days but I turned it around this weekend and I got it rolling.

"You know, we train hard and practice hard to try to win, and so - there's been some tough moments along the way".

He said the hole locations were tough, with most meaning the golfers faced hard slopes. And he had 10 top-10 finishes. I didn't really miss a shot and only ended up on 69.

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A large lead accommodates shaky play in a final round, but it also emboldens challengers to play aggressively. And the rest of his game came around, too.

A poor approach to the par-4 10th led to a bogey, and while Simpson's lead was still strong, it was down from seven shots to four.

There were five 32s on the front, and one of them belonged to Woods.

And that stayed as the margin even after an expansive double bogey on 18th by Simpson. After the second round, the leaders were names like Webb Simpson, Xander Schauffele, Jason Dufner, and Jimmy Walker just to name a few. Having reached the turn in 32 and produced birdies at the 11th and 12th, he was within four. Suddenly, Simpson was ahead by only four of a group that included Woods and Lee. He was disappointed by not making another birdie in his final six holes but had plenty of bounce in his step heading into the final round after signing for a 65, his career best in The Players.

Woods finished with a double-bogey 5 at the 17th, where he misjudged the wind and hit his tee shot short in the water, and made par at the last. Simpson hit away from the flag, and his wedge shot settled safely in the middle of the green.

He pointed to his tee shot at the 242-yard, par-3 eighth, which landed a little more than 30 feet from the hole; his second shot at the par-5 ninth, which stopped on the fringe from almost 270 yards out; and his approach shot at the par-5 11th, before landing on the putting surface and leaving him a lengthy eagle putt.

"He hit some monster tee shots, incredible iron shots and the freedom with which he did that we just hadn't seen".

After Tesori dropped Simpson's bag, he picked up Isaiah and carried him around during interviews and for part of the trophy presentation.

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