Webb Simpson controls the 2018 Players Champion
Many consider The Players Championship as the fifth major on tour. It is played at one of the best layouts on tour. The Stadium course at TPC at Sawgrass in Ponte Verde, Florida. As the week opened Tiger Woods was back in the headlines. Once it was announced last week he was going to play, the thoughts of him returning to the winners’ circle started to come. Tiger had won the Players twice before. Although, as he said the course had been good and bad to him throughout his career. While Tiger would give it a good run, the tournament belonged to Webb Simpson.
The first round started with one of the best threesomes in golf with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler. Many of the fans flocked to this group thinking that the winner would come out of this group. Unfortunately one of the players made the cut. That was Tiger. Meanwhile, Mickelson and Fowler both miss the cut. Mickelson finished at 8 over par and missed the cut by 9 shots. Fowler also had a horrible first couple of days and he too would not see the weekend. However, he has won the tournament in the past. After the second round, the leaders were names like Webb Simpson, Xander Schauffele, Jason Dufner, and Jimmy Walker just to name a few.
Tiger struggled in the first two rounds but had two great rounds over the weekend. He began the final round looking up at Webb Simpson. Early in Woods round, he made four birdies looking like he was making a run at the lead. As most leaders do they come out with a game plan and with the help of their caddy Simpson himself had a decent final round. Simpson saw players like Dufner, Walker, and Jason Day all go out in front of him and try to peck away at his lead. Webb received a message from his mother that she wanted him to win after her house may have caught on fire.
Tiger was as close as three but had a terrible final three holes he would finish 8 shots back. If this is the Tiger we saw in the final two rounds then we will see him in the winner’s circle in 2018 maybe more than once. Justin Thomas who has been playing well as of late became the new number one player in the world. Dustin Johnson the former number 1 player in the world was near the leaderboard but needed to win to keep his ranking. Jordan Spieth who got the honor of pairing with Woods in the final round had a good final round and tournament. David Lee who had a final round pairing with Webb Simpson would struggle.
Webb Simpson had three great rounds and at times was 20 under par and had a huge lead. He stayed solid throughout the tournament and never looked like he was going to give up the lead. He watched certain players crawl closer and closer to him but he never let it get to him. Simpson has had ups and downs in his career and he set out to win this week. On his final hole he hit a shot in the water but at that point, it didn’t matter. He would make his final putt and receive a butt pat from his caddy who has helped turn Simpson’s career around. He was happy he won the tournament.