Tiger Woods triumphs as Sergio sinks in Players Championship (+video)
Tiger Woods won his second career Players Championship Sunday. It's also Tiger Woods' fourth win this season, coming at the expense of Sergio Garcia.
(Page 2 of 2)
Woods was in the scoring trailer when Swedish rookie David Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Tiger Woods through the years
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Woods finished on 13-under 275.
He won The Players for the first time since 2001 and became the fifth multiple winner at TPC Sawgrass since The Players moved to this former swamp in 1982. It was his 78th career win on the PGA Tour, four short of the record held by Sam Snead.
Lingmerth closed with a 72 and finished two shots behind, along with Kevin Streelman (67) and Jeff Maggert, who also was tied for the lead until finding the water on the 17th to make double bogey. The 49-year-old Maggert birdied the 18th for a 70.
Garcia took 13 shots to cover the final two holes — 6 over par — and tumbled into a tie for eighth.
Given their public sniping, it was only fitting that Garcia had the best chance to beat Woods.
Their dispute started Saturday when Garcia complained that his shot from the par-5 second fairway was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods, who was some 50 yards away in the trees and fired them up by taking a fairway metal out of his bag. He said Woods should have been paying attention, and it became a war of the words the next two days.
"Not real surprising that he's complaining about something," Woods said.
"At least I'm true to myself," Garcia retorted. "I know what I'm doing, and he can do whatever he wants."
Woods and Garcia played four tension-free holes to complete the third round Sunday morning, and they shook hands without words when they finished — Woods with a 71, Garcia with a 72 to share the 54-hole lead with Lingmerth.
Afterward, Garcia kept at it, saying Woods is "not the nicest guy on tour."
Woods had the last laugh — along with the Players trophy. He improved to 53-4 in his PGA Tour career when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.
Garcia, when asked if he would have changed anything about the flap with Woods, replied, "It sounds like I was the bad guy here. I was the victim. I don't have any regrets of anything."
The real villain was the tricky island green.
It was at the 17th hole where Garcia won The Players in 2008 when Paul Goydos hit into the water in a sudden-death playoff. This time, the island green got its revenge. Garcia hit a wedge and felt he caught it just a little bit thin, which is usually all it takes.
"That hole has been good to me for the most part," Garcia said. "Today, it wasn't. That's the way it is. That's the kind of hole it is. You've got to love it for what it is."