Players' Championship: Webb Simpson had to "battle through" for TPC Sawgrass win


"It was nice. I had control of it from tee to green".

"I'm trying not to dwell there". I'm so frustrated, I'm over it, and he is, too, and he kind of encouraged me to really do something about it.

It was a reasonable week for Europeans Tommy Fleetwood and Ian Poulter, who finished tied for seventh and 11th respectively, although I really don't know what to say about Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy.

Woods felt like he finally pulled together all aspects of his game: His driving was impeccable, his iron play was better than it's been all week and his putting was as good as it's been all season. But Paul [caddie Paul Tesori] and I got in an argument on the golf course, and it was just frustration pent up in both of us. It was around the same time as Simpson's par putt on 10th lipped out. There was a moment Sunday when Simpson bogeyed and Woods was staring down a makeable birdie putt.

Koepka also recorded just the second albatross in tournament history, when he one-hopped his second shot into the cup on the par-five 16th.

"It means a lot, but it's something I want to have for a long time, not something I just want to have once", Thomas said at the Players Championship where he tied for 11th.

Johnson is among six players to lose a six-shot lead in the final round, last fall in Shanghai. It was scintillating golf and he attracted galleries standing eight deep all around every hole he played.

"He's clearly playing some really good golf", fellow golfer Jason Day said. "Don't take unnecessary risk and just kind of shoot 72 or somewhere in between 70, 72".

Simpson, who used an anchored putting stroke prior to the rules change, and actually snapped his old belly putter over his knee one off-season (he kept the parts, however, for posterity), putted like a fiend using an arm-lock style at TPC Sawgrass.

The primary storyline surrounding Simpson over the past few years has been his issue with the putter.

Simpson, who had four birdies, an eagle and two bogeys in his 68, said, "I feel like I'm playing good, solid golf, but". Four was the closest any one, including Lee and Woods would come. The changes I made after LA; the way I played at Honda and how I played at Valspar and Bay Hill... He was in range of the course record that eluded Simpson last Saturday. Unfortunately, I just didn't cash in.

Woods had to settle for a tie for 11th after finding water off the tee on the 17th and making a double bogey, but the same position was good enough for Justin Thomas to replace Dustin Johnson as world No 1 as Johnson finished just a shot behind. That was a month before he was sidelined with three more back surgeries. However, after three-plus years without a victory on the PGA TOUR, that won't take away any of the luster from one of the biggest weeks of his career.

But this is Simpson's show until further notice.