Still, there were moments where it could have come unraveled. He began the final round looking up at Webb Simpson.
At making a birdie. "It was nice. I had control of it from tee to green". But the numbers tell the whole story of Sunday for somebody who had a touchdown lead coming in.
Precision was the key to his Mother's Day victory, having been last in the field for driving distance but first for driving accuracy. Jason Day and Jason Dufner tied for fifth and earned $418,000 each. 107 starts, I think had it not been for my faith it would have been a lot harder. You always want to be leading going into the final round.
Simpson said he remembers those lessons to this day.
Simpson knows those days are past.
Simpson carded a 73 to finish at 18-under 270 for his fifth victory on the US PGA Tour and first since late 2013.
The primary storyline surrounding Simpson over the past few years has been his issue with the putter. This week, he was elite. This helped him rank 32nd in Strokes Gained Off The Tee (1.466).
There's a attractive irony in that.
Simpson had played so well and had such a commanding lead that his name was etched on the championship trophy before he finished his round. He stayed solid throughout the tournament and never looked like he was going to give up the lead. In that sense, this one has to be at least as satisfying if not more so. Although, as he said the course had been good and bad to him throughout his career.
Here are the rest of our grades for the 2018 Players Championship. FedExCup leader: Justin Thomas. "What I loved about my dad is that he had his normal Saturday or Sunday game, but once I got to be about 11, I started playing with him and I'd be his partner". He also had one of the more weird finishes you'll ever see. "I called certain guys who maybe have struggled, try out different putters".
The 32-year-old struggled after the January 2016 ban on anchoring the long-handled which he used to win the 2012 US Open.
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. I felt good on basically every facet of the game.
Oh, and you know that annoying, worn-out one-liner that's always been muttered on every single golf course across the world?
It was at T.P.C. Sawgrass on the eve of the tournament a year ago that Simpson had a chance meeting with Tim Clark, the injured P.G.A. Tour pro who'd won the 2010 Players.
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