"Well, I played really good today". As the week opened Tiger Woods was back in the headlines.
So Pete Dye's wicked layout embracing doubt-inducing water, smart bunkering and obtrusive tree planting gave The Players Championship a victor who was last in driving distance but first in driving accuracy.
Webb Simpson won on Sunday. "But I got to do some work between now and then, hopefully put together one good event". "There wouldn't be too many people wanting to come down the stretch against Tiger Woods". Staked to a seven-shot lead, no one got closer than four shots, even after Simpson made double bogey on the 18th hole when his only remaining task was to finish the hole. That was Tiger. Meanwhile, Mickelson and Fowler both miss the cut. Fowler also had a awful first couple of days and he too would not see the weekend. He won $1.98 million, the second-largest tournament payoff behind only the U.S. Open. After the weekend, there is no doubt that Tiger is back.
Then he made himself a prophet starting on a tranquil morning Saturday when he ruined the quiet ambiance by making plenty of noise with birdies on eight of his first 12 holes.
"It's been a tough few months for my mom, my brothers and sisters", Simpson said as his voice began to crack. His game wants for nothing and he can do anything with a golf ball but week in, week out now he seems to have frailties.
Woods played a cracking final two rounds.
278-Alex Noren (SWE) 66-69-77-66, Jamie Lovemark 76-67-68-67, Charles Howell 68-67-74-69, Rafa Cabrera Bello (ESP) 71-71-67-69, Matt Kuchar 66-71-71-70, Dustin Johnson 66-71-69-72.
He moved up 12 spots in the world ranking, rising to No. 80 after the Players.
The 42-year-old, who has already recorded T2nd and T5th finishes this year, spoke very highly of his game after his final round 69 and appears to genuinely believe that he can be a factor at the top of the game once more. David Lee who had a final round pairing with Webb Simpson would struggle. Not to really mis-hit a shot and only shoot three under par is just weird, because I played much better than that'. He stayed solid throughout the tournament and never looked like he was going to give up the lead. "I didn't play particularly well in the first couple of days but I turned it around this weekend and I got it rolling". This is the first time the event is being held on this course, as Billy Horschel won the event previous year at TPC Las Colinas, where the Byron Nelson had been held since 1983. It is where he hit his tee shot in the water - leading to a controversial drop - on his way to victory in 2013.
"This is probably the first time I can say I'm glad they banned it (anchoring), because I probably wouldn't have ever swayed away from the belly putter", he added.