A chance encounter gave Webb Simpson edge for Players win

A chance encounter gave Webb Simpson edge for Players win

Playing partner Danny Lee of New Zealand quickly cut Simpson's lead to five with birdies at the second and third.

Australian Jason Day (68), with two wins already this season, and Jason Dufner (68) were tied for fifth at 13 under.

Thomas, who is the fourth youngest player to become World No.1 (after Jordan Spieth, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy), ended Dustin Johnson's 64-week run at the top of the rankings as he gains the top spot for the first time.

But then it got old.

"From what I've seen, he's not making a lot of mistakes", Woods said after having faltered down the stretch, put a ball in the water on the par-3 17th and finished seven strokes back.

Simpson produced his shot of the day at the par-five 11th, where he sent his second shot some 33 yards past the hole and into a rear greenside bunker.

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.

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.

But at the par-three 17th, where he took a double-bogey after finding the water on Friday, Simpson brought a huge crowd to their feet in sinking a three-footer for birdie that moved him back to 19-under.

Kevin O'Brien slams ton in Ireland's inaugural Test
But left-arm quick Amir was back on the field from the start of Monday's fourth day. Ireland has a lead of 139 runs and its three wickers are remaining.

He had three birdies, two bogeys and the double bogey on the closing hole on his scorecard for the final round.

Golf can make you laugh.

And although the former US Open champion saw his advantage cut to four shots with eight holes remaining, a closing 73 was enough to secure a fifth PGA Tour title and the winner's cheque of nearly £1.5million.

And he is confident that his first PGA Tour win since 2013 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational isn't too far around the corner. "So once that happened, internally I was celebrating". "But I'm trying not to dwell there".

Despite his position, Simpson said he saw room for improvement.

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, a 79-times victor on the PGA Tour, was in control of all facets of his game and wielded a hot putter to record his lowest numerical score on the PGA Tour since 2015.

Tiger was as close as three but had a awful final three holes he would finish 8 shots back. "It's amusing how those things happen, but this is probably the first time I can say I'm glad they banned it, because I wouldn't have ever probably swayed away from the belly putter". I hit it close at 17, wasn't able to make the putt, and then bogeyed 18 from the middle of the fairway. "I hit it so good", Woods said after shooting rounds of 72-71-65-69.

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