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Tiger gets the loud roars, but Webb has the bite

15 May 2018

The 14-time major championship victor is yet to win since making his return from injury this year, but was tied-second in the Valspar Championship in March before finishing tied-fifth in the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Webb Simpson has always been one of the most underrated players on the PGA TOUR.

But if so, you would have been in the overwhelming minority at the Stadium Course on Sunday night. That act of serendipity meant Woods had to make alternative arrangements and head back to work. It was harder than I thought. Although, as he said the course had been good and bad to him throughout his career.

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.

The first round started with one of the best threesomes in golf with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler.

In the morning, Brooks Koepka (63), who also had the PLAYERS second-ever albatross on the 16th, showed low scorers were possible, but for anyone to make a bid, Simpson would also need to falter. Simpson had just missed another cut and ranked outside 190th on Tour in strokes gained: putting. Woods was seven shots back.

"I really played really good today". However, he has won the tournament in the past.

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His final round of one-over 73 gave him a total of 18-under 268, but it was four clear of runners-up Charl Schwartzel (67), Xander Schauffele (67) and Jimmy Walker (67).

However, Simpson responded with a two-putt birdie on the 11th and, after a drive of more than 350 yards on the 14th, Woods span his approach back off the front of the green and failed to get up and down.

At long last, Webb Simpson was a victor again. Early in Woods round, he made four birdies looking like he was making a run at the lead. In 2012, Simpson swiped the trophy when the leaders stumbled coming home. Former world No 1 Jason Day of Australia was in a group of five on 207 - but the tournament is Simpson's to lose. Webb received a message from his mother that she wanted him to win after her house may have caught on fire.

He has been in contention in the final round in four of his eight starts in 2018.

Thomas supplanted Dustin Johnson (who finished tied for 17th) as the new World No. 1. Simpson did not hit the high notes of his previous three rounds, but he was able to enjoy his victory march down the 18th fairway and even a double-bogey took nothing away from the quality of his performance.

Woods' playing partner on Sunday, Jordan Spieth, certainly expects to see the 42-year-old add to his haul of 79 PGA Tour titles. There was a moment Sunday when Simpson bogeyed and Woods was staring down a makeable birdie putt. So I call certain guys who maybe have struggled and have tried out different putters. He was happy he won the tournament.

Tiger gets the loud roars, but Webb has the bite