May 12 2013
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Tiger Woods survived a double bogey on the back nine to win THE PLAYERS Championship for the second time.
Woods, shooting a 2-under 70, finished at 13 under, two strokes ahead of David Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman.
Tiger's previous PLAYERS win came in 2001. Since then, he posted just one top-10 finish in his next 10 starts at TPC Sawgrass until winning on Sunday.
He becomes the fifth player to win twice at TPC Sawgrass, joining Steve Elkington, Hal Sutton, Fred Couples and Davis Love III. Love was the last player to achieve the feat, winning for the second time in 2003.
Woods, winning for the fourth time in seven starts this year, extended his FedExCup points lead over Brandt Snedeker to 866 points. The win is the 78th of his PGA TOUR career and comes in his 300th start on TOUR. Woods also won tournaments on his 100th and 200th start.
Woods, one of three co-leaders with Lingmerth and Garcia after completing his third round early Sunday morning, won for the 52nd time in 56 starts in which he's been the third round leader or co-leader.
This is also the earliest in a single season that Woods has won four TOUR events. It's the earliest any player has won four events on TOUR since David Duval in 1999.
"Each year I'm tying to get better," Woods said. "So far this year, I'm off to a pretty good start."
Woods was in control of the tournament early on the back nine. He held a two-shot lead going to the 14th tee, but found the water with his drive and suffered a double bogey.
By the time he walked off the 14th green, he was tied with Sergio Garcia, David Lingmerth and Jeff Maggert for the lead at 12 under.
"Just hit absolutely the worst shot I could possibly hit," Woods said. "But it was the only bad swing I made all day. I told myself I could still win the tournament."
Maggert fell off the pace with a double bogey at the 17th when he found the water. Lingmerth, the PGA TOUR rookie who lives in nearby Jacksonville Beach, suffered a bogey at the 14th.
That left Woods tied with Garcia at 13 under after Garcia birdied the par-5 16th.
But Garcia hit two shots in the water at the 17th island hole, resulting in a quadruple bogey. He also double bogeyed the 18th after finding the water.
Five years ago, Garcia won THE PLAYERS in a playoff at the 17th hole against Paul Goydos.
"That hole has been good to me for the most part," Woods said. "Today it wasn't. That's the way it is. That's the kind of hole it is. You've got to love it for what it is."
Lingmerth, trailing by one, had the last shot to force a playoff after a terrific tee shot at the 17th. But he failed to convert the 7-foot, 7-inch putt and eventually bogeyed the 18th.
"I really don't feel like I put the pedal to the metal today," Lingmerth said. "I felt like I left a lot of shots out there. I shot even par, which is not a bad score out there, but I feel like I could have done a lot better, and that's why that's leaving a little sour taste right now."
Tiger credited caddie Joe LaCava for playing a big part of the win. LaCava caddied for Couples in both of his PLAYERS wins.
"He did a helluva job keeping me focused," Woods said.