The final leaderboard for the 2016 PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is in. Jason Day won his tenth PGA Tour title wire-to-wire by four strokes over runner-up Kevin Chappell. Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:
(1) Jason Day (-15)
(2) Kevin Chappell (-11)
(T3) Justin Thomas (-10)
(T3) Matt Kuchar (-10)
(T3) Colt Knost (-10)
(T3) Ken Duke (-10)
(T7) Francesco Molinari (-9)
(T7) Hideki Matsuyama (-9)
(T9) Graeme McDowell (-8)
(T9) Daniel Berger (-8)
(T9) Alex Cejka (-8)
Here are my thoughts on the champion and some notables near the top of the leaderboard:
Winner: Jason Day (-15) – This is Day’s seventh win in his last 17 starts — a remarkable achievement — and first since the WGC Match Play in March. It’s also his third win of the 2015-2016 season. It sure looks like he’s right on track to get 6+ wins this year. The win gets him into the illustrious club of players who have won over 10 times on Tour. At his last start at the Zurich Classic he finished T5, and aside from a missed cut at the Farmers (which was mostly a result of him battling the flu at the time) he has finished no worse than T23 this season. He really is in the form of his life right now, and I doubt he’s going to slow down any time soon. Previous finishes at the PLAYERS for Day include a missed cut in 2015, T19 in 2013 (did not play in 2014), missed cut in 2012, T6 in 2011 and missed cut in 2010 — a lot of missed cuts but a couple of decent finishes as well, but not much course form to speak of that would have lifted him up this week. Day is undoubtedly the best player in the world right now, and that’s impressive considering the fairly deep pool of young talent (Spieth, McIlroy, etc.) that continues to fill up his rear view mirror.
Final round: 3 birdies (all on the back nine) and 2 bogeys (all on the front nine) for a 1-under 71. He couldn’t get anything going coming out of the gate, and while the wheels started to wobble a bit approaching the turn with two bogeys, he was able to advance three shots on the back to secure a certain victory. Scores in regulation: 63, 66, 73, 71 (273).
— Jason Day (@JDayGolf) May 15, 2016
Kevin Chappell (-11) – This would have been Chappell’s very first Tour win. He has come close many times in the past couple years; just this season he had two solo-seconds (not including this week) and two other recent top-1os (at the RBC Heritage and Valero Texas Open). This is the second time this year he has finished runner-up to Day, the other time being at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. He missed the cut last year at the PLAYERS. I do believe it’s only a matter of time before he breaks through with a big win, and I think it will happen relatively soon.
Final round: An eagle, 4 birdies and 3 bogeys birdies for a 3-under 69. A string of bogeys in the middle of his front nine set him back substantially, but he was able to charge back up the leaderboard with multiple birdies and a pitch-in eagle and creep into second place alone. Scores in regulation: 71, 67, 70, 69 (277).