THE PLAYERS Championship 2018 Tournament Roundup

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The final leaderboard for the 2018 PLAYERS Championship at the TPC Sawgrass Stadium Course in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida is in. Webb Simpson, despite a double bogey on the last, held off the rest of the field to win the tournament by four strokes over runners-up Xander Schauffele, Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker.

It’s Simpson’s fifth tour win worth $1.98 million in winnings, his last 5 years ago in 2013, and it moves him to No. 2o in the OWGR.

Below is the truncated top-10 leaderboard:

(1) Webb Simpson (-18)
(2) Xander Schauffele (-14)
(3) Charl Schwartzel (-14)
(4) Jimmy Walker (-14)
(T5) Jason Day (-13)
(T5) Jason Dufner (-13)
(T5) Keegan Bradley (-12)
(T5) Tommy Fleetwood (-12)
(T5) Danny Lee (-12)
(T5) Harold Varner III (-12)

Here are some statistics on the champion and other notables near the top of the leaderboard:

Winner: Webb Simpson (-18)

Simpson hadn’t won on the PGA Tour in more than four years, although he did lose in a playoff in 2017. This marks Simpsons’ fifth win on the PGA Tour, and arguably his biggest along with the 2012 US Open.

Coming into the week, he had mostly average finishes except for a T8 at the Valspar Championship, a T5 at the Honda Classic, and a T4 at the Sony Open this season. His last two wins came at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open back in 2013, and the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club.

Despite his mediocre performance leading up to the week, Simpson only missed one cut – at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. He had never finished worse than T36.

Previous finishes at the PLAYERS Championship for Simpson include a T16 last year in 2017, T66 in 2015 (DNP in 2016), and a missed cut in 2014 – not exactly a history of strong performance at the event, but you could say he was trending in the right direction.

As I mentioned, Simpson hadn’t won on TOUR since 2013; I think it’ll be interesting to see if he can maintain this kind of form moving forward into the rest of the season. It was an amazing performance, taking a five-shot lead after round two and extending it to seven shots after round three. The fact that he crapped out at the end with a double bogey (which would have lost him the tournament outright if his lead wasn’t so big) may indicate that perhaps he doesn’t have the strength of mind to dominate the sport at this stage. Lets see if he can prove his mettle.

Final round: 3 birdies, 2 bogeys and a double for a 1-over 73. He didn’t play spectacularly today like he did in round 2 (shot 63), but he hung in there and got the job done. He never lost his lead since taking it in round 2, which is pretty impressive; usually only the best of the best can do that kind of thing. It would have been the cherry on top if he didn’t blow it on the 18th hole, but a win is a win, right?

Scores in regulation: 66, 63, 68, 73 (270).

Runners-Up (-14)

You may recognize Schauffele as the guy who came seemingly out of nowhere to win the 2017 TOUR Championship and finish third in the Fed-Ex Cup Standings. He’s clearly one of the best players in the game right now, and it’s not terribly surprising to see him near the top of this leaderboard. Charl Schwartzel and Jimmy Walker have also been around the block, and coincidentally, both won their last TOUR events in 2016.

Final round: All three runners-up shot 67 in the final round, and had very similar scores throughout the entire week.

Honourable Mention: Tiger Woods (-11)

Tiger had a real shot at this, at one point being in a tie for second during the round. He got some bad breaks coming down the stretch, but said after the round that he played great all day. I really like his chances this year, and I do think he’ll win at least once.

Have any congratulations for Simpson, or any other thoughts about this year’s PLAYERS Championship? Be sure to leave a comment below!

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