May 12, 2013

Woods gives no ground to Garcia, wins Players Championship

The champ lands on his feet at The Players while his longtime rival winds up in troubled waters.

The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Tiger Woods looks at his putt on the 17th green during the final round of The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. He made par while his longtime rival Sergio Garcia hit two balls into the water before the green to fall out of contention.

The Associated Press

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Sergio Garcia hears a disturbing splash as his tee shot lands in the water before the 17th green Sunday. A poor finish dropped the Spaniard well down the list of contenders.

The Associated Press

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It was at the 17th hole five years ago where Garcia won The Players Championship, when Paul Goydos hit into the water in a sudden-death playoff. This time, the island green got its revenge on him. Garcia hit a wedge and felt he caught it just a little bit thin, which is usually all it takes.

“That hole has been good to me for the most part,” Garcia said. “Today, it wasn’t. That’s the way it is.”

Woods finished on 13-under 275 and earned $1.71 million, pushing his season total to over $5.8 million in just seven tournaments. This is the 12th season he has won at least four times – that used to be the standard of a great year before he joined the PGA Tour in 1996 – and this was the quickest he has reached four wins in a year.

It was the second time Woods has won on Mother’s Day.

“Sorry, Mom,” he said into the camera. “I think she might have had a heart attack. I was in control of the tournament, and I just hit the worst shot I could possibly hit.”

Typical of Woods these days, there were questions about where he took the drop – some 255 yards from the hole. NBC Sports analyst Johnny Miller suggested it was a “borderline.” But Mark Russell, vice president of competition for the PGA Tour, said there was nothing wrong with the drop. Woods conferred with Casey Wittenberg, who said there was “no doubt” that Woods took the drop in the right spot.

“He asked me exactly where it crossed,” Wittenberg said. “I told him I thought it crossed on the corner of the bunker, right where he took his drop. And it’s all good.”

Woods wound up with a double bogey, and he nearly fell out of the lead on the 15th until he saved par with an 8-foot putt. He followed with another up-and-down from the bunker on the par-5 16th for birdie. Garcia, playing in the final group behind Woods, two-putted the 16th to regain a share of the lead and then walked over to the 17th tee where it ended with two swings.

Woods and Garcia played four tension-free holes Sunday morning to complete the third round, and they shook hands without words when they finished – Woods with a 71, Garcia with a 72 to share the 54-hole lead with Lingmerth.

With a three-way tie, Garcia wound up in the final group because he was first to play at the start of the third round.

Garcia, however, continued to fuel the bad feelings between them.

He told Sky Sports, “I’m not going to lie, he’s not my favorite guy to play with. He’s not the nicest guy on tour.” And then he told Golf Channel, “We don’t enjoy each other’s company.”

Woods downplayed the episode and said it didn’t matter who joined him on the tee. “I’m tied for the lead, so I’m right there.”

And that’s where he usually wins. Woods now is 53-4 in his PGA Tour career when he has at least a share of the lead going into the final round.

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Additional Photos

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Tiger Woods gives a thumbs-up as he holds the trophy after winning The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday.

The Associated Press

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Tiger Woods hits from the fifth tee Sunday during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass.

The Associated Press

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Sergio Garcia of Spain reacts after his tee shot on the 18th hole went into the water Sunday.

The Associated Press



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