Day cruises to four-stroke victory at The Players

By Doug FergusonMay 15, 2016, 10:58 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - The best field in golf was no match for Jason Day at The Players Championship.

Day caused only a little drama Sunday in what otherwise felt more like another coronation for the 28-year-old Australian. He led by at least two shots the entire round, played bogey-free again on the back nine at the TPC Sawgrass and closed with a 1-under 71 to win golf's richest tournament.

''I just wanted to win this so bad,'' Day said.

Along the way, he put a stamp on his No. 1 ranking.

Day won for the seventh time in the last 10 months, titles that include a major, a World Golf Championship and a pair of FedEx Cup playoff events. He became the first wire-to-wire winner in 16 years at Sawgrass.

Day won $1.89 million from the $10.5 million purse.

He won by four shots over Kevin Chappell, who closed with a 69 to pick up a $1,134,000 consolation check.

The greens at the Stadium Course were not nearly as severe as Saturday, when only six players managed to break par and Day made a pair of double bogeys to slow what had been shaping up as a runaway. This time, Day inflicted his own damage by missing greens and flubbing three chips on his way to a bogey on the par-5 ninth that cut his lead to two shots going to a back nine filled with possibilities.

With two quick birdies, the outcome soon was inevitable.

Day poured in a 15-foot birdie on No. 10 and another one from that range on No. 12. His last challenge was to make sure he found land on the island-green 17th, and his wedge made it with about 10 feet to spare.

''Playing the way I did on the back side, just bearing down, I'm going to hold this memory for a long time,'' Day said.

He finished at 15-under 273, and he left his peers wondering what it would take to beat him when Day is on his game.


The Players Championship: Articles, photos and videos


''It's no coincidence he's No. 1 in the world,'' Justin Thomas said after closing with a Sunday-best 65 to tie for third. ''He drives it extremely far, extremely straight. He hits it to the moon, so he can access pins that most people can't. His short game is ridiculous. I think I've pretty much covered it all there when it comes to the golf.''

Day is the third No. 1 player to win The Players Championship, joining Greg Norman (1994) and Tiger Woods (2001 and 2013).

Perhaps even more telling about the state of his game is that he joined Woods, Tom Watson and Johnny Miller as the only players since 1970 to go wire-to-wire twice in the same season. Day led from start to finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill.

Day also won the Dell Match Play, winning six of his seven matches before they reached the 18th green.

Chappell made bogey on the final hole at Bay Hill to lose to Day. This time, he tried to catch up with a 32 on the back nine. Day simply wouldn't let anyone catch him.

The consolation for Chappell is his third runner-up finish this year moves him well inside the top 50 in the world, assuring him exemptions into the U.S. Open and British Open this summer.

Thomas, who started 11 shots behind, stuck around Sawgrass to see if 10-under 278 would have a chance. He wound up tied for third with Matt Kuchar (68), Colt Knost (69) and Ken Duke (72).

Hideki Matsuyama, playing in the final group with Day, was 3 over after three holes and quickly out of the mix. The pressure didn't come from anyone else, rather from Day. The Aussie hit only three greens on the front nine, dropping a shot on No. 6 and having to make a 15-foot par putt on No. 7.

After chopping up the rough to the right of the ninth green, he had to make a 6-foot putt for bogey.

But he was flawless on the back nine, going bogey-free the entire week.

He now has a large lead in the world rankings over Jordan Spieth, who missed the cut, and Rory McIlroy at No. 3, who was never a factor on Sunday at Sawgrass. Dating to his 81 last year at The Players to miss the cut, Day has finished out of the top 10 only seven times in his last 20 starts.

Adam Scott referred to it as ''Tiger-esque.''

''That's one of the hardest things to do when you are hot like that, to keep pushing,'' Scott said. ''But he has a very strong desire to achieve so much, and I think probably his goals are changing throughout this period, and he's expecting more and more of himself. He's got that ability to push himself and accomplish.''

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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