PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Heading down the back nine Sunday, it appeared Tiger Woods might run away with The Players Championship. Instead, a rocky finishing stretch brought several players back into the mix, but Woods ultimately did enough – just enough – to claim his second Players trophy and fourth win of the 2013 season.
Woods fired a 2-under 70 in the final round, finishing the week at 13 under par. That was two shots better than David Lingmerth, Jeff Maggert and Kevin Streelman, while Henrik Stenson, Martin Laird and Ryan Palmer all shared fifth place at 10 under, three shots off the pace.
With five holes to go, Woods had a two-shot lead and seemed in control of the event. A wayward drive on the 14th – which has been a nemesis in the past – proved costly, however, landing in the water en route to a double bogey that dropped him back into a four-way share of the lead. After a birdie on the par-5 16th and a par at the treacherous 17th, Woods stood on the 18th tee sharing the lead with only Garcia.
The Spaniard would put two balls in the water on 17, though, carding a fatal quadruple bogey. After a closing par, Woods’ lone remaining foe was Lingmerth, who could have tied with a birdie on the 72nd hole but was unable to get his approach shot near the pin.
With four wins now under his belt in seven PGA Tour starts this year, Woods’ next appearance is expected to be at the Memorial later this month. All eyes will likely begin to turn to the U.S. Open two weeks after that, though, an event that will mark exactly five years since Woods won the most recent of his 14 major titles.