Tiger Woods faltered, recovered and then finished strong to cap a dramatic victory at The Players Championship.
He won the Championship for the second time. Â It took him a dozen years to do so, however only four golfers in history won it twice.Â 2001 was the last time the #1 player won the Players.
“We just go out there and play,” Woods said.
“I had an opportunity to win the golf tournament when I was tied for the lead today, and I thought I handled the situation well and really played well today when I really needed to. And that’s something I’m excited about it.”
“It was tough. I was in control of the tournament and got to 14 tee and just hit the worst shot I could possibly hit. And then, you know, made double bogey there but just stayed really patient,” Woods told Steve Sands of Golf Channel after the win.
“I kept telling myself, ‘That’s the only bad swing I’ve made all day and there’s no reason why I can’t still win this golf tournament.'”
Woods appeared to be cruising toward his second career win at The Players when he arrived at the 14th hole at TPC Sawgrass on Sunday.
Alone atop the leaderboard as he stepped to the tee at 14, Woods hooked the ball left and into the water.
By the time he completed his double bogey on the par-4 14th hole, Woods had squandered his two-stroke lead and was mired in a four-way tie at 12-under with Sergio Garcia, David Lingmerth and Jeff Maggert, says the Huff Post.
Woods regained the lead with a birdie on 16 and then benefited from a meltdown by Garcia en route to his fourth PGA Tour win of the 2013 campaign and 78th career PGA Tour win.
Woods finished his four rounds at 13-under par. His victory was sealed when Lingmerth failed to birdie the 18th hole, which would have forced a playoff.
âI just underhit it a little bit,â Garcia said, referring to the first water ball. âI felt with a little bit of adrenaline and stuff I didnât want to shoot it over the green.â
If there was special satisfaction in beating Garcia again, Woods kept that to himself. What mattered was having a chance to win, closing it out like he does so often, and capturing the richest prize on the PGA Tour for the first time in a dozen years.
GarcĂa was not as magnanimous. After posting a 72 in the third round to Woodsâs 71, he wore his spleen on his sleeve.
He told Sky Sports, âHeâs not the nicest guy on tour.â In a Golf Channel interview, he said: âWe donât enjoy each otherâs company. You donât need to be a rocket engineer to figure that out.â
He has won in four of his seven starts in 2013. âAm I surprised?â Woods said. âNo. I know a lot of people in this room thought I was done. But Iâm not.â
With the lead, he has won 92.6 percent of the time. The great Jack Nicholas was at 61.5 %.Â Recently, Woods has won 7 of his last 22 PGA starts.
Over his career he has won26% of his career starts, and finished in the top 25 80% of the time. A Golf Channel commentator called that last statistic âunfathomableâ, says the Forbes.
His career winning percentage of .273 is better than that of Ben Hogan (.218), Jack Nicklaus (.127) and Sam Snead (.148), whose record of 82 victories Woods is closing in on.
Going into Sunday, his winning percentage here was dismal. Woods was 1 for 14 at the T.P.C. Sawgrass Stadium Course, with two top-three finishes, writes the NY Times.