PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. - Tiger Woods had the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship yesterday.
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Tiger Woods had the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship yesterday.
Woods ended a weekend of verbal sparring with Garcia by doing what he does best: closing out tournaments, even if he let this one turn into a tense duel over the final hour at the TPC Sawgrass. Tied with Garcia with two holes to play, Woods won by finding land on the last two holes for par to close with a 2-under-par 70.
If only it were that simple for Garcia.
He was standing on the 17th tee, staring across the water to the peninsula green of the par-3 as Woods made his par. Garcia took aim at the flag with his wedge and hung his head when he saw the ball splash short of the green. Then, Garcia hit another in the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey 7.
He completed his stunning collapse by hitting his tee shot into the water on the 18th and making double bogey.
Woods was in the scoring trailer when he watched on TV as Swedish rookie David Lingmerth missed a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff. It raced by the cup, and Lingmerth three-putted for bogey.
“How about that?” Woods said to his caddie, Joe LaCava, as he gave him a hug.
It was Woods’ 78th career win on the PGA Tour, four short of the record held by Sam Snead.
Lingmerth closed with a 72 and finished two shots behind along with Kevin Streelman (67) and Jeff Maggert, who like Garcia had been tied for the lead until finding the water on the 17th to make double bogey. The 49-year-old Maggert birdied the 18th for a 70.
Garcia took 13 shots to cover the final two holes — 6-over par — and tumbled into a tie for eighth.
The final two holes came down to Garcia and Woods. That was appropriate, given their public sniping at each other over the weekend.
It started on Saturday when Garcia complained in a TV interview that his shot from the fairway of the par-5 second hole was disrupted by cheers from the crowd around Woods.
“Not real surprising that he’s complaining about something,” Woods responded.
When they finished the storm-delayed third round yesterday morning, Garcia kept at it, saying that Woods is “not the nicest guy on tour.”
Garcia, when asked if he would have changed anything about the flap with Woods, replied, “It sounds like I was the bad guy here. I was the victim.”
Woods finished at 13-under 275 and earned $1.71 million, pushing his season total to over $5.8 million in just seven tournaments.