After days of sparring and feuding with Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods claimed The Players Championship Sunday after Garcia’s stunning collapse on the 17th hole.
Woods and Garcia were tied for the lead with two holes left in the third round. Woods made a safe par on the 17th hole while Garcia dashed his title hopes with a quadruple-bogey 7 after hitting two balls into the water short of the island green.
Woods went on to par the 18th while Garcia found more water for a double-bogey 6, closing 76 and finishing 6 shots behind for a total 281. Woods shot 70 Sunday for a total 13-under 275.
Woods and Garcia verbally sparred for much of the tournament. On Saturday, Garcia blamed his awry shot on the second hole par-5 on cheers that erupted from the crowd due to Woods pulling a club too early. Woods said it was “not real surprising that he’s complaining about something.” Garcia told reporters Sunday Woods “was not the nicest guy on tour.”
Woods hooked his tee shot into the water on the 14th hole Sunday for a double-bogey, creating a tense duel between Woods and Garcia. Woods went on to par the 15th and make a critical birdie on the 16th. Woods was in the clubhouse when he saw David Lingmerth’s ball cruise pass the cup in a long birdie putt that would have forced a playoff.
This is Woods’ second Players Championship title and 78th career win on the PGA tour.