Tiger Woods on Players rally: This weekend was more like it

Players Championship 2018 Tiger Woods shoots six-under 30 on front nine makes huge move up leader boardMore

Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele shared second.

But despite losing yards off the tee, it's not surprising Simpson won for the first time in five years.

And so he did, shooting a 3-under-par 69 to finish in a six-way tie for 11th place, seven shots behind victor Webb Simpson. Jordan Spieth, who began on the same mark, matched his 65. "Man, it means everything to me", Simpson, who won the US Open in 2012, said.

"Over four years without a win, I never doubted myself but at the same time that's a long time", he said. I feel so similar to how I felt in Greensboro back in 2011. It was just the second such score on the 16th hole in 37 years of the The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass - and the fourth double eagle in the event's history overall.

"You know, we train hard and practice hard to try to win, and so - there's been some tough moments along the way".

"I hit it so good", said Woods, glossing over a number of less-than-ideal wedge shots in the final round.

On how tough the final day was, he added, "It was hard". I didn't start putting better immediately, but it's what led to using the Kuch-style putter. Sometimes it's just a mystery; some weeks, something happens, and I had a good solid first round and then second round was pretty special. Simpson spoke about his play on the greens after the anchor ban.

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This is in part because golf is struggling to sell its new stars who are no longer afraid to take on Woods and his mystique. Woods was four-under through nine and then six-under through 12.

Woods, a 79-times victor on the PGA Tour, was in control of all facets of his game and wielded a hot putter to record his lowest numerical score on the PGA Tour since 2015.

And that stayed as the margin even after an expansive double bogey on 18th by Simpson.

Unfortunately one of the players made the cut. Having reached the turn in 32 and produced birdies at the 11th and 12th, he was within four. That other prince of power hitting, Dustin Johnson, tore into an early lead with six birdies in his opening 11 holes on Thursday but was gradually reeled in, finishing eight back on 10 under par. The score matched the course record at TPC Sawgrass, and Simpson also tied Day's 2016 record of being 15-under par halfway through the event. That was the closest they would come.

Titleist Tour Rep J.J. VanWezenbeeck, said of his set-up: "The biggest thing for Webb is that he doesn't mind how many headcovers are in his bag". His playing partner Spieth birdied 17th, but put the ball in water on 18th and came out with an eight and fell to T-41st.

Simpson started with an 8-foot birdie. Of course after five years and so many ups and downs, all Simpson cares about is walking away with that trophy any way he can get it. Grade: A+. He was in third place, nine shots behind, and figured all he could do last Sunday was go as low as he could and see where it led. It is where he hit his tee shot in the water - leading to a controversial drop - on his way to victory in 2013.

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