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Tiger wins The Players as Garcia sinks under pressure

Sergio Garcia found the water three times on the final two holes as Tiger Woods won golf’s “fifth Major”.

Image: John Raoux/AP/Press Association Images

TIGER WOODS HAD the last word against Sergio Garcia by winning The Players Championship on Sunday.

Woods ended a weekend of testy words 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 70.

If only it were that simple for the Spaniard.

Garcia was standing on the 17th tee shot, staring across the water to an island as Woods made his par. He took aim at the flag with his wedge and hung his head when he saw the ball splash down short of the green.

Then, Garcia hit another one in the water on his way to a quadruple-bogey seven. 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.

Woods won The Players for the first time since 2001 and joined Fred Couples, Davis Love III and Steve Elkington as the only two-time winners at the TPC Sawgrass. It was his 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 also was tied for the lead until finding the water on the 17th to make double bogey.

Garcia took 13 shots to cover the final two holes — six-over par — and tumbled into a tie for eighth alongside world number two Rory McIlroy.

– Doug Ferguson

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Associated Press

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