Ponte Vedra Beach: American Matt Kuchar won the Players Championship on Sunday by two shots to secure the biggest win of his career and a $1.71 million paycheck.
To the delight of his watching family, Kuchar shot a final round two-under 70 to finish 13-under for the tournament, two clear of Briton Martin Laird (67) and Americans Zach Johnson (68), Rickie Fowler (70) and Ben Curtis (68).
Overnight leader Kevin Na had a disappointing finish, making six bogeys in a 76 that saw him slip back into a tie for seventh, a day after being heckled by spectators for his slow play and constant practice shots. Tiger Woods ended well down the field at joint 40th after shooting a 73 to finish one-under.
England’s Luke Donald finished strongly with a 66 that elevated him to sixth, four strokes behind Kuchar, but not enough for him to regain top place in the world rankings from Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut.
Kuchar, who tied for third at the Masters, consistently avoided trouble on the final day on a course that severely punishes inaccuracy.
While his challengers stumbled at various hurdles, the American kept out of water and greenside sand throughout a confident 18 holes. “You think of this as one of the strongest fields in golf and to come out as champion is great feeling... Playing amongst the game’s best, to come out on top, to do it on Mother’s Day … it really is amazing,” he said. (Reuters)