Kaymer wire to wire at Players

BY Bruce Young | US PGA Tour | 2014 The Players Championship | Wrap | 12 May 2014

29 year old Martin Kaymer has won the Players Championship at the TPC Sawgrass by a single shot over Jim Furyk after a dramatic final hour of play, much of which occurred in closing darkness and immediately following a weather delay.

Kaymer led or shared the lead in the event from his opening round of 63 and, with three birdies in his first twelve holes today to establish a three shot lead, he appeared to be well in control.

The TPC Sawgrass however is not unlike Augusta National in that if provides opportunity and danger over its closing stretch of six holes and what happened today further highlighted just that.

As his joint overnight leader, Jordan Spieth, began to fall away, Jim Furyk emerged as the German’s biggest challenger.

Furyk, who has been in excellent form of late including when runner-up last week in Charlotte, had birdied four of his first six holes and then added further birdies at the 10th and 16th for a round of 66 and at 12 under he could only await his fate.

Kaymer was on the 14th green as Furyk finished his round three shots adrift although both had to wait out the weather delay.

Kaymer had only to safely negotiate his way through the closing four holes but if ever there was a stretch of holes where a three shot lead could be quickly sqaundered it was the one he faced.

His first mistake came at the 15th where he missed the fairway then the green left and, when trying to get too cute with his 3rd pitched it into the bunker, was unable to get up and down and took double bogey.

Given the nature of the closing three holes at the TPC Sawgrass a one shot lead and a three shot lead are chalk and cheese and when Kaymer was unable to birdie the reachable par five 16th he headed to the dangerous 17th with a one shot lead.

Over the years several players have been brought undone by one of the most talked about holes in tournament golf and today it nearly did the same to Kaymer. His short iron from the tee pitched just over the bunker and then spun backwards towards the front of the green. It came to rest in the fringe grass less than a metre from the water. Unable to get the full blade of the club on the ball, Kaymer’s pitch came up 30 feet short and it appeared as if he may head to the demanding 18th tied with Furyk.

His putt over the ridge and then downhill and turning sharply right, found the bottom of the cup and he had the luxury if it could be called that of a one shot lead playing the last.
The last is a dangerous driving hole but, despite the situation, Kaymer’s drive was superb leaving just an 8 iron to the green. His approach was short but he was able to get up and down from four yards short of the green surface and the title was his.

Kaymer,a former number one, will move from just outside the top 60 in the game to just inside the top 30 while for Furyk he will improve from 15th to 13th.

Sergio Garcia added yet another good finish at the TPC Sawgrass when he finished alone in 3rd position while Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth tied for 4th.

The leading Australian was Matt Jones who finished 17th while Marc Leishman was 23rd.

John Senden dropped five shots in the last six holes to eventually finish 26 after starting the day in a share of 3rd while Adam Scott, after recovering from an opening round of 77, finished with a round of 73 to be 38th.

Steven Bowditch was 48th and Geoff Ogilvy 69th.

Four players, Adam Scott, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar, had an opportunity to become the world number one this week but none were able to do so.

The PGA Tour now moves to Dallas for the Byron Nelson Championship.

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    About the Author: Bruce Young

    A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of the game comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.


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