FORMER world no.1 Martin Kaymer overcame some last minute nerves to snatch the 2014 Players championship in near darkness at the TPC Sawgrass today.
The 29 year old German joined Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott as the only golfer to win a major, a World Golf Championship and a Players Championship.
Kaymer sunk a clutch par putt on the 18th green after returning from a 91 minute weather delay and shakily squandering a three stroke lead on the last few holes. First up he made a double bogey on the 15th hole to reduce his lead to one and then went close to putting it in the water on the infamous 17th island green when his ball rolled to the fringe. Everyone who watched his Ryder Cup performances know he can putt under pressure and the video of his sliding 28 foot par saving putt below says it all.
In the end Kaymer closed with a 1-under 71 to finish on 13-under for the tournament and avoid a next day three hole playoff with runner-up Jim Furyk (66) who was clubhouse leader on 12-under.
Kaymer won the 2010 US PGA Championship but has struggled with his game in recent years.
“This is a very special win for me,” said Kaymer, who opened with a course record equalling 8-under 63 in the first round.
Former champion Sergio Garcia (70) finished in third place on 11-under while the increasingly impressive 20 year old Jordan Spieth (74) tied fourth with Justin Rose (69) on 10-under.
Matt Jones (74) was the leading Aussie on 6-under tied for 17th with Marc Leishman charged with a final round 5-under 67 to close a stroke further back at T23.
John Senden didn’t capitalise on his overnight position three strokes behind joint leaders Kaymer and Spieth, carding a 5-over 77 to finish on 4-under tied for 26th.
Adam Scott (77-67-69-73) didn’t keep the revival from his disastrous opening round going but as we report here (Newly married Scott can still be No.1 if he just spends a little more time at home), could still be world no.1 early next week. He finished on 2-under tied for 38th.
2014 The Players Championship LeaderboardThe Players Championship Leaderboard