Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Tiger Woods: "I'm Not That Far Off From Winning"

Tiger Woods:

That act of serendipity meant Woods had to make alternative arrangements and head back to work.

Simpson was nowhere near as sharp or aggressive as he was in the first three rounds, but he shot a 1-over-par 73 for the final round and finished at 18-under 270 to win by four shots on the Players Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

There is no way I would have predicted I would be at this point at the beginning of the year.

"So his game, if I compare it to other guys that are winning golf tournaments that I'm playing with day to day, it's right up there".

Woods has yet to tell us when he will next be competing, but Jack Nicklaus' Memorial event in Dublin, Ohio - starting on 31 May - would seem the logical choice in the build-up to next month's US Open. A front-nine 30 suggested Woods might indeed be back to form.

He pointed to his tee shot at the 242-yard, par-3 eighth, which landed a little more than 30 feet from the hole; his second shot at the par-5 ninth, which stopped on the fringe from almost 270 yards out; and his approach shot at the par-5 11th, before landing on the putting surface and leaving him a lengthy eagle putt. He added birdies at the 11th and 12th and was 6 under par for his round.

When Woods birdied Nos.

Simpson had a plan and didn't back off until he holed an 18-foot par on the final hole for a four-under 68. Woods was six under through 12 holes and got within four of the lead before falling hard, playing his last five holes in three over. In another stroke of brilliance from a player ranked 41st in the world, Simpson proceeded to hole his third shot for an eagle that stretched his lead to seven strokes.

Simpson produced his shot of the day at the par-five 11th, where he sent his second shot some 33 yards past the hole and into a rear greenside bunker. "I didn't play particularly well in the first couple days, but I turned it around this weekend and I got it rolling".

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.

"There are some big events to be played and one of my goals is to get into Akron one last time before we leave there", he said. "I think she has been more invested in my golf than before. I hit a lot of quality shots and 65 was probably as high as I could have shot today, which was kind of nice", he said.

Asked to reiterate if there is any doubts in his mind that he can start winning again, Wood said: "No, no".

"He'll win sometime soon enough, " said Jordan Spieth, who was paired with Woods in the final round. He watched certain players crawl closer and closer to him but he never let it get to him. That finish, coupled with Dustin Johnson's tie for 17th place, allowed Thomas to overtake Johnson, who'd held the spot since February 2017. I didn't really miss a shot and only ended up on 69.

"Just got to keep my hat down and play my own game and..." It was still hard, but I'm just really thankful to get it done.

The first round started with one of the best threesomes in golf with Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Rickie Fowler.

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