Woods Surges But Simpson Cruises to Players Title

Charl Schwartzel (67) and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (67) tied for second in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. "Didn't know. But now I feel like I've got my playing feels and I'm playing tournament golf and I've got it - I'm not that far off from winning golf tournaments". Like a number of his professional golf colleagues, he got good at the game using a somewhat controversial putting method that nobody ever dreamed would one day be outlawed.

After failing to birdie the par-5 16th for the second straight day, he arrived at the par-3 17th and watched Jordan Spieth stick his shot to a few feet from a precarious pin that is typically on the right side on Sundays. For the second consecutive day, Woods allowed what could have been a spectacular round to fall short of what it might have been.

BC-GLF-Players-Woods, 694 Tiger Woods on Players rally: This weekend was more like itAP Photo MH128, MH120, MH131, MH142, MH112Eds: With AP Photos. A front-nine 30 suggested Woods might indeed be back to form.

Simpson's lead was down to four shots when he bogeyed the 10th, but he moved to 20-under for the tournament with birdies at the two par-fives on the back nine, the 11th and 16th.

When Woods birdied Nos.

No player in PGA Tour history has ever lost a seven shot lead with a round to play, and Simpson did a fine job in making sure he didn't become the first.

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. "I hit it so good", Woods said after shooting rounds of 72-71-65-69.

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Woods kept his momentum going at the 384-yard, par-4 4th hole as both he and Spieth hit their approach shots close to set up birdies. Yet that didn't stop him from signing autographs for a big group of kids afterwards and, along with many others at the moment, including a Woods who actually looks as though he's enjoying himself, golf really can be thankful to have such a terrific ambassador as the young Texan.

"I hit the ball better today than I did yesterday, and I obviously didn't end up with the score I needed to", Woods said. His father was the one who introduced him to the game, and Webb and Sam formed an all-Simpson team in weekend foursomes from the time Webb was 11 until he left home for Wake Forest.

Tiger Woods' next start is now set for the US Open at Shinnecock Hills next month.

He is already looking ahead at which tournaments he wants to focus on and he spoke about his desire to play at the WGC-Bridgestone in August in Akron, Ohio, as it will be the last time the competition will be held there.

"I would like to get there with one more chance (at Firestone)", he added. "But I've to do some work between now and then". A T-11 finish for Justin Thomas was enough to depose Dustin Johnson as World No. 1.

"I was able to get it done today, and it means everything", Simpson said. "So hopefully if I keep on top of it will just slowly go away".

"It's been a long time. It was still hard, but I found a way to get it done". He then parred 18 for a three-under 69 to finish at 11 under in a tie for 11th-certainly nothing to scoff at, but a number that does not do the quality of his ball striking any justice at all.

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