PGA: Simpson wins The Players in runaway

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Webb Simpson navigated his way through a few mistakes but not too much stress to win The Players Championship on Sunday.

Staked to a seven-shot lead, no one got closer than four shots of Simpson, even after a double bogey on the 18th hole when his only concern was finishing the hole at the TPC Sawgrass. He closed with a 1-over 73 for a four-shot victory, his biggest title since the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club.

Tiger Woods made another big run that revved up the crowd and revived hopes that he was close to winning. So did Jason Dufner, Jimmy Walker and Danny Lee. None could do enough to catch Simpson during record scoring at the final Players Championship in May.

His only big mistake didn't even matter. Simpson's approach to the 18th bounded across the green and into the water. He closed with a double bogey, but that only made the final margin closer.

Justin Thomas left the TPC Sawgrass as the No. 1 player in the world. He closed with a 66 to tie for 11th, more than enough to end Dustin Johnson's 15-month reign at the top of the ranking. Thomas is the 21st player to reach No. 1 since the ranking began in 1986, and the seventh American.

Jimmy Walker, Charl Schwartzel and Xander Schauffele all shot 67 to tie for second.

Woods ran off six birdies through 12 holes in the final round. He was tied for second at one point, still four shots behind, but that was as close he got. Woods made a soft bogey on the 14th hole when he missed the green with a sand wedge, and was well short of the island green in making double bogey on No.

17. He shot 69 and tied for 11th.

Simpson won $1.98 million.

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