Jason Day has continued to show why he’s World Number 1, going wire-to-wire to clinch THE PLAYERS Championship and his 10th PGA TOUR victory.
Carding a 1-under 71 for the round, Day proved triumphant in a four-stroke win over American Kevin Chappell.
The victory gives Day his third title this season after wins at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the World Golf Championships-Dell Match Play in consecutive weeks.
“Together with the Australian golf community I congratulate Jason on his victory at TPC Sawgrass; it’s wonderful to see another Australian claim THE PLAYERS Championship title,” said Brian Thorburn, Chief Executive Officer for the PGA of Australia.
“To win any tournament is special, but to win the unofficial fifth Major is a fantastic achievement and it certainly sets the scene in the lead up to The Open and the PGA Championship,” added Thorburn.
Firing a tournament total of 15-under the card, the Queenslander played an unstoppable game in which he never relinquished the lead.
Until this year, TPC Sawgrass hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Day and nerves were apparent in today’s final round.
“I was nervous starting the day. I told Ellie earlier this morning, this is probably the most nervous I’ve been before a tournament round,” said Day.
Opening with par on the front-9 things looked touch and go for Day, accumulating two bogies in four holes, the par-4 6th and the par-5 9th.
A birdie on the par-4 10th, his first for the round, provided some much needed confidence and was followed up with a further two on the par-4 12th and the par-5 16th which saw the Aussie regain his winning focus.
“I just kept on saying to myself, just settle yourself down. Don’t do anything too drastic and try and chase pins or do anything stupid out there because, other than 9, for the most part, I didn’t play a great front nine.”
“Once I got to 10, I kind of said to myself, you’re still in the game, you’ve still got the lead. You’re still in good shape. Just focus on hitting this next tee shot down the middle, which I did.”
“It was tough. I know that it was easy to lose a little bit of focus on the front side, especially with a four-shot lead, and then I just kept on telling myself, just keep yourself in it and give yourself opportunities on the back side, and I played really solid golf on the back side, and am very pleased to walk away the champion.”
This is Day’s second wire-to-wire victory this season, with the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational the first, and naturally the World Number 1 was delighted to take home the trophy.
“It’s such a big accomplishment for me in my career. To be able to finally win as Number 1 in the world and then to go wire-to-wire was very special,” added Day.
With 600 FedExCup points on offer, Day now moves ahead of fellow Aussie, Adam Scott, on the FedExCup standings, with the pair now one and two respectively.
Day becomes only the fourth Australian to win THE PLAYERS Championship and joins Adam Scott (2004), Steve Elkington (1997, 1991) and Greg Norman (1994) in the winners’ circle.
Day joins Tiger Woods (2000, 2002), Tom Watson (1980) and Johnny Miller (1974) as the only Professionals to win wire-to-wire twice in the same season since 1970.