Webb Simpson controls the 2018 Players Champion

Webb Simpson jumped from 41st to 20th in the world rankings with his victory at the Players Championship on Sunday, still far from superstar territory in a sport with room for only a handful of household names.

"I feel like all of us were just trying to make as many birdies as possible while he was trying to run away from everyone else", Schauffele said.

Thank-you notes also are in order for the USGA and the R&A.

And he had only 108 putts, leading the field in strokes gained putting and never needing more than 29 in any round.

While Woods didn't really get close enough to have an intimidatory effect on this occasion, fair play to Simpson, a former US Open victor, for landing his first victory since 2013 in real style. Simpson knew this, and he played like it all day.

Thats no longer the case. It is played at one of the best layouts on tour.

It was his lowest round on the PGA Tour since a 65 in the second round of the Wyndham Championship at the end of the 2015 regular season.

Former world No 1 Jason Day of Australia was in a group of five on 207 - but the tournament is Simpson's to lose. After almost acing the par-3 17th, he made a quadruple-bogey on the par-4 18th that included a three-putt from five feet for a 2-over 74.

He was always determined to play by the rules.

The ban took effect in 2016. This marked an emotional scene for Simpson, whose father died at the end of past year. That's when his caddie, Paul Tesori, stepped up and gave his player a much-needed reality check.

There was nothing unique about Webb Simpson's final-round 73 on Sunday, but it clearly led to one of the most special wins of his career. “If I break it, I cant take it with me.

But it wasnt smooth sailing. Once he went conventional, he fell to No. 174. He will move from 53rd to 48th in the FedEx Cup standings.

"Eventually I was going to put all the pieces together and today, for the most part, I did that", Woods said. He is the only player to have won The Players Championship when it was held in March (2001) and May (2013). "It was nice to see a few putts go in".

Simpson also alluded to golf's unerring ability to make a hero of a player who was bang average the week before, or call forward an all-time great who looked to be heading for the trap door.

And now here he is, ranking among the best putters and feeling like one of them. Finding a method that works for him has been crucial and key to his win at Sawgrass. "It's amusing how those things happen, but this is probably the first time I can say I'm glad they banned it, because I wouldn't have ever probably swayed away from the belly putter".

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

The weakness became a strength. He was just inside the top 40 when he abandoned his belly putter for good.

Simpson, who is now $1.98m richer, can eye a Ryder Cup return - he represented the United States of America in 2012 and 2014 - plus the belated fulfilling of promise that was obvious when he prevailed at the US Open six years ago.

Vanessa Coleman

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