Tracker: Kuchar wins Players title by two strokes

Matt Kuchar with his son, Cameron, 4, right and Carson, 2, left, after winning The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Matt Kuchar with his son, Cameron, 4, right and Carson, 2, left, after winning The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

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3:32:01 PM ET. 04/16/2014




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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The only complaint about Matt Kuchar was not winning enough. He picked up a big one Sunday in The Players Championship.

Kuchar avoided the big mistakes that slowed so many other contenders — starting with Kevin Na — and kept out of the water on the TPC Sawgrass at the end. He closed with a 2-under 70 for a two-shot victory.

It was the fourth career win for Kuchar, and his first since the 2010 Barclays when Martin Laird three-putted the last hole and lost in a playoff.

Laird made the strongest run until a bogey on the 18th for a 67 and a four-way tie for second. Rickie Fowler missed an 8-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole and shot 70. Ben Curtis and Zach Johnson each had 68.

Meanwhile, it was a tale of two nines for Tiger Woods on Sunday, but the outgoing nine destroyed any chances that the former No. 1 had of trying to creep into the top 10.

After a 4-over 40 on the front nine, Tiger played well coming in and managed to card a 1-over 73 to finish the tournament at 1 under.

See how it all unfolded on Sunday, from the leaders down the stretch to Tiger's entire round:

• • •

Leaderboard update: 7 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar stayed steady on No. 18, hitting the fairway and green in regulation and two-putted to take home his first PGA Tour title since 2010, winning the biggest tournament of his professional career in the process.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 6:45 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar misses a 4-foot par putt at No. 17 and drops a shot to fall back to 13 under, two shots clear of Ben Curtis, Rickie Fowler, Martin Laird and Zach Johnson.

Fowler had a chance to get to 12 under, but missed a 10-footer to finish with a par.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 6:35 p.m. EDT

Zach Johnson made par at the 18th hole after finding the trees off the tee, making a nice putt to close things out and finish at 11 under, tied with Martin Laird and Rickie Fowler three shots back.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 6:30 p.m. EDT

Leader Matt Kuchar now has a three-shot lead after burying a 15-foot birdie putt on the par-5 16th hole.

Rickie Fowler has moved to 11 under with a birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, missing an pitch-in eagle on the 16th by about two feet, while he is 3 under on No. 17 for the week.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 6:17 p.m. EDT

Leader Matt Kuchar is staying steady, picking up a nice par at the par-4 15th, missing his birdie putt just to the left of the cup and tapping in from a foot to stay at 13 under. He now moves to Nos. 16 thru 18, one of the most difficult finishes in all of golf.

Meanwhile, Zach Johnson is a bit too quick on his swing at the par-3 17th hole and sends it well left. He's on the green, but has more than 60 feet for birdie to try and move to 12 under.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 6:06 p.m. EDT

Matt Kuchar found trouble off the tee at the par-4 14th hole, but still managed to get it to the green and then two-putt for par to stay at 13 under. He now has a two-shot lead after Martin Laird, who picked up bogey at the 18th and is now in the clubhouse at 11 under. Rickie Fowler has dropped back to 9 under after a bogey at the par-4 15th hole.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 5:42 p.m. EDT

The top of the leaderboard is getting very crowded as the players make their way through the back nine.

Matt Kuchar just created some breathing room for himself, picking up a nice birdie at the par-4 12th hole to move to 13 under, one ahead of Martin Laird (who just birdied the par-5 16th hole) and two ahead of Zach Johnson (who just birdied the par-4 14th hole). Rickie Fowler and Ben Curtis are three back after missed opportunities on No. 13.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 5:18 p.m. EDT

On the par-4 14th, Martin Laird, faced with a 24-foot par putt, ends up two putting for a bogey to fall back to 11 under, one shot behind leader Matt Kuchar. On the par-45 11th, Kuchar's second shot rolls to the back of the green.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 5:05 p.m. EDT

On the par-3 13th, Martin Laird has a birdie to fall to 12 under and take a share of the lead. On the par-4 10th Rickie Fowler has a par to remain at 8 under. On the par-4 10th, after a good drive, Matt Kuchar knocks his ball onto the green from 146 yards and two putts for par to remain at 12 under. On the par-5 11th hole, Zach Johnson's 35-foot eagle attempt putt ends short of the hole, but Johnson makes a birdie to fall to 10 under.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 4:54 p.m. EDT

Martin Laird makes another birdie on the par-4 12th hole to move to 11 under. On the par-5 9th, Matt Kuchar, after almost chipping in, makes a birdie to fall to 12 under. Kevin Na, failing to get up and down, bogeys the 9th to fall to 9 under. Na had bogeys on the 5th, 6th, 8th and 9th holes; can he turn things around on the back nine?

• • •

Leaderboard update: 4:42 p.m. EDT

On the par-3 8th, Kevin Na manages to get his ball onto the green but leaves himself with a long putt for par. His putt just misses the hole and he falls to 10 under, one shot behind the lead set by Matt Kuchar. Martin Laird picks up a birdie on the par-5 11th to move to 10 under.

On the par-5 9th hole, Rickie Fowler finds himself in the right rough while Matt Kuchar hits his second shot from 274 yards to just a shade right of the green. Kevin Na finds his shot in a bunker.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 4:26 p.m. EDT

On the par-3 8th hold, Ben Curtis double bogeys to fall to 6 under. Later, on the same hole, Kevin Na, taking a big divot, fails to hit the green and lands in front of a sand trap on the par-3 eighth. On the par-4 7th hole, Matt Kuchar saves par to maintain his shared lead at 11 under. On the par-3 8th, he knocks his ball to the center of the green. On the par-5 9th, Zach Johnson hits a solid wedge onto the green.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 4:08 p.m. EDT

From a bunker on the par-4 6th hole, Kevin Na hits his wedge onto the green but three-putts, missing a putt inside five feet for his first time all week. He falls back to 11 under. Luke Donald pars the par-4 18th hole to finish at 9 under for the tournament, two shots off the lead.

• • •

Leaderboard update: 3:45 p.m. EDT

Rickie Fowler just gave two back with a double-bogey at the par-4 5th hole, ruining a beautiful drive off the tee. Leader Kevin Na got lucky on the par-4 4th hole, with the ball staying out of the water as it ran along the edge of the fringe. He escaped with a par to stay two shots ahead of Matt Kuchar, who birdied the 4th hole.

• • •

No. 18, Par 4, 447 yards

Rickie Fowler has moved to within two shots of the lead after draining a 30-footer for birdie on No. 4.

Off the tee: Tiger hits a great tee shot about 280 yards into the middle of the fairway, giving him a great look at the back pin location.

Approach shot: Tiger's body language says it all. As soon as Woods made contact, he slumped over in disgust, as the ball went right and now he'll have to get up-and-down for par.

Around the green: Tiger chips it up to about two feet and he drains the putt to cap a 1-over 73 that leaves him 1 under for the tournament and currently 38th in the field.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (1 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 17, Par 3, 137 yards

Leader Kevin Na birdied the par-5 2nd hole to move to 13 under, three shots ahead of Matt Kuchar and Rickie Fowler.

Off the tee: Tiger hits a beautiful shot that hits right on the green and funnels to about six feet.

On the green: Tiger makes it back-to-back birdies, draining the putt with a confident stroke and exits the green to a loud applause.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (1 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 16, Par 5, 507 yards

Matt Kuchar has fallen back to 10 under after an opening bogey, while Kevin Na lips out on a birdie attempt and settles for a par to stay at 12 under at 12 under. Rickie Fowler missed an opportunity at the par-5 2nd hole, also lipping out on his birdie attempt.

Off the tee: Tiger hammers a 304-yard drive into the fairway to set up a chance at the green in two.

Second shot: Tiger finds a fairway bunker on the left of the green and will face a long bunker shot.

Third shot: Tiger plays a beautiful bunker shot that runs along the front of the green and funnels to about three feet under the hole.

On the green: Tiger drains the putt to move back to even for the tournament.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (Even for the tournament)

• • •

No. 15, Par 4, 449 yards

Rickie Fowler and Ben Curtis have both teed off on No. 1, with Fowler putting his approach shot to about five feet for birdie. Fowler would make the putt to move to 10 under, two shots off the lead.

Off the tee: Tiger hammers a 302-yard drive down the fairway to give himself a good look at the green with his second shot.

Second shot: Tiger hits another green in regulation, but will have about 25 feet for birdie.

On the green: Tiger can't get his birdie attempt to go, but picks up a two-putt par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 14, Par 4, 467 yards

Tiger will likely be done with 15 holes before the leaders ever tee off, and he has missed out on a chance to create some buzz before Kevin Na and Matt Kuchar take to the tee. While Tiger has flailed, Phil Mickelson has started hot with two birdies in his first four holes, moving to 6 under for the tournament.

Off the tee: Tiger hits a beautiful tee ball right down the middle of the fairway to give himself a chance to attack the front pin location.

Approach shot: Tiger gives himself a shot at a birdie, hitting a nice shot under to about 15 feet under the hole.

On the green: Tiger reads it correctly, but it runs out of speed and cuts under the hole and Tiger picks up a tap-in par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 13, Par 3, 181 yards

Coming off his first birdie in nine holes, Tiger has some scoring holes ahead of him to try to make this a respectable round. Meanwhile, David Toms birdied No. 17 to move to 7 under on his round and 7 under for the tournament, now only five shots off the lead. He would go on to par the 18th to card a 7-under 65.

Off the tee: With the wind helping many players keep the ball on the green, Tiger powers his tee ball through the wind and off the back of the green.

Around the green: Tiger putts from off the green, but leaves it about six feet short and will have a tester for par.

On the green: Tiger raps in his par putt for a solid up-and-down.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 12, Par 4, 358 yards

David Toms is 6 under on his round to get to 6 under for the tournament, but is still six shots back of the leader Kevin Na, who doesn't tee off until 2:45 p.m. EDT.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the fairway at the short par 4, leaving himself about 90 yards into the green.

Approach shot: Tiger hits a beautiful approach shot to about four feet, which he'll have for his first birdie since the second hole.

On the green: Tiger drains the easy putt up the hill and he moves to 1 over for the tournament.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 11, Par 5, 535 yards

One positive Tiger will be able to take away from this week is that his work on the par 5s has improved over his poor performances at the Masters and the Wells Fargo Championship. Meanwhile, Bob Estes has carded the round of the day thus far, firing a 7-under 65 to finish the tournament at 5 under.

Off the tee: Tiger finds the rough after a 332-yard bomb off the tee, leaving himself about 205 yards to the green.

Second shot: Tiger finds the rough again and will have to chip onto the green.

Third shot: Tiger finds the green, but leaves himself with about 25 feet for birdie.

On the green: Tiger two-putts for another pedestrian par on a par 5.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (2 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 10, Par 4, 424 yards

Tiger went on his Friday run of four straight birdies around the turn, but he has made a mess of the holes today.

Off the tee: Tiger hits another fairway with a 270 yard tee ball, leaving himself about 160 to the pin.

Approach shot: Another missed opportunity for Tiger, as he fails to hit the green and will be chipping from the greenside rough.

Around the green: Tiger plays a nice chip to help him one-putt and save par.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (2 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 9, Par 5, 583 yards

With Tiger now out of contention and simply playing for a higher finish, it'll be interesting to see if he takes any chances as he gets to the turn. Meanwhile, Phil Mickelson and Martin Kaymer just took to the first tee.

Off the tee: Tiger rips a driver right down the neck of the long par 5, setting himself up with a chance to go after the green.

Second shot: Tiger has to take it over some tall trees on the left and he clears them, but stays a bit left of the green and will be chipping from about 25 feet off the green.

Third shot: Tiger plays a nice chip that nearly rolls in, settling about six feet beyond the hole and will have that for only his second birdie of the day.

On the green: Tiger can't get the birdie attempt in the hole and he picks up a very disappointing par and makes the turn at 4-over 40.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (2 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 8, Par 3, 219 yards

PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley has moved to 4 under for the tournament. He played with Tiger on Saturday, shooting a 2-over 74.

Off the tee: Tiger misses the green left, but should have a straightforward chip to the hole.

Around the green: Tiger plays a poor chip to about 20 feet, which he'll have for par.

On the green: Tiger can't get his par putt to go and he picks up another bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 4 over (2 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 7, Par 4, 442 yards

This is getting somewhat ugly, and quick. Yesterday, Tiger said that 80 was an easy score to get at Sawgrass. Right now, he might be trending in that direction.

Off the tee: With a one-hand follow through, Tiger hits his 3-wood left and into another fairway bunker.

Approach shot: Tiger is able to get enough on the ball to get it to the green, but it rolls off the back and he misses another green in regulation.

Around the green: Tiger hits a pretty good pitch to about six feet to set up a par attempt.

On the green: Tiger drains the putt to save par. He is grinding to just stay at 3 over for the day.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 6, Par 4, 393 yards

Tiger hasn't been as consistent thus far on Sunday, especially off the tee.

Off the tee: Tiger takes iron and finds a fairway bunker, picking up yet another missed fairway.

Approach shot: Tiger goes from bunker to bunker and now will have to get up-and-down to save par.

Around the green: Tiger has a horribly awkward stance in the bunker and takes a long time to just get in position to make a swing. He gets the ball out, but leaves himself 40 feet for par.

On the green: He flows his par attempt about eight feet past, but makes the comebacker for bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 3 over (1 over for tournament)

• • •

No. 5, Par 4, 466 yards

That was an ugly turn for Tiger, and his body language has definitely changed, almost teetering on the "I don't care" mode. A double early in your round can be deflating.

Off the tee: Tiger takes driver for the first time and hooks it left into the rough and will have a tough time getting the ball to the green with his second shot.

Approach shot: He has a good look at the flag, but doesn't catch it cleanly off the down slope and comes up short of the green.

Around the green: Tiger plays a nice chip to about five feet and he'll actually have a chance to save par.

On the green: Tiger makes the 5-foot par putt to make a nice save after a poor tee shot.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (Even for tournament)

• • •

No. 4, Par 4, 384 yards

The scores are solid on the course thus far, with David Toms 3 under thru 8 holes and Bob Estes 4 under thru 10 holes.

Off the tee: Tiger takes 5-wood and finds the left side of the fairway, in prime position to be ultra-aggressive with his approach at the short par 4.

Approach shot: Tiger tries to feather something cute in there, but the wind picks up as the ball was in flight and Tiger finds the water that lines the front of the green. A big groan from the crowd ensues.

Fourth shot: Tiger plays a really good shot from the drop area to about eight feet, which he'll have for bogey.

On the green: Tiger's bogey attempt lips out and he picks up a double-bogey to fall back to even for the tournament.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 2 over (Even for tournament)

• • •

No. 3, Par 3, 177 yards

The wind is pretty steady at Sawgrass and will make the par 3s a bit tough to get it close.

Off the tee: The wind is blowing from the left and Tiger plays a nice shot, but is about 25 feet away.

On the green: Tiger leaves his birdie attempt about two feet short and settles for a par.

TIGER ON THE GREEN: Even (2 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 3, Par 3, 177 yards

• • •

No. 2, Par 5, 532 yards

With very little to lose, Tiger can attack the par 5s in an attempt to make up ground quickly.

Off the tee: Tiger takes fairway wood off the tee and puts it in the fairway, giving him a chance to go after the green in two.

Second shot: Tiger takes fairway wood again and busts it down the left side, near the green, leaving himself a straightforward shot out of a greenside bunker.

Third shot: He blasts out of the bunker, but leaves himself 15 feet for birdie. A bit disappointed with that effort.

On the green: Tiger drains the 15-footer for birdie to get back that dropped shot at No. 1.

TIGER ON THE DAY: Even (2 under for tournament)

• • •

No. 1, Par 4, 392 yards

Tiger is wearing his traditional red shirt and black slacks. It is much more overcast today and still breezy, maybe around 20 mph. Tiger is playing with Jim Furyk and his caddie, Mike "Fluff" Cowan, Tiger's former looper.

Off the tee: Tiger takes fairway wood, just like he's done all week. He sends it down the left side and trickles just into the rough.

Approach shot: In the left rough, Tiger has a tough angle to the pin on the left. He plays his shot well right of the flag and actually rolls off the green.

Around the green: Tiger tries to play a bump-and-run with his fairway wood but doesn't hit it hard enough and leaves himself 20 feet for par. Tiger misreads the par putt and it trickled right and has to settle for an opening bogey.

TIGER ON THE DAY: 1 over (1 under for tournament)

• • •

THIRD-ROUND COVERAGE

Kevin Na dealing with a case of the waggles

Kevin Na admits he has a hard time pulling the trigger, but also says it's not nearly as painful for viewers as it is for him. Story.

• • •

Notebook: Sergio Garcia's round a tale of two nines

Sergio Garcia put together very different nines Saturday at TPC Sawgrass. Still, he had leapfrogged 42 players on the leaderboard by day's end. Notebook.

• • •

TPC Sawgrass favors no player

The Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass plays no favorites, making The Players anyone's tournament to win. Story.

• • •

Rickie Fowler can attest to the fact that being a PGA Tour winner makes all the difference in the world. After winning last week's Wells Fargo Championship, Fowler is contending at The Players. Story.

• • •

SECOND-ROUND COVERAGE

Bradley, Simpson face turbulent rounds

While Matt Kuchar's solid play put him in a share of the lead at The Players, playing competitors Keegan Bradley and Webb Simpson were swirling storms around Kuchar’s serenity. Story.

• • •

Notes: Harman makes cut, Stricker doesn’t

Players Championship notebook: Brian Harman will be playing the weekend at The Players, while a familiar weekend warrior, Steve Stricker, will not. Story.

• • •

McIlroy is 0-for-3 in Players cuts made

Rory McIlroy, a victim of TPC Sawgrass’ visual trickery, misses his first cut in more than a year at the Players Championship. Story.

• • •

Curtis, 5 under at Players, evades media attention

At 5 under, Ben Curtis may be in contention at The Players, but he failed to garner the media attention of personalities like Rory McIlroy. That’s okay with Curtis, who’s content focusing on the numbers. Story.

• • •

FIRST-ROUND COVERAGE

Big-name players fail to reach top of leaderboard

The Players Championship has one of the year’s best fields, but that fact wasn't apparent looking at today's leaderboard. Story.

• • •

A rested Adam Scott fires opening 68

Adam Scott, proving that his sparse tournament schedule is working for him, shot what appeared to be an effortless 4-under 68 to get into a share of sixth in the opening round of The Players Championship. Story.

• • •

Simon Dyson withdraws from Players Championship

Simon Dyson joins D.A. Points, Paul Casey, Hunter Haas and Angel Cabrera, as the Englishman withdrew due to a “sharp, shooting pain” from his hip all the way down the leg. Story.

• • •

Notebook: Gary Woodland retuns to action at Players Championship

Players Championship notes: Gary Woodland returns to action after an injury at the Masters, while Thursday morning's featured pairing didn't provide the fireworks fans were expecting. Notebook.

• • •

Brian Harman squeezes into Players Championship field

When D.A. Points withdrew due to back spasms, first alternate Brian Harman was let into the field. Harman made the most of it, shooting a 1-over 73 on Thursday. Story.

• • •

Blake Adams fires 6-under 66, one shot off Players Championship lead

Blake Adams contending at the Players Championship would be surprising because physically, he is a mess. He shot 6-under 66 Thursday. Story.

• • •

Tiger Woods fires a 2-over 74 in first round of Players Championship

Coming off a missed cut, Tiger Woods still was out of sorts Thursday at The Players. He shot 74 and will need a good round Friday to avoid missing consecutive cuts for the first time as a pro. Story.

• • •

PREVIEW COVERAGE

Augusta National's power forces Tim Finchem to fold

Tim Finchem said that the PGA Tour will not remove the Masters as a tournament on its schedule despite Augusta's all-male membership. And, while Jeff Rude doesn't like it, he understands it. Story.

• • •

Luke Donald a favorite among fantasy panel

Fantasy Tip Sheet: In the back-and-forth world of the World Golf Rankings, at least two of our panelists think that Luke Donald will get back to No. 1 with a win at TPC Sawgrass this weekend. Fantasy tips.

• • •

Tiger Woods hopes to stick around for the weekend

Tiger Woods is about the only person not in a panic about his game. But these remain curious times for the guy trying to show he can still dominate golf as he once did. Story.

• • •

Players Championship tee times and pairings

Check out the first- and second-round tee times and pairings at the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Tee times.

• • •

First-timers will have hands fulls with subtle Sawgrass

Sang-Moon Bae, Bud Cauley and David Mathis are three of 16 first-time participants at the Players Championship, and each will be challenged by TPC Sawgrass' subtle design. Story.

• • •

Mark Brooks gets another shot at a TPC Sawgrass loop

Thirty years later, Mark Brooks finds himself back on the bag, this time as the caddie for J.J. Henry at The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass. Story.

• • •

Gary Player receives PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award

Gary Player has traveled to all corners of the world and it led him to the Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award. Story.

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