5and unofficial major tournament of the season goes to the American Justin Thomas (-14) who ends the four rounds played on the TPC Sawgrass with a stroke ahead of the Englishman Lee Westwood (-13) and two on his compatriots Brian Harman and Bryson DeChambeau (-12).
Considered the 5and Major unofficial tournament of the season, the Players Championship 2021 offered a great show on the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach (Florida), headquarters of the PGA Tour. It was the talented Justin Thomas (28) who won with a score of -14, one step ahead of Englishman Lee Westwood (-13) and two ahead of his compatriots Brian Harman and Bryson DeChambeau ( -12). Author of a solid last lap (68) on the strength of his 64 the day before during the “moving day”, the American signed on Sunday a fourth card under par (71-71-64-68) at the end of a nice ascent. He wins his 14and tournament on the PGA Tour, like Jack Nicklaus, Johnny Miller and Tiger Woods, before him at his age.
Offensive on hole n°9
“I’m so happy and so proud to win the Players Championship,” said the world No. 3, from Louisville (Kentucky), just out of the scoring office. Three strokes behind leader Lee Westwood, the American launched an offensive on hole 9 by posting a birdie to erase the bogey of 8, before chaining birdie-eagle-birdie on holes 10-11 -12. A decisive boost.
On fire, his game then got rid of a little successful putting on the first part of the course. Keeping his composure, Justin Thomas joined the clubhouse with a solid 68, despite two bogeys (at holes 8 then 14) and four birdies in addition to an eagle. “I said to myself keep calm and be patient,” he explained to the microphone of Golf TV, before bursting into tears when answering a question about his grandfather, a recently deceased ex-golf pro: “Where he is today, I know he is proud.”
On the heels of the Arnold Palmer Invitational where he had narrowly failed to win, beaten suddenly by Bryson DeChambeau last week, Lee Westwood seemed able to go to the end having taken the lead in the standings of the Players Championship on Saturday, ahead of this same rival. Once again, however, the Englishman (-13) stalled when winning, despite the support of his younger brother Helen Storey, in the bag, which he speaks of as his “secret weapon”.
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The threat Justin Thomas was revealed to him visually in the distance, by an ugly surprise of the layout of the course, on the fairway of the 16th hole. And, as if by chance, a bogey on 17 – the fourth of the day – finished sealing the cursed fate of the Englishman, with a Sunday card in par, the worst of his Florida week (69-66- 68-72). On arrival, Westwood (48) can harbor regrets, he who despite his two successes on the PGA Tour and his twenty-five victories on the European circuit is still chasing a “major” success. In 2005, he had finished 2and of the Players Championship before ranking 4and in 2010.
Victor Perez “very satisfied with his game”
The other beaten is named Bryson DeChambeau (-12), yet well placed after the first three rounds. The 11th player in the world did not manage on Sunday to conclude the promises of the previous days, recording a card in the par too, stained with four bogeys (on holes 2, 4, 8 and 17) for as many birdies (1 , 9, 14 and 18). Considered the hottest man of the moment, DeChambeau has at times seemed lacking in mental and physical freshness despite consistently impressive punches.
On the French side, Victor Perez can declare himself “very satisfied with his game” after a last card (67) presenting six birdies (holes 3, 4, 9, 11, 13 and 16) for a single bogey conceded on his 72nd and final green of the week. He finishes in 9and position in the table after a rise of almost twenty places. “I am obviously very happy with my week, he commented at the microphone of Thomas Levet (Canal +). I had a blast all weekend hitting good chips and playing good putts.”
Final Players Championship standings at TPC Sawgrass (par 72):
1. Justin Thomas (USA), -14 (71-71-64-68)
2. Lee Westwood (ENG), -13 (69-66-68-72)
3. Brian Harman (USA), -12 (67-71-69-69)
. Bryson DeChambeau (USA), -12 (69-69-67-71)
5. Talor Gooch (USA), -11 (71-68-71-67)
. Paul Casey (ENG), -11 (73-67-67-70)
9. Victor Perez (FRA) -8 (73-71-69-67)
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