Players Championship Highlights
Jerry Pate’s plunge in 1982
Jerry Pate’s victory in 1982 was marked by his dip in the water. The American had started his last lap in sixth place, three strokes behind the leader. During this last round, he returned the best card of the day at 67 (-5) with two birdies on 17 and 18. He won the tournament two strokes ahead of his compatriots Scott Simpson and Brad Bryant. At the moment of his victory, the American jumped into the water accompanied by Pete Dye, director of the TPC Sawgrass and the commissioner of the PGA Tour Deane Beman.
Tiger Woods’ 2001 knockout
When we talk about a historic moment in this tournament, it is impossible not to mention the magnificent putt of the Tiger on the emblematic hole of 17. Author of a string of about twenty meters in the 3rd round, Tiger Woods carried out the coup de grace . To this is added the phrase that has become iconic from sports commentator Gary Koch. During the broadcast, former golfer Johnny Miller asked Koch “How does it look? » Gary Koch replied and repeated “Better Than Most” (“better than anyone”) until the Tiger ball goes into the hole. In the 4th round, his card of 67 earned him his first Players victory. In 2013, he won the tournament for the second time at -13, two strokes ahead of his pursuers.
He will be with Davis Love III, Hal Sutton, Steve Elkington and Fred Couples, the only players to win this tournament twice behind Jack Nicklaus alone with 3 wins.
The bluffing outsider Craig Perks in 2002
The victory of Craig Perks or the underdog as many called him in 2002 is one of those highlights. The New Zealander then 203rd in the world and without a win on the clock was able to bluff his audience. Playing the tournament for the first time, Craig Perks had his worst day in this 4th round at +3, before arriving at the 16th hole of the course. Three holes from the end, the New Zealander scored an eagle on the 16th then a birdie on the 17th and a par on the 18th. In addition to catching up on the Canadian Stephen Ames, he won for the first time on the American circuit, two steps ahead. This is his only victory on the PGA Tour.
The three-way play-off won by Rickie Fowler in 2015
The 2015 edition was marked by the play-off between Rickie Fowler, Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia. Neck and neck at -12, the three players faced off in a three-hole play-off. Sergio Garcia was the first eliminated, leaving Rickie Fowler and Kevin Kisner in a duel. At the start of hole 17, Fowler managed to place the ball five feet from the hole before returning the decisive putt to birdie and eliminate Kevin Kisner.
The triumphant youth of Si Woo Kim in 2017
Si Woo Kim’s victory in 2017 also goes down in history, with the latter becoming the youngest Players winner at 21. The South Korean had won his second victory on the PGA Tour on this occasion with three strokes ahead of Ian Poulter and Louis Oosthuizen at -7.
Rory McIlroy stunning in 2019
In 2019, while the American Jim Furyk seemed to be the big winner of this edition, author of a card of 67 (-5) to -15 total, the Northern Irishman Rory McIlroy was able to reverse the trend by equalizing at – 15 thanks to a very good exit from the bunker at 15. He then birdied at 16 and two pars at 17 and 18. He then won with a one-step lead over his rival: “It’s the most difficult tournament to win, with the most players in the world. There are big names on this trophy and I’m honored and proud to put my name alongside them.” declared the winner of the Players 2019.