Kuchar captures Players title

2012-05-14 06:25

Florida - American Matt Kuchar kept his composure while others around him caved under the pressure to win The Players Championship tournament by two shots on Sunday.

GALLERY: Past weekend's sporting pictures

Kuchar closed with a two-under 70 to finish at 13-under-par 275 for his fourth win on the USPGA Tour. Of the four wins, it is by far the biggest title of his career.

"What an amazing feeling to hoist this trophy and win among one of the strongest fields in golf," Kuchar said.

"To come out on top, to do it on Mother's Day ... it really is magical."

Martin Laird rolled in five birdies in a seven-hole stretch from the seventh to grab a share of the lead. But Laird closed with a bogey for a five-under 67 at the TPC Sawgrass.

Laird shared second place at 11-under-par 277 with Zach Johnson (68), Ben Curtis (68) and Rickie Fowler (70).

Luke Donald closed with a six-under 66 to end alone in sixth at minus-nine. He needed a solo fourth or better to regain the world No. 1 ranking.

Third-round leader Kevin Na stumbled to a four-over 76 as he dropped into a tie for seventh place at eight-under-par 280.

American Na was trying to be the first 54-hole leader to win the title since Canada's Stephen Ames did so in 2006.

Na had a three-shot cushion early in the fourth round with a birdie on the second hole, but he fell apart.

Na said he was heckled at almost every hole Sunday because of his reputation for playing slowly.

"It is what it is," Na said. "I do need to work on what I need to. I do need to work on my pre-shot routine. I do need to play faster.

"But the average golfer has no clue how much pressure we're playing under and how tough it is and how much of a fight it is mentally.

"I honestly think with all that going on, I did pretty well fighting. I had a good fight. I hung in there, so you know what, I just take the positives from it."

Things reached a boiling point for the affable Na who tried to reason with some unruly spectators.

"I backed off and they're booing me," Na said. "I said, 'Look, guys, I backed off because of you guys.' ... But it is what it is. I also felt that a lot of people were turning towards me and pulling for me, which I really appreciate."

Leading scores on Sunday after the fourth round of the $9.5 million US PGA Players Championship (USA unless noted, par-72):

275 - Matt Kuchar 68-68-69-70

277 - Martin Laird (SCO) 65-73-72-67, Zach Johnson 70-66-73-68, Rickie Fowler 72-69-66-70, Ben Curtis 68-71-70-68

279 - Luke Donald (ENG) 72-69-72-66

280 - Bo Van Pelt 71-70-70-69, Jhonattan Vegas (VEN) 68-74-68-70, Kevin Na 67-69-68-76

281 - David Toms 69-74-73-65, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 71-72-69-69

282 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 70-73-70-69, Blake Adams 66-73-72-71, Jonathan Byrd 68-70-72-72

283 - Bob Estes 73-69-76-65, Peter Hanson (SWE) 73-71-71-68, Spencer Levin 74-68-72-69, Henrik Stenson (SWE) 71-71-71-70, Adam Scott (AUS) 68-70-74-71, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 69-71-72-71, Martin Kaymer (GER) 73-69-70-71, David Mathis 72-71-69-71

284 - Chris Couch 72-71-71-70, John Huh 75-66-72-71