Kuchar holds nerve for Sawgrass victory
Matt Kuchar held on to claim victory at the Players Championship after a final-round 70 gave him the title at Sawgrass.
The 33-year-old trailed third-round leader Kevin Na by two shots at the start of the final day but he battled hard to card a two-under par round and claim his first PGA Tour title in nearly two years.
Na was in good shape going into the final 18 holes but his eccentricities got the better of him on the final day and he carded a nervous four-over par 76 to finish in a tie for seventh on -8.
Kuchar began with a bogey but managed to secure four birdies to open up a gap at the top of the leaderboard and he held his nerve to claim the spoils despite dropping a shot at the 17th when three putting.
The Florida-born star was delighted to win golf's richest prize but admitted he would have loved to have gone down the 18th with a three-shot lead instead of two after his troubles at the 17th.
"It's such an amazing feeling. It really is magical - I have so many people to thank," he said. "But I wish I had made the putt on 17 to make 18 easier to face."
Scotland's Martin Laird had to settle for a share of second place on 11-under par, as Zach Johnson, Ben Curtis and last week's winner, Rickie Fowler, all came up just short.
Luke Donald was the big mover on Sunday with a final-round six-under par 66 giving him sixth place on -9 but not quite enough to see him regain top spot in the world rankings from Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut.
The Englishman posted the clubhouse lead but always felt he would be overhauled by those finishing later in the day.
"Suddenly the putts clicked and I got on a nice little run," he said after his round. "The wind direction was favourable and the greens were holding.
"I thought I was too far back, but I might stick around just in case."
England's Brian Davis was alongside Laird in sixth place at the start of the day, but a double bogey on the sixth set the tone for his final round of 75 and the Londoner had to settle for a share of 25th place on -3.
Lee Westwood failed to break 70 in any of his four rounds and finished in a tie for 61st on +4 after a final-round 77.