Steady finish for Matt Fitzpatrick as Rory McIlroy wins The Players Championship

Matt Fitzpatrick followed up his impressive performance at the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a steady show at The Players Championship.

Sunday, 17th March 2019, 9:17 pm
Updated Sunday, 17th March 2019, 9:33 pm

The Sheffield golfer finished in a tie for 41st at Sawgrass, with the ‘unofficial fifth Major’ won by Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy.

Though not in contention after the opening round, Fitzpatrick produced a steady and consistent performance across the four days to finish on four under par.

His Sunday was an up-and-down affair with six birdies but five bogeys, including on 16 and the last, hampered his chances of climbing the leaderboard. It continued his good form in the Florida swing of the PGA Tour.

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Fellow Sheffield golfer Danny Willett missed Friday's cut, having finished four over par.

McIlroy recovered from an early double bogey to card a closing 70 and finish 16 under par, one shot ahead of former Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk, who had threatened to become the oldest winner in tournament history.

Furyk set the clubhouse target after a 67 that included two birdies in the last three holes, the 48-year-old - who is less than a month older than 2005 champion Fred Funk - hitting a brilliant approach to just three feet at the last.

However, McIlroy bounced back from a bogey on the 14th with birdies at the next two holes to move back into the lead and safely negotiated the treacherous 17th and 18th to secure a 15th PGA Tour title after starting the season with five consecutive top-six finishes.

On his tournament debut, England's Eddie Pepperell shared third place with Venezuela's Jhonattan Vegas on 14 under, both players holing improbable birdie putts on the 17th in matching rounds of 66.

England's Tommy Fleetwood, who began the day in joint second with McIlroy, gave himself an outside chance of forcing a play-off with his Ryder Cup team-mate with an eagle on the 16th, only to promptly hit his tee shot on the 17th into the water.