Jason Day cruises in wire-to-wire win at Players Championship

Written By Alec Brzezinski
Day-Jason-USNews-Getty-FTR
(Getty Images)

Jason Day held off the field Sunday to win his first Players Championship title and third tournament of the season.

After a poor front nine Sunday, Day shot a 3-under 33 on the inward nine to finish the tournament at 15 under and earn his second wire-to-wire win of the season. He's the first person to accomplish that feat twice in a season since Tiger Woods in 2002.

MORE: PGA Tour winners of the 2015-16 season

“I got off to a great start," Day said on NBC after his round. "I said at the start of the week 14 under is the average score here, and to finish at 15 was great because we ran into some tough conditions.

“I just wanted to win this, so bad. I think this win could push me over to get into the Hall of Fame one day."

TPC Sawgrass had an interesting week. The Pete Dye-designed beauty was blitzed during the first two rounds as Jason Day and Colt Knost tied the course record of 9-under 63. Then on Saturday, the greens firmed up and players three-putted at a rapid rate, which caused scores to skyrocket. But Day survived the tricky conditions to take a four-shot lead into the final round.

The world's top-ranked golfer saw his lead cut down to two after bogeying the sixth and ninth holes in Round 4, but he rebounded with two early birdies on the back nine to get back on track.

Kevin Chappell shot a 3-under 69 Sunday to earn solo second at 11 under. Chappell has some high finishes in big tournaments but has yet to break through for his first PGA Tour win. 

Justin Thomas, who shot a 7-under 65 on Sunday, led a group of four golfers tied for third at 10 under. Joining Thomas was former Players winner Matt Kuchar, Knost and 47-year-old Ken Duke.

Duke stole the show Saturday when he shot an improbable 7-under 65 in Round 3 despite tough conditions. Day and numerous other golfers called Duke's third round the best on tour this year.

Hideki Matsuyama entered the final round at 10 under, four shots behind Day. But the talented Japanese star played the first three holes in 3 over to fall out of contention. He ultimately finished in a tie for seventh with Francesco Molinari at 9 under.

With this win, Day has now won seven tournaments since capturing the Canadian Open last July. He has not finished outside the top 25 since missing the cut at the Farmers Insurance Open back in January.

Day passed fellow Australian Adam Scott atop the FedEx cup standings with the win.

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