2014 Players Championship results: Martin Kaymer barely hangs on in wild finish at TPC Sawgrass

Kevin C. Cox

Sunday at the PGA Tour's biggest event was a dramatic race in the darkness, as Martin Kaymer narrowly avoided disaster at the island 17th hole and held on to edge Jim Furyk by a shot.

After a late Sunday rain delay, Martin Kaymer didn't make things easy at The Players Championship, but the former No. 1 player in the world pulled it out at TPC Sawgrass to earn the biggest paycheck of his career. What once looked like a multi-shot victory was a breathless race to the finish and one-shot win over Jim Furyk in the darkness.

After winning the PGA Championship and getting to No. 1 in the world, Kaymer, who hits a sweet high fade, curiously tinkered with his swing, trying to hit a better draw to contend at venues like Augusta National. He tumbled down the world rankings, and barely factored on Tour in the last couple years. But he's been steadily popping back up on the first page of leaderboards, and that culminated with this week's resurgence at the game's "fifth major."

The Players Championship

Kaymer opened the week by matching the course record with a round of 63. He wouldn't equal that brilliance over the final three days, but he was just as steady and smooth to never sleep without the lead this week in Ponte Vedra. That steadiness, however, completely disappeared after storms rolled in and halted his march to the title on the 14th hole. With lightning and rolling thunder in the area, the horn blew at 5:39 and play was stopped until 7:10 p.m. ET.

Kaymer retired to the clubhouse with a three-shot lead, a cushion he held for much of the weekend. But when he came back, his game and mind were not the same. On his first tee shot, he pull-hooked one into the pine straw at the 15th. A few more poor shots later, and he walked off that green with a double bogey and his lead reduced to one. Kaymer then made a curious decision to putt with his ball up against the first cut and miles from the hole at the 16th green, and he'd make a disappointing par there to make those final two nerve-wracking holes the ultimate test with his game leaving him at the worst time possible.

The tee shot at 17 should be a simple wedge from about 135 yards, but with a one-shot lead on Sunday at The Players it's so much more than that. Kaymer juuuuust snuck his ball onto the front of the green, and then watched helplessly as it gained steam rolling back towards the water. It was a heartrending few seconds and it looked like his lead was gone.

He would flub his chip shot standing on the edge of the water with his ball in that thick grass, leaving a long par-saving putt. Kaymer had avoided the water, but there was no way he was going to keep the lead with such a lengthy winding putt to get a par. And then, from nowhere, after almost an hour of poor play and shaky decision-making, he bombed in a putt to preserve the lead.

Epicputt_medium

At the 18th, a hole that sets up better for the shot Kaymer struggles to hit -- a draw -- Kaymer managed to clean up a par and hold on for the one-shot win over Furyk. The final pairing needed the light from the clubhouse and the scoreboards to illuminate the green, where Kaymer got up and down from the front edge for one last exhaling par save.

Nitegolf_medium

He's a major champion and hit the Ryder Cup-clinching putt under the most intense conditions in 2012, but this win is a huge career achievement on a special day. Kaymer lost his mother to skin cancer six years ago, and he broke down on the 18th green when asked about winning such a huge tournament on Mother's Day.

On a day that started with Jordan Spieth and his bogey-free streak of 54 holes getting all the publicity, it was Kaymer who created the best story in one of the more dramatic final hours at The Players. Here are the final results from the week at Pete Dye's Stadium Course:

Place

Player

Score

1st Round

2nd Round

3rd Round

4th Round

Total

1

Martin Kaymer

-13

63

69

72

71

275

2

Jim Furyk

-12

70

68

72

66

276

3

Sergio Garcia

-11

67

71

69

70

277

T4

Justin Rose

-10

67

71

71

69

278

T4

Jordan Spieth

-10

67

66

71

74

278

T6

Jimmy Walker

-9

75

68

71

65

279

T6

Rory McIlroy

-9

70

74

69

66

279

T6

Lee Westwood

-9

67

71

71

70

279

T6

David Hearn

-9

70

71

68

70

279

T6

Francesco Molinari

-9

72

70

67

70

279

T11

Brian Davis

-8

72

67

73

68

280

T11

Gary Woodland

-8

67

71

70

72

280

T13

K.J. Choi

-7

74

70

72

65

281

T13

Chris Kirk

-7

71

73

70

67

281

T13

Steve Stricker

-7

71

70

71

69

281

T13

George McNeill

-7

71

68

69

73

281

T17

Russell Henley

-6

65

71

80

66

282

T17

Justin Hicks

-6

73

70

71

68

282

T17

Brian Stuard

-6

67

76

69

70

282

T17

Morgan Hoffmann

-6

71

70

70

71

282

T17

Matt Kuchar

-6

71

71

69

71

282

T17

Matt Jones

-6

70

69

69

74

282

T23

Marc Leishman

-5

70

72

74

67

283

T23

Hideki Matsuyama

-5

70

71

72

70

283

T23

Daniel Summerhays

-5

74

68

69

72

283

T26

Billy Horschel

-4

72

70

75

67

284

T26

Brendan Steele

-4

69

73

75

67

284

T26

Kevin Chappell

-4

72

68

75

69

284

T26

Zach Johnson

-4

69

71

72

72

284

T26

Bill Haas

-4

68

71

72

73

284

T26

Bo Van Pelt

-4

71

70

70

73

284

T26

Ryan Moore

-4

70

74

67

73

284

T26

John Senden

-4

70

69

68

77

284

T34

Russell Knox

-3

72

72

73

68

285

T34

Erik Compton

-3

72

70

74

69

285

T34

Scott Langley

-3

71

72

72

70

285

T34

Henrik Stenson

-3

71

70

70

74

285

T38

Luke Donald

-2

73

69

75

69

286

T38

Gonzalo Fdez-Castano

-2

67

77

72

70

286

T38

Kevin Na

-2

70

69

76

71

286

T38

Jamie Donaldson

-2

74

67

74

71

286

T38

Charley Hoffman

-2

77

67

71

71

286

T38

Angel Cabrera

-2

70

74

71

71

286

T38

Adam Scott

-2

77

67

69

73

286

T38

Rory Sabbatini

-2

71

73

69

73

286

T38

Justin Leonard

-2

68

73

70

75

286

T38

Stewart Cink

-2

70

70

70

76

286

T48

Retief Goosen

-1

72

70

75

70

287

T48

Jeff Maggert

-1

72

71

74

70

287

T48

Charl Schwartzel

-1

72

67

77

71

287

T48

Pat Perez

-1

68

73

75

71

287

T48

J.J. Henry

-1

74

70

72

71

287

T48

Martin Flores

-1

70

71

74

72

287

T48

Charlie Beljan

-1

73

69

73

72

287

T48

Jason Dufner

-1

69

74

72

72

287

T48

Steven Bowditch

-1

72

72

71

72

287

T48

Bubba Watson

-1

69

72

70

76

287

T48

Brandt Snedeker

-1

75

69

67

76

287

T59

Ryan Palmer

E

71

73

71

73

288

T59

Dustin Johnson

E

68

74

72

74

288

T59

John Peterson

E

73

69

72

74

288

T62

Graeme McDowell

1

69

71

77

72

289

T62

Scott Brown

1

68

71

77

73

289

64

Freddie Jacobson

2

70

70

75

75

290

T65

Richard Lee

3

71

71

76

73

291

T65

Ian Poulter

3

74

69

72

76

291

T65

Scott Stallings

3

67

77

71

76

291

68

Sang-Moon Bae

4

66

73

79

74

292

69

Geoff Ogilvy

5

69

70

76

78

293

70

Brendon de Jonge

6

69

74

75

76

294

71

Kyle Stanley

7

73

69

76

77

295

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