London. May 14: Webb Simpson could not be stopped this week as the American claimed a comprehensive four-shot win at The Players Championship, while Justin Thomas became the new world number one.
Simpson cruised to victory on Sunday, the 2012 U.S. Open champion posting a one-over-par 73 for his fifth PGA Tour victory on Mother's Day.
After tying the course record with a nine-under 63 in round two, Simpson was always in control after entering the final day seven strokes clear at TPC Sawgrass.
Simpson had fallen on hard times when the anchoring ban forced him to switch his putting technique, but he caught fire with the short stick this week while flirting with Greg Norman's Players Championship scoring record of 24 under.
Searching for a signature win to validate his U.S. Open victory, Simpson found some magic as the 32-year-old finished 18 under overall.
Jimmy Walker (67), Charl Schwartzel (67) and reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele (67) tied for second in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Australian Jason Day (68), with two wins already this season, and Jason Dufner (68) were tied for fifth at 13 under.
After holing out for eagle on the par-five ninth hole, Day made nine straight pars to end his round. He also winced in pain while tweaking his shoulder, but it did not appear to be anything serious.
Thomas, meanwhile, leapfrogged fellow American Dustin Johnson atop the golf rankings on Sunday.
Johnson's 15-month reign came to an end after finishing tied for 17th at 10 under as US PGA Championship winner Thomas posted a final-round 66 to be 11 under alongside five others, including Tiger Woods.
Woods, who rocketed up the leaderboard with a seven-under 65 on Saturday, recorded a 69 on the final day.
Six under through his first 13 holes, Woods found himself tied for second on the back nine at 14 under, but he made a sloppy bogey on 14, and then hit his tee shot in the water on the island green par-three 17th, resulting in a double-bogey five.
While Woods faltered a bit down the stretch, he now has four top-12 finishes already this year.
Brooks Koepka caught everyone's attention early, tying the course record with a nine-under 63 to get to 11 under for the event.
Koepka also recorded just the second albatross in tournament history, when he one-hopped his second shot into the cup on the par-five 16th.
The reigning U.S. Open champion, who missed over three months this year with a wrist injury, had six birdies and a double-eagle on his record-matching day, which saw former world number one Jordan Spieth (74) finish tied for 41st.