Players Championship delight for Matt Kuchar
American Matt Kuchar won the Players Championship on Sunday by two shots to secure the biggest win of his career and a $1.71 million pay check.
To the delight of his watching family, Kuchar shot a final round of two-under-par 70 to finish the tournament at 13-under, two clear of Scotland's Martin Laird (67) and Americans Zach Johnson (68), Rickie Fowler (70) and Ben Curtis (68).
Overnight leader Kevin Na had a disappointing final day, making six bogeys in a 76 that saw him slip back onto a tie for seventh.
Tiger Woods finished in equal 40th place after shooting a one-over par 73 to end the tournament at one-under.
England's Luke Donald finished strongly with a 66 that elevated him to sixth place, four strokes behind Kuchar, but not enough for him to regain top place in the world rankings from Rory McIlroy, who missed the cut.
The key to Kuchar's victory, which comes after he finished tied for third at the Masters, was the way he consistently avoided trouble on a course that severly punishes inaccuracy.
While his challengers stumbled at various hurdles, Kuchar kept out of sand and water throughout a confident 18 holes.
The 33-year-old found 10 of 14 fairways and struck 15 greens in regulation and the tournament was effectively wrapped up when he cooly sunk a 15-foot birdie putt on the 16th to three strokes clear.
Although he bogeyed the 'island green' 17th hole, the fixed grin never left his face as he went to the final tee with a two shot cushion.
Fowler, who followed his maiden PGA Tour win at Quail Hollow last week with a fifth second place in his career, missed a chance to apply more pressure on Kuchar when he was unable to convert a nine foot putt for birdie on the 18th.
Kuchar safely parred the last to claim his first PGA title win since the 2010 Barclays at the Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey.
"Its such an amazing feeling, it really is magical," said Kuchar.
For the third tournament in a row, Woods failed to mount a challenge. He also finished tied for 40th at the Masters before missing the cut at Quail Hollow.