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Cool Stenson wins but Woods struggles

SWEDEN'S Henrik Stenson kept his cool in sweltering heat to win the Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, by four shots, as a frustrated Tiger Woods crashed out of contention at the TPC Sawgrass course on Sunday.

The unflappable Swede carded the only bogey-free round on the final day, a 6 under-par 66 for 12-under overall, to pick up his first strokeplay win on the PGA Tour.

Britain's Ian Poulter shot a 2-under 70 to finish second, four strokes behind Stenson and post his best result in the US.

"It is a great feeling to have won this championship on a golf course I really enjoy playing," said Stenson. "I just handled myself very well throughout these four days, putted well and gave myself plenty of chances and stayed very level-headed."

The Swede said his birdie on the par three 13th, snared with a tricky 11-foot putt from the fringe, was the key moment.

"After that birdie I felt that I was in the driving seat from then on in," he said.

Joint second overnight, world No. 1 Woods had another frustrating day, slumping to eighth after carding a 1-over par round marred by four bogeys, as a number of players struggled with the hard and fast greens.

Woods hit only six of 14 fairways, mostly using a three wood, and said he had a problem with his driving.

"I just kept hitting those spinners up to the right and it was frustrating because if I am down the right side, I'd spit to the right, aim down the left side, spin it to the right.

"I tried to put the release in early enough but it still wasn't right."

Overnight leader Alex Cejka of Germany began with a 5-stroke lead, the largest final day margin ever at the tournament, but surrendered it within four holes.

The German was out of contention by the half-way stage as he shot a disappointing 7-over for the day.

Poulter, wearing pink trousers, produced some sharp golf but was unable to make enough birdie chances to catch Stenson and capture his first win in the US. Ultimately, the Englishman paid the price for his 3-over-par round of 75 on Saturday.

Stenson's previous win in the US came in the 2007 WGC Accenture Match Play championship.


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