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Archive for Monday, March 31, 2003

Players Championship all Love

Golfer records ‘incredible round’ to win by six strokes

March 31, 2003

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— The guys playing alongside and behind him called it one of the greatest rounds they had ever seen.

And this time, they weren't talking about Tiger Woods.

Davis Love III hit all the shots and made all the crucial putts Sunday in The Players Championship, closing with an 8-under 64 in cold, blustery conditions for a victory he ranks among his best.

"An incredible round of golf," Love said after winning by six shots in a tournament regarded as golf's fifth major.

It was every bit of that.

Two strokes behind to start the final round, Love blitzed the field with five straight birdies. From the pine straw on the par-5 16th, he wrapped a 6-iron around the pines and over the lake to within 10 feet for eagle, just like Woods had done before him.

When it was over, Love matched the best closing round in the 30-year history of The Players Championship and won the richest prize on the PGA Tour.

"It's the best round of golf I've ever seen played," said Fred Couples, his best friend on tour and playing partner Sunday.

Love finished at 17-under 271 for a six-stroke win over Jay Haas and Padraig Harrington, his second victory this season and a huge boost to his confidence with the Masters only two weeks away.

"I wasn't picked as a guy to win Augusta the last couple of years," Love said. "It's nice to be back in that position."

Love, who earned $1.17 million, joined Couples, Jack Nicklaus and Hal Sutton as the only multiple winners of The Players Championship.

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