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Martin Kaymer celebrates Sawgrass triumph
Martin Kaymer couldn’t hide his joy after winning the Players Championship, and admitted it felt like another major victory following a dramatic climax on a near-darkness Sawgrass course.
The win means that Kaymer is only the fourth European to win the event in 41 years after carding a final round of 71 to finish 13-under-par, a single shot ahead of Jim Furyk.
The German seemed to be in cruise control as he steered through the course, but on the 14th hole play was halted due to the threat of oncoming thunderstorms.
Furyk was facing a short putt on the 18th when play was suspended, with the American showing his displeasure in the stoppage by biting his putter in frustration.
When play resumed after a 90-minute hold-up it looked like Furyk could be on course to take the lead as Kaymer ran up his first double bogey of the week on the 15th after pulling his drive into the trees and fluffing his third shot into a greenside bunker.
After surprisingly opting not to chip from off the 16th green and three-putting for par, Kaymer looked certain to drop another shot when his tee shot on the famous par-three 17th caught the bank of a bunker and span back to within inches of the water.
But he managed to hole under increasing pressure after curling par from 29 feet to remain one shot ahead.
Another par on the last three secured the victory and meant that Kaymer followed in the footsteps of European winners Sandy Lyle (1987), Sergio Garcia (2008) and Henrik Stenson (2009).
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Kaymer said: "It's always very difficult to come back after a little break, you see the leaderboard; you see where you are.
"When you are playing the first 14 holes you are in it and just keep going. I played really, really well and you are really disappointed when they called it (off). Obviously there was a reason for it.
"And then you are a little cold and I made a couple of wrong decisions. On 15 you give yourself a chance for par, you don't be that aggressive and try to go for it. And then on 16 you have to chip it, it was not the right decision but it was a big putt on 17. It feels like a major win."
-13 M Kaymer (Ger), -12 J Furyk (USA), -11 S Garcia (Spa), -10 J Rose (Eng), -10 J Spieth (USA)