Players Championship: Rob Lee reviews final round at TPC Sawgrass
Last Updated: 18/03/19 4:16pm
Rob Lee reflects on a remarkable week at TPC Sawgrass and discusses what is next for Rory McIlroy after Players Championship victory.
I think that was the greatest Players Championship I've ever seen. During the final day there were 12 players separated by a couple of shots a one point and we didn't know which way it was going to go.
This week had pretty much everything. We had an albatross, holes-in-one and a back nine this week that you couldn't have written, culminating in an Irish winner on St. Patrick's Day.
You always felt that somebody was going to jump through the pack and make their move and in the end it was Rory McIlroy, who was just so impressive.
He hit an incredible second shot at the 15th and then banged in the 20 footer, hit the longest drive of the week at the 16th and hit a terrific tee shot at the next to set up a two-putt par.
He then hit a drive up the 18th that I won't forget for a long time, splitting the fairway and then hitting a fantastic second shot to 12 feet to get the job done. He dealt with the internal pressure and he dealt with the pressure of winning the tournament, so that's a superb win for McIlroy.
The focus was on McIlroy, given the number of top-fives he has had this year and the amount of times he hasn't closed out a victory after being first or second going into the final round.
If he had blown this having got himself into good shape with a few holes to go, the whispers would have got louder. He had all that playing on his mind, plus knowing that you have to play unbelievably well over the final three holes if you're going to come out on top.
He would've been desperate to win before he went to Augusta, where he will have another go at completing the career Grand Slam. Without the win, you're unlikely to peel one off at the Masters, but now he's won this he'll be looking forward to the opening major of the year more than ever!
The European players are playing well on the PGA Tour and there's no question that when they come over here, they're getting used to conditions and getting results.
Francesco Molinari won last week, Rory this week and that's without Tommy Fleetwood contending again and Eddie Pepperell finishing in the top three.
Pepperell's performance on his first tilt around here is fantastic. When you speak to him he has a lot of fun things to say, but inside that quirky exterior there is a very serious golfer in there. How far he goes is completely up to him.
He can use this performance, amongst the world's best on a difficult golf course, to endorse his own thoughts and confidence. He'll be thinking that if he can play like that in an event of major championship quality, he can go on and do something special in a major.