Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, chips to the ninth green during the final round of The Players Championship golf tournament Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

McIlroy emerges from wild day to win Players Championship

March 17, 2019 - 5:46 pm

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Rory McIlroy made two late birdies amid the wild theatrics of Sunday at The Players Championship and closed with a 2-under 70 to win the next best thing to a major.

McIlroy could not afford to make a mistake over the final hour because of Jim Furyk, the 48-year-old former Ryder Cup captain who nearly pulled off a stunner at the TPC Sawgrass. Furyk capped off a 67 with a shot into 3 feet for birdie on the 18th to take the lead.

McIlroy answered with a 15-foot birdie on the 15th, a two-putt birdie on the 16th and dry land on the par-3 17th, the island green that never looks smaller than on Sunday.

He was solid to the end to win The Players in his 10th try.

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