May 11, 2009 / 1:44 AM / 10 years ago

UPDATE 3-Golf-Sweden's Stenson wins Players' Championship

* Consistent Stenson wins with 12-under

* Poulter finishes second, four behind

* Woods well short of best at eighth (Adds details, quotes)

By Simon Evans

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida, May 10 (Reuters) - Sweden’s Henrik Stenson kept his cool in sweltering heat to win the Players Championship 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 six under-par 66 for 12-under overall, to pick up his first strokeplay win on the PGA Tour.

Britain’s Ian Poulter shot a two-under 70 to finish second, four strokes behind Stenson and post his best result in the U.S.

“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 number one Tiger Woods had another frustrating day, slumping to eighth after carding a one-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 five-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 seven-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 U.S.

Ultimately, the Englishman paid the price for his three-over-par round of 75 on Saturday.

Stenson’s previous win in the U.S came in the 2007 WGC Accenture Match Play championship.

The Swede’s victory on Sunday marks the second straight year a European has won what is considered the ‘fifth major’. Spain’s Sergio Garcia won last year.

Americans John Mallinger and Kevin Na tied for third, five shots behind Stenson.

Editing by Ian Ransom and Greg Stutchbury; To query or comment on this story email

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