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Published: 09:35 | 16/5/16

Day unstoppable at Players

Jason Day carded a closing 71 to complete a pillar to post victory in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass.

Day began Sunday's final round with a four-shot lead but the world number one was made to work hard for his one-under-par 71 as he mixed two bogeys with three birdies.

After five consecutive pars, Day dropped a shot at the sixth before he fluffed three chips from the side of the green to make six on the par-five ninth. With his lead cut in half, the 28-year-old immediately responded with a birdie three at the tenth and he was back where he started when he picked up another shot at the 12th.

A birdie at the 16th took him to 15-under-par to all but seal victory and he parred the final two holes to become only the fifth player to win the Players Championship, a WGC event and a major title in their career.

"It's such a big accomplishment for me in my career to be able to finally win as number one in the world. And to go wire to wire is very special," Day told Sky Sports.

"I'm glad I don't have to play the course again. It was tough. It was easy to lose a little bit of focus on the front side, especially with a four-shot lead, and I just kept telling myself 'Keep yourself in it and give yourself opportunities on the back side'.

Kevin Chappell fared best of the rest as he played the back nine in four-under-par to finish second, four shots behind Day.

The American got off to the perfect start as he birdied the opening hole but three bogeys five holes saw him slip down the leaderboard. He steadied the ship with a birdie at the ninth before an eagle at the 11th and he added birdies at the 16th and 17th on his way to a closing 69.

Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Colt Knost and Ken Duke finished in a tie for third, five shots behind Day, while Francesco Molinari and Hideki Matsuyama were a further stroke back.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell carded a second consecutive 69 to finish in a tie ninth with Rory McIlroy a stroke behind his compatriot.

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Darren Clarke says Europe can still retain the Ryder Cup despite a "disappointing" fourballs on Saturday.

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