McIlroy holds off Furyk to snag Players victory

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PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — 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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