Heading to the 17th tee at the Stadium Course – the famed Island Green – I knew we wanted as big of a lead as possible, because you can hit a really good shot there and go in the water. Minutes before making that walk, I saw Cam Davis and Tommy Fleetwood hit it in the water, which is never an ideal image you want in your head.
When you have that much wind and you have the grandstands and all those variables out there, it is a really, really hard shot. I hit my tee shot exactly how I wanted to, and I was very relieved when it hit the green because you’re not really in control of what the ball does up there, as the wind was pretty much straight across where it could help, or it could actually hurt. Fortunately, mine landed on the green and stayed there.
From there on, after a two-putt par on 17, the walk up 18 was really nice. Those are always great for Ted (Scott, my caddie) and I when you have the tournament in hand. Those are moments you can never get back, and it was a fun little moment to sit there and enjoy the hard work that we put in all week and reap the rewards.
To have my family out there on 18, waiting for me, was pretty special. My family hasn’t been able to come out in a while, so to have everyone there was amazing, especially my grandma. I can tell you coming off the green on 18, seeing all of them in the chute up the hill and then embracing as a family, that’s a moment I’ll never forget.
I don’t spend a lot of time playing comparisons or looking at who achieved what before me, but the fact that I’m only the third player after Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to hold The Players and Masters Tournament titles at the same time is a lot of fun. Any time you can get mentioned in the same breath as Tiger and Jack, it’s very special, and that’s something I’m grateful for.
Right now, I think I’m just comfortable with where my game is. I feel like I’m improving, and that’s thanks to the people around me, like my coach, Randy Smith. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and he’s a little bit of a goofball, so we have some fun together.
I’m definitely learning more, especially when you can get into contention and be in the moment. I would say that probably the most valuable thing is knowing what you feel like and being able to prepare for it.
It’s important to not overthink things and fortunately I have been able to see some good results and enjoy some wins. I also get excited for a good hard test. Having only five bogeys (including two in the final round) around a place like TPC Sawgrass is really, really hard to do, and it’s probably what I’m most proud of. It’s a golf course where you can make some birdies, but the scores of bogey or worse is what really derails any chance of winning.
But when it comes to being out here, on the PGA Tour, I want to win and get excited when we get to the biggest tournaments and the best players are there. It’s a lot of fun for me as a player to compete against these guys, so hopefully we can keep the momentum going as we head into Major championship season.