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Rory McIlroy holds off Jim Furyk to win Players Championship at Sawgrass

Rory McIlroy holds off Jim Furyk to win Players Championship at Sawgrass

-16 Rory McIlroy (NI); -15 J Furyk (US); -14 E Pepperell (Eng), J Vegas (Ven); -13 D Johnson (US), B Snedeker, T Fleetwood; -12 Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn), Justin Rose (Eng), Jason Day (Aus), Brian Harman (US)Selected others:-11 J Rahm (Spa); -8 S Garcia (Spa); -6 M Wallace (Eng), T Woods (US); -5 R Knox (Sco); -4 M Fitzpatrick; -2 I Poulter (Eng) 

Rory McIlroy has won the Players Championship, beating 48-year-old Jim Furyk by one shot after a thrilling final round at Sawgrass.

The Northern Irishman's two-under-par 70 gave him victory on 16 under.

It is his first win in a year and sets him up for an attempt at the career Grand Slam at the Masters next month.

"I feel like I'm playing some of the best golf of my life right now and I just need to keep doing the same things," he told Sky Sports.

"If I hadn't won, I'd have said I didn't need one going into Augusta but it's nice to win on a course that will play similar to Augusta in a few weeks."

Only five players have won the modern era career Grand Slam of Open Championship, US Open, Masters and US PGA Championship - Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods.

McIlroy, 29, won the US Open in 2011, US PGA in 2012 and 2014 and The Open in 2014 but is yet to win the Masters, which starts on 11 April and is live across the BBC.

He has finished in the top six of all his tournaments in 2019.

The Players Championship is often referred to as the 'fifth major' and is the most prestigious of the regular PGA Tour events on the American calendar.

England's Eddie Pepperell finished two behind McIlroy, tied third after a 66.

Pepperell holed a 50-foot putt on the 17th to briefly join McIlroy in a tie for the lead before the four-time major champion pulled clear with birdies on the 15th and 16th.

Overnight leader Jon Rahm fell away in the closing stages and finished on 11 under after a four-over 76, while Tommy Fleetwood struggled to a 73. 

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