Webb Simpson runs away in Vegas

Webb Simpson (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Webb Simpson (Courtesy: Zimbio.com)

Webb Simpson was able to grab the lead after the second round at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open and he never gave it up, easily strolling to a six-shot win at TPC Summerlin.

What Happened

Simpson entered Sunday’s final round with a four-shot lead over Web.com Tour graduate Chesson Hadley, and the rookie struggled through most of the round when playing with the 2012 U.S. Open champion. Challenges were made by Ryo Ishikawa and Jason Bohn, but Simpson’s lead was never really in any kind of jeopardy. Simpson rolled in a long 25-footer for par on 18 for a final round 66 and the 2013 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open title.

Final Leaderboard

  • 1. Webb Simpson -24
  • T2. Ryo Ishikawa -18
  • T2. Jason Gore -18
  • 4. Charley Hoffman -17

What The Win Means For Simpson

It’s actually the first win for Simpson since his triumph at the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic, so it obviously means a lot to him to get back into the winner’s circle. Coming into the week, Simpson was part of a group of players who clearly stood out in comparison to the regular PGA Tour journeymen that you see every week, so it’s not a surprise that he came away with the win. It’s the fourth PGA Tour title for Simpson, and it gets his 2013-14 season off to a great start, even though it might not actually feel like a new season for him.

The $810,000 first place prize and the 500 FedEx Cup points are nice, but after a year that didn’t go exactly the way Simpson would have hoped, I’m sure he’s just happy to win an event. Simpson will also move from 24th to 17th in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Ryo’s Return?

This might not get a ton of attention because of how well Simpson played this week, but Ryo Ishikawa’s T2 has the potential to be a really good thing for the game if he can keep up his form. After a poor 2013 season, Ishikawa had to go back to the Web.com Tour Finals to regain his tour card, and he did just that, finishing inside the top-10 in three of his four events. Last week, he played well at the Frys, ending up tied for 21st and this result gives him his first top-10 on the PGA Tour since the last year’s Byron Nelson.

He’s a superstar in Japan, and in recent years, that’s pretty much the only reason why he’s received sponsors exemptions into tournaments like the Masters and the PGA Championship. If he’s playing well, he is someone who makes a big difference to the game on a global level, and at 22 years of age, he’s got lots of time to figure it out. He said recently that he’s made some swing changes and that when he first came over here full-time, he wasn’t properly adjusted to the North American style of play. In recent weeks however, that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

The Tiger Woods/Brandel Chamblee Report Card

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my reaction to Chamblee’s column for Golf.com that was published this week in which he gave out report cards for several players on the PGA Tour for the 2013 season. The big headline was his grade of ‘F’ for Tiger Woods, on the basis of his rules violations this year. Chamblee’s comment that Tiger was “a little cavalier” with the rules this season led some to suggest that he was calling Tiger a cheater, and Mark Steinberg, who represents Tiger, definitely saw it that way, saying that he was considering legal action.

Chamblee has made a career since his playing days ended of targeting Tiger at every turn, but usually, this has revolved around the swing or his results on the course. The questioning of his integrity and potential accusations of cheating is something that is completely different, and in my opinion, is irresponsible and unfair.

Several people have penned takedowns of the article, with the best one probably coming from Jenn Bosworth at the Back 9 Network, but I’m sure that Chamblee doesn’t actually care, as he already got everything that he wanted: attention and pageviews, and we all contributed to it, myself included. Ignoring him and moving on, which admittedly isn’t easy considering his place in the game right now, is probably best for everyone.

The Game Doesn’t Make Sense, Part 2978721

Andres Romero looked unstoppable in Thursday’s opening round, posting a 10-under par 61. The second round didn’t go as well, as the Argentinian ended up twenty shots worse, with a 10-over par 81.

romero 6181

It happens to everyone, even the pros.

Other Notes

  • Notables to miss the cut: Kyle Stanley, Graham DeLaet, Tim Clark, Russell Henley and Angel Cabrera.
  • Other notable finishes: Charles Howell III (T5), Freddie Jacobson, Ryan Moore and Jeff Overton (T9), Carl Pettersson and Jimmy Walker (T12), Vijay Singh (T23), David Toms (T36), Zach Johnson (T40), Nick Watney (T48), Davis Love III (T62) and Geoff Ogilvy (69th)
  • I tweeted this during the round, but listening to Simpson and his caddie Paul Tesori, as well Ishikawa and Simon Clarke really makes me think that we need to go without announcers for a tournament. Letting the players and the caddies do all the talking might seem boring to some, but it would give fans a real amount of insight into the game. What’s the harm in doing that in one of these smaller events, especially if it’s just for a round?
  • Biggest key for Simpson this week? The putter was on fire, as he was first in Strokes Gained Putting, averaging over 2.4 putts gained over the field at TPC Summerlin.
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