Webb Simpson Continues Impressive Run
Before making his PGA Tour debut in January, Simpson said he wanted to be Rookie of the Year, make the field for the Tour Championship and win a tournament.
That took some big Pro V1s, but as golf heads down the home stretch of the FedEx Cup, Simpson just might make it happen. And if not, two out of three will do nicely.
Going into this week's Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston, the 24-year-old Simpson ranks 41st on the FedEx points list, and is coming off an eighth-place finish Sunday at The Barclays. He has three top-10 finishes and is closing in on $1 million in season winnings.
He also is in prime position to not only earn a spot in next week's third round of playoffs -- the BMW Championship -- but a good performance could also go a low way toward securing a place among the 30 players who advance to the Tour Championship at Atlanta's East Lake Golf Club.
At that point, rookie of the year takes care of itself.
"Mindset-wise, I want to make it to the Tout Championship, so I'm not really thinking whether or not I'll be in next week regardless of how I play this week,'' Simpson said before teeing off at TPC Boston. "I'm trying to think of it as keep playing well and that will kind of take care of itself like it did last week. We'll see what happens. Tour Championship, I'm 11 spots out now with two events, so anything can happen. But if I play well I'll move up and hopefully I'll get in.''
Simpson picked a good time to play well, especially considering his season has been one of ups and downs.
He started the season with back-to-back top-10 finishes, then missed 11 of his next 22 cuts.
It's a learning process.
"It's been a little up and down, and something I want to be better at in the future is being a more consistent player, so there's not as many highs and lows," Simpson said. "The game feels great. I've been working on a few things for the past couple of months, and last week was great to see some results pan out for me.''
At The Barclays Simpson took the tournament lead into Saturday after a second round 68 and eventually finished eighth. It could have been better. A triple bogey on the 11th hold Sunday took him out of contention. He finished three shots out of a playoff.
"I was obviously disappointed that I didn't win, holding the lead on Saturday,'' he said. "But experience I know will help me in that situation.
"I know anybody can say that, but it's just one of those things where I'll look at the positives. I'll look at how I handled the emotions and the pressure and take away the good things and just see where I need to get better."
Simpson has the track record to suggest will. He finished last season at Wake Forest as a first-team All-American. The Walker Cup player also received an invitation from fellow Wake Forest alumni Arnold Palmer to play in the 2008 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and tied for 31st as an amateur. He then went to PGA Tour qualifying and tied for seventh.
Now he's battling to follow the script he imagined before the season started.
"My rookie season? Simpson repeated the question. "You know, I think it's been -- at this point a B+. You know, it was a goal starting out the year that I wanted to win a tournament, and my next couple of goals, I still have a chance at it. I've still got a chance of reaching my goals this year, but it's been a little up and down, and something I want to be better at in the future is being a more consistent player, so there's not as many highs and lows.
"But overall, I'm thrilled to death.''