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Tour Rundown: Webb Simpson doesn’t blow it, wins The Players

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Even thought the majors of male professional golf are limited to four tournaments each year, there is no denying the regard in which The Players is held by golfers, fans and the media. TPC-Sawgrass might never have been more beautiful in its final year of May play; the tournament returns to March in 2019. This year’s winner drew on the experience he earned down the stretch at the 2012 U.S. Open, the site of his major title. For more, let’s skip the pomp and get right to the Rundown.

PGA Tour: Simpson wins The Players

Webb Simpson’s swing is not a thing of beauty. Equal parts lurch, hip check and MMA lash, it can be incredibly efficient when combined with stellar putting. Such was the case this week, as Simpson turned wonders into believers with each passing round. He found a way to add strokes to his lead, and did not hit one stinker until his approach to the 72nd hole. By that point, the Wake Forest alum had a six-shot lead and the opera lady was three bars in to her aria.

How Simpson outmatched the entire field

He had zero bad rounds. He kept going 2-3 shots lower than anyone in the mix. Simpson was on tracks to shoot 62 or 61 on Friday, until he banked his tee shot on 17 off the railroad ties, not once, but twice, and made double. On Sunday, his approach at the last was a bit strong and bit left, and ran through the green, into Pete’s Pond. Simpson made nearly every putt he looked at, be it for eagle, birdie or par. He made them from off the green, far away on the green, and from 8 feet for saves when it mattered most. This week, it was his world and the rest were merely guests.

Webb Simpson’s Winning WITB

What we heard from the rest of the field

Since second-place money was 1 million greenbacks, the tournament-within-The Players saw a 3-way tie for the runner-up spot. Charl Schwartzel, Jimmy Walker and Xander Schauffele each posted 67 on day four, to finish 4 back of the champion. Tiger Woods was 6-under on the day through Sunday’s 13th, but played the last five holes in 3-over, when 3-under would have thrown a scare into the eventual winner. You can’t help but think that the cat is certainly back, and that a win is not far off. Oh, and the best shot of the week came from Brooks Koepka, who one-bounced an iron into the 16th hole for albatross on day four, on his way to 63.

European Tour: Sicilian Open sails off in the hands of Lagergren

Ask someone to play with the lead, other than Johnny Miller, and she or he will tell you how challenging it can be. Neither Joakim Laegergren nor Mike Lorenzo-Vera is particularly versed in the cadence of front-runner, although Vera was coming off a successful week of Golf Sixes, where he partnered with Romain Wattel to advance France to the finals. Lagergren emerged from the pack with 4 birdies on his outward half, then stalled, coming home in 1-over to reach 16-under. Lorenzo-Vera, the 3rd round pole-sitter, was unable to produce magic for a 3rd consecutive round, after 64-63 had boosted him to the top spot. His mundane Sunday went like this: bogey-birdie-lots of pars, bogey-birdie-lots of pars, one more birdie to tie for top spot. At day’s end, a single, extra hole was required, as the Swede dispatched the Frenchman with birdie from 10 feet.

As for those who were left wanting…

Andy Sullivan of England and Lucas Herbert of Australia posted the day’s best rounds of 65 and 63, respectively. Herbert was particularly sensational, making birdie on half of his holes on the day. Sullivan had a marvelous eagle at the 9th, on his way to a T3 finish with the Aussie. On a day when the pair started so far back, that only perfection would do, each had one bogey to arrive on shot shy of the playoff family photograph.

Web.Com Tour: Jaeger denies Im a second win in in 2018 at Knoxville Open

While Sungjae Im runs away with the prize for the breakout star of 2018 Web, equally as impressive a question is, why Stephan Jaeger needs the Web.Com tour. The German seems to win a pair of events each year, yet has failed to find success at the next level. No matter, he’ll certainly have another chance as the 2017-18 season continues next week.

Jaeger returns to comfortable surroundings

After 2 Web wins in 2018, including next week’s BMW, Jaeger has struggled at level one. No matter. His week in Tennessee certainly reminded him of the scores he is capable of shooting. 128 strokes on the weekend tends to do that.

Jaeger is the meister once more

Also known as A tale of two Jaegers. After 3 doubles and 2 bogeys over his first 36 holes, Jaeger went into orbit, with 13 birds, 1 eagle and a solitary bogey over his final two days. Nothing more to say than, as with Simpson above, when a golfer finds that mojo, there’s neither explanation nor a halt. With Im in the clubhouse at 13-under, Jaeger birdied his final two holes to jump from a 1 to a 3-stroke margin of victory.

Im on the cusp of something bigger?

Sungjae Im became one of a handful of golfers to win in his first Web.Com tour start. Since then, he has garnered a pair of runner-up finishes, but has yet to repeat his triumph in the gradually-aging season. No doubt a massive success, the next step toward second-tier stardom and a shot at the big leagues, is another victory. Wyndham Clark, another young stalwart with heavy shoulders and an eye on the Bigs, closed with 65 to nab solo 3rd money.

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Ronald Montesano writes for GolfWRX.com from western New York. He dabbles in coaching golf and teaching Spanish, in addition to scribbling columns on all aspects of golf, from apparel to architecture, from equipment to travel. Follow Ronald on Twitter at @buffalogolfer.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Dave r

    May 14, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Come on guys . Try not to get to personal . the story is about him .

  2. Scott

    May 14, 2018 at 4:07 pm

    Good for him, but another garbage winner of the Players. Si Woo Kim, Stephen Ames, KJ Choi, Craig Perks, Fred Funk, Tim Clark, Jodie Mudd, etc.

    • BRODIE

      May 16, 2018 at 8:46 am

      I think this is due to how ridiculous the course is set up. It’s more often than not lucky/unlucky bounces that decide winners at TPC.

  3. WAGs all day

    May 14, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    even if he did blow it…. did you see that smoke show wife…. good for him!

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Honda Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2020 Honda Classic at PGA National’s Champion course (par 70: 7,125 yards) in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

The field this week is stacked at the top, and it includes Brooks Koepka, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Louis Oosthuizen and more.

Last year, Keith Mitchell canned a 15-footer on the 72nd hole, outlasting Rickie Fowler and Brooks Koepka.

Check out all our galleries below, along with highlights from PGA National.

General galleries

Special galleries

Vijay Singh using custom Mizuno MP-20 irons with lofts modified enough they had to stamp new numbers. Link to his full WITB

Camilo Villegas with old-school Air Jordans

Close up of Tommy Fleetwood’s putting grip

Luke Donald with a new putting training aid

LA Golf has a couple of new shafts

Brooks Kopeka with his pink and white Nike Air Zoom Infinity Tour shoes

Odyssey Stroke Lab Ten with new sightlines.  Link to galleries and discussion

Kevin Streelman is a huge Chicago Cubs fan, so he went to a spring training game and had the players sign his staff bag (to be fair, he probably took just the panel and not the whole bag)

Jim Furyk has gone back to his standard length putter and cross-handed after trying the arm-lock style for a while.

Kyle Stanley’s coach is taking a worm’s-eye view of Kyle’s alignment and stroke.

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the Genesis Invitational

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GolfWRX was live this week from the Genesis Invitational at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades, California. If you missed any of the photos from this week, make sure to catch up on them below, where we have seven general galleries from Hogan’s Alley, a number of WITB looks, and even a thread filled with photos of a certain 15-time major champions.

All other galleries

Piretti Putter Kobe Bryant tribute covers

FYI: Two numbers? Kobe wore No. 24 in high school and switched to 33. But when drafted by the Hornets and traded to the Lakers in 1996, 33 was already retired by the team in tribute to Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Bryant then chose 8, the number he wore as a youth in Italy, which also coincided with the sum of “143,” the number Bryant wore at Adidas ABCD Camp in high school. Bryant also wore 24 in the NBA from the 2006-2007 season onward, explaining, “24 is a growth. Physical attributes aren’t there the way they used to be, but the maturity level is greater. Marriage, kids. Start having a broader perspective being one of the older guys on the team now, as opposed to being the youngest.”

Jason Dufner’s custom Scotty Cameron

Looks like a custom Timeless Cameron with a smooth face (no milling), which is not available in retail. Tiger Woods WITB has the same smooth face on his gamer. Here’s a link to Duf’s putter pics

Sergio’s WITB is off the hook

The Spaniard is gaming the new TaylorMade SIM Driver and fairway woods, some Ping Blueprint silverware, and a Ping PLD putter.

“It seems most of the Ping staffers who play the PLD putters have either completely flat faces or the plain horizontal milled lines on the face. I’m not really sure why they seem to prefer this, but I suspect it’s because they don’t really need the “forgiveness” of the TR grooves. They also may not like that the putter sounds slightly different when hit on the deeper grooves compared to the thinner spots.” -nova6868 from the forums.

Dustin Johnson’s WITB showed us his TaylorMade 64* Hi-Toe wedge

Adam Scott’s WITB features both LAB and Cameron broomstick putters

New 2020 Fourteen wedges

Please, Fourteen, bring these to market! (Link is here to see more photos in the forums).

Kevin Na’s WITB graphite shafted Odyssey/Toulon bronze Madison putter

Link to Kevin Na’s WITB here. 

Matt Fitzpatrick’s WITB is representing his favorite football team Sheffield United

Matt Fitzpatrick’s WITB has his Yes Tracey putter. His Bettinardi cover is for his favorite Football team: Sheffield United

Let’s not forget thee GOAT is here. Tiger Woods w/ his TW20 shoes

Are those metal spikes? Yes, they are. We don’t miss the marks on the green, but we do miss their sound clattering in the clubhouse!

If you want to see all the Genesis photos and discussion click this link!

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Tour Photo Galleries

Photos from this week’s 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open

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GolfWRX was on the ground this week at the 2020 Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale’s Stadium Course. We have a number of general galleries this week, which feature plenty of custom WMPO swag, as well as some very cool WITB looks, including Justin Thomas, Hideki Matsuyama, and more.

TV Schedule

Thursday and Friday: Golf Channel from 3-7 p.m. EDT

Saturday and Sunday: Golf Channel from 1-2:45 p.m. EDT. CBS will have coverage from 3-6 p.m.

General photos

Special galleries

Bryson DeChambeau – WITB 2020

Bryson DeChambeau – WITB 2020 WMPO

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