Webb Simpson started the 2016-17 PGA TOUR season at the Safeway Open, and he promptly shot 74-73 to miss the cut. He did the same thing in 2015-16: 72-74, MC. How, then, can I have any confidence in Simpson’s game heading into the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season opener?
It’s not easy, but it’s simple. Simpson wasn’t the same player when the TOUR instituted the ban on anchored putters. His results, along with others like Keegan Bradley, took an immediate dip, and it took time for him to find what worked for him. With six top-tens spread throughout the season, and three in his last five starts, it certainly looks like he’s done just that.
The Wake Forest grad has always had the talent to be a consistent star on the PGA TOUR. He may not be a top-five guy ever, but he didn’t win the U.S. Open by accident, either. It’s been four long years since Simpson visited the winner’s circle, but he came close when he went four extra holes with Hideki Matsuyama in Phoenix. Simpson is clearly trending up, and I like his chances in a field that isn’t nearly as strong as some of the ones he’s beaten recently.