Webb Simpson decided to skip the BMW Championship last week and to focus on this week’s Tour Championship. Was that a smart move?
Last week at the BMW Championship, the players struggled, facing a tough Olympia Fields setup that left almost every player in the field over par for the week. Webb Simpson did not have to face that challenge, which could bode well for him this week at the Tour Championship.
Simpson elected to take last week off, which may turn out to be a very wise decision. Simpson knew that he had plenty of FedEx Cup points and was in a solid position heading into the Tour Championship, no matter what he could have done last week.
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What he was able to do was avoid the mental and physical fatigue that the other 69 players in last week’s field were forced to endure. There were many anxious moments for nearly every player in the field last week, which can wear a player out. While the BMW Championships’ field was struggling with those, Simpson was enjoying a week off.
Now, as the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings gather at East Lake for the Tour Championship, some may be coming in a little less sharp than they were before last week. The memories of Olympia Fields will definitely be carried into this week’s event by some (just ask Marc Leishman).
This season, Simpson has become a guy who can win every time he tees it up. He has had an outstanding year on tour and is in the mix for PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Simpson has made 13 starts this season and has made 11 cuts. He has nine top 25 finishes, including eight top 10s. That’s eight top 10s in 13 starts, which is very solid.
He also has five top-three finishes. Simpson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February and won the RBC Heritage in June. He was runner-up at the RSM Classic and was third at the Sony Open in Hawaii and at the Wyndham Championship.
Most recently, Simpson tied for sixth at the Northern Trust, the first of the 2020 FedEx Cup playoff events. He has continued to play well lately, which gives him a realistic shot this week.
Simpson will open the Tour Championship four shots behind leader Dustin Johnson. He will be two shots behind Jon Rahm and one shot behind Justin Thomas as play begins on Friday.
Last season, Simpson tied for 16th at the Tour Championship. He tied for fourth in 2018 and tied for 13th in 2017. His best finish was solo fourth in 2013.
The week off may be just the boost that Simpson needs to get over the hump. We will find out if the strategy pays off for him or not this week at East Lake.