OWGR: 9th, FedEx Cup: 37th,
Webb Simpson was one of the few top-20 players in the world to pass on the Genesis Invitational.
I don’t particularly fault him. All types of players can win at Riviera, but in recent years it’s been a course where longer hitters have won. We don’t fully know how The Concession will treat the world’s best this week, but by all accounts this seems like a better fit for Simpson’s game.
Plus, the guaranteed money the WGC-Workday Championship provides has got to calm any doubts about making the trip.
Simpson hasn’t made a ton of noise in the early going of 2021, though he’s far from slumping.
He got in the mix at the Sony Open where he shot four rounds in the 60s en route to T-4th.
The former Wake Forest Demon Deacon has made nine cuts in a row dating back to July. Including no-cut events, Simpson’s got five top-10s including at the U.S. Open (T-8th) and the Masters (T-10th).
His last start was at the Phoenix Open where he defended his 2020 title by earning T-42nd. Simpson also won last year at the Heritage.
It’s probably a little hasty to float Simpson as a Hall of Famer, but at age 35, he’s still got time to beef up his case.
The North Carolinian has seven PGA Tour wins, including a U.S. Open, a Players Championship and a FedEx Cup Playoffs win (Deutsche Bank Championship).
I’m not sure how much weight World Golf Championships carry in the grand scheme of things, but it is a hole in his resume. The closest he’s come at the WGCs was solo second at the 2019 WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
Simpson played college golf with Matt McLean, one of Golf Digest’s 114 “Best Young Teachers in America” and the head pro at The Concession. Perhaps that’s led to Simpson swinging down to Charlotte to check out the place a time or two?
Either way, Simpson is one of the best at course management and will have his homework done while much of his competition is jetting over from the West Coast.
He ranks 25th on the PGA Tour in strokes gained around the green (.346) and 14th in SG putting (.753). You know Simpson is hoping it gets firm and fast this week.