Each week, PGATOUR.COM will take a look at one of the FedExCup contenders in the field and break down his past performances at that week's event, FedExCup history, and potential for success in the 2013 FedExCup chase.
For the first time since 2010, Webb Simpson travels to The Greenbrier Classic outside the FedExCup top 11. He’s not had a bad season by any means (currently sits 14th) but a playoff runner-up finish to Graeme McDowell at the RBC Heritage still stands as his best finish of the 2013 campaign.
Simpson has finished inside the top 10 each of the past two seasons at The Old White TPC, tying for ninth and seventh in each of the last two editions of this event. His recent form (T32 at the U.S. Open then T5 at the Travelers Championship in his last two starts) suggests that another big week could be in store for Simpson.
Simpson broke onto the FedExCup scene in 2011 when he was a runner up at the Transitions Championship and Zurich Classic of New Orleans that season before breaking through with a victory at the Wyndham Championship in the final event before the FedExCup Playoffs that year. He backed up that victory with a tie for 10th at The Barclays the following week, a victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship and a fifth-place finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship to control his own destiny at East Lake.
Simpson finished 22nd that year in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola but he had already established himself as an up-and-coming star on TOUR.
Simpson took a small step back the following season but still managed seven top-10 finishes and his first major title -- the U.S. Open -- in 2012. He couldn’t get on track in the Playoffs until the finale but his tie for fifth at the TOUR Championship could only move him to 16th in the final FedExCup ranks.
This year, Simpson has shown glimpses of the impressive ability he’d shown in the previous two campaigns. In addition to that runner-up at Harbour Town, Simpson has a trio of other top-10 finishes and is the fourth-highest ranked player in the FedExCup standings without the benefit of a victory.
Simpson will see more chances to gain late momentum this season than last because a year ago, he took a month off following The Greenbrier Classic to be with his wife Dowd around the birth of the couple’s second child. That brings the British Open, RBC Canadian Open and WGC-Bridgestone Invitational into play for Simpson and also will allow him to have no rust when he enters the PGA Championship, Wyndham Championship and Playoffs.
But before any of those opportunities come, he’s got an excellent chance to make waves this week at The Old White TPC. Simpson has posted below-par scores in Rounds 1-3 in each of the last two years but is a combined 3-over in the final round in those two events.
Four solid rounds and a victory could move Simpson inside the FedExCup top 5. From there, he’d be as dangerous as anyone during the closing weeks of the PGA TOUR Season and FedExCup Playoffs.
|Simpson's FedExCup finishes|
|Simpson's Greenbrier results, FedExCup standings|