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July 30 2011

11:09 PM

Simpson’s finish a confidence boost

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Saturday's birdie-birdie finish has Webb Simpson two shots behind leader Anthony Kim.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W. Va. -- Webb Simpson started the third round of the Greenbrier Classic tied for the lead.

By the time he'd played 13 holes and waited out a 13-minute weather delay, though, the former Wake Forest All-American found himself four strokes off the pace. Simpson didn't give up, though, and a pair of 5-footers for birdie on the last two holes gave him a momentum boost for the final round.

"It was huge," Simpson acknowledged. "It was a struggle all day. Really didn't feel like I played that bad, just was a really tricky day for us in the last group with the wind. So to finish birdie-birdie was huge heading into tomorrow."

Simpson, who has already finished second twice this season -- including a playoff loss in New Orleans, will play in the penultimate group on Sunday with Gary Woodland. The two trail Anthony Kim by two strokes and Scott Stallings by one.

Interestingly, Woodland beat Simpson by a stroke at the Transitions Championship when Simpson bogeyed the final hole. The victory was the first of Woodland's career. Simpson hopes his own breakthrough comes Sunday, and he worked hard to stay within striking distance after the third round.

"I just kept telling my caddie, We got to stay patient," Simpson said. "Can't get ahead of ourselves. If we just kind of hang around, we'll have a shot to win. I know 10 under was leading pretty much all day. We knew it was getting away from us. Just had to stay patient and understand that I have a good shot tomorrow."

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