By Sean Martin, PGATOUR.COM
LAS VEGAS -- Webb Simpson shot 63 on Friday to take a four-shot lead after two rounds at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He matched the low round of the day at TPC Summerlin; defending champion Ryan Moore is tied for seventh after also shooting 63 at TPC Summerlin.
Simpson is seeking his first victory since the 2012 U.S. Open. He is four shots ahead of five players -- John Senden (65-66), Jeff Overton (63-68), Chesson Hadley (65-66), J.J. Henry (60-71) and Jason Bohn (67-64). Moore and Web.com Tour Finals graduate Russell Knox are tied for seventh, another shot back.
"I hit a couple loose shots today, but just really managed to make putts and take advantage of the holes that you have to make birdie on," said Simpson, who made nine birdies and his only bogey of the tournament Friday. He's hit 32 of 36 greens thus far at TPC Summerlin, and averaged just 1.53 putts per green in regulation. He's made just two appearances in this tournament, the last one being a fourth-place finish in 2010.
Henry followed up his course-record 60 with an even-par 71, making four birdies and four bogeys Friday.
Hadley is making just his fourth PGA TOUR start and second as a member. He earned the most combined money in the Regular Season and Finals after winning twice, including the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship. He finished third on the Regular Season money list and earned the second-most money in the Web.com Tour Finals, trailing only John Peterson.
"It's been a fantastic start to the week, and to have a chance going into the weekend is awesome," Hadley said. "(I'm) just looking to manage the nerves tomorrow and just realize it's just golf, and let's just go have some fun."Both Hadley, 26, and Simpson, 28, were born in Raleigh, N.C.
Simpson didn't win in 2013, but he did qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola for the third consecutive year. He finished 11th in the FedExCup after posting five top-10s, including a playoff loss to Graeme McDowell at the RBC Heritage and fourth-place finish at the TOUR Championship, where he shot a final-round 63. That was his last start before the Shriners, meaning he's shot 64 or lower for three consecutive rounds on the PGA TOUR. He's shot 22-under 190 for those 54 holes.
"I haven't won this year, but my one goal every year is to get better, and I felt like I got better," Simpson said. "I was happy to finish the TOUR Championship with a good, solid tournament. Getting better, so that's all I care about."