Eagle lands Simpson the lead at Dell Technologies
September 01, 2018
By Ben Everill, PGATOUR.COM
Webb Simpson's Round 2 highlights from Dell Technologies
NORTON, Mass. – THE PLAYERS champion Webb Simpson would have dreaded the idea of putting from well off the green not so long ago.
But having shed his demons at TPC Sawgrass after years of battling the aftermath of the anchoring rule earlier this season Simpson embraced it on his final hole of the second round at TPC Boston.
The result? Simpson nailed a 71-foot, four-inch eagle from well off the putting surface to shoot a stunning 8-under 63 and take the 36-hole lead at 11 under in the Dell Technologies Championship.
“I was excited and you just kind of laugh at those, because you're not trying to make them, you're just trying to get them close,” Simpson said.
“Those moments are always fun on the last hole. Honestly, it brings back the 2011 memories, making a couple of putts when I won. Just a great atmosphere out there.”
Simpson did indeed salute in the 2011 version of the event – taking down Chez Reavie in a playoff after making some clutch putts in both regulation and extra holes.
But back then he was anchoring his long putter – the style that would also help him to the 2012 U.S. Open title.
In fact he had ranked inside the top 53 players for Strokes Gained: Putting from his debut year in 2009 through the 2014 season with a high mark of 15th.
Now that he has reverted to a short putter and come through a dark few years (he plummeted to 174th in 2015 and 177th in 2016) Simpson is once again rolling the rock well.
He entered this week sixth on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting and he sits second in the field through 36 holes at TPC Boston gaining 4.909 shots on the greens.
With that taken care of Simpson says he wants to remain amongst the elite in the world rankings for a long time to come.
“I've got back in the top-20 in the world (currently 17th) and I want to stay here,” he said.
“I don't want to just have a couple of good years and have it go away for two years. There are a few guys that are always top-10 in the world. I want to do that. I want to stay consistently good as a golfer.”
Starting the event ninth in the FedExCup standings Simpson projects to first with a win.
BEST $172 EVER SPENT SAYS HATTON
It’s not often professional golfers dive into their own pockets for equipment purchases but Tyrrell Hatton is very happy he did recently.
The Englishman is known as a good putter but recent struggles finally got the better of him last week through three rounds of THE NORTHERN TRUST … and he found himself in need of a new weapon on the greens.
Of course equipment trucks leave PGA TOUR stops on Wednesday afternoons and head for the next site meaning Hatton found himself without access to Ping’s vast array of choices made available to their contracted stars.
He was so embarrassed he couldn’t bring himself to go inside the Golf Galaxy store in Paramus, New Jersey, so he sent his caddie instead.
The pair then communicated via a video call to come up with the decision to buy a Ping Sigma G Darby model for $149.
With tax and grip it came to $172.72, which he proudly displayed on twitter Sunday afternoon when he shot the matching low round of his season – a 6-under 64 to move up to a T20 finish and take serious momentum into this week.
Well that’s the best $172 I’ve ever spent 😂😂🙈— Tyrrell Hatton (@TyrrellHatton) August 26, 2018
Was so nice to hole some putts again today, new putter worked it’s magic!
-7 64 to finish the week 💪🏻
Onto Boston! pic.twitter.com/PrTNv74bsw
And this week at TPC Boston? He’s kept it in the bag and it is paying off again.
Hatton opened with a 69 before going deep on Saturday in the second round with a bogey-free 8-under 63.
His best score this season needed just 25 putts. And now he sits 10 under and just one shot from the lead in a tie for second.
Coming in at 71st in the FedExCup and outside the bubble to move on, Hatton now projects to 15th.
“The putter has been good. I'm more comfortable with it. Obviously, I've got a bit of confidence with how I putted last Sunday. So it's nice to see the ball go in,” Hatton said.
“I think a lot of people don't understand that TOUR trucks leave on Wednesdays. So I didn't have a spare with me. So it was just a case of I'd been kind of struggling with my putting for a few months, which is normally a strength of mine.
“I think if you look at the stats in most weeks, I was at the bottom of putting, which is not normal for me. So I needed a change and luckily it's worked.”
Hatton admitted the last time he had to pay for equipment was at least a few years …
“Maybe I need to start buying more stuff if it's going to work like that,” he added.
TIGER TURNS IT AROUND … After a 1-over 72 in the opening round Tiger Woods turned it around with a solid 5-under 66 -just the second bogey-free round of his season. It lifted Woods into a tie for 21st and six shots off the pace. Despite the deficit the 79-time PGA TOUR winner is confident he can make a push on the weekend as he continues to improve with his new putter. Read all about his round here.
MERRY OLE ENGLAND … The English flag is proudly flying high on the leaderboard with Tyrrell Hatton (63) and Justin Rose (67) sharing the morning wave lead at 10 under and Tommy Fleetwood (65) sitting just two behind them. While there have been four non-American winners at the Dell Technologies Championship in the FedExCup era England is yet to claim it. In fact the only English Playoffs win at all since the inception in 2007 is Rose’s triumph in the 2011 BMW Championship. Paul Casey (70) is seven off the pace but will also be out for a strong weekend for the English fans.
SMITH ROLLING ON … Australian Cameron Smith shook off a mid-year slump with his T3 finish at THE NORTHERN TRUST and now after rounds of 69-66 sits just three shots back of the morning leaders at TPC Boston. The 25-year-old is yet to make an appearance at the TOUR Championship but at 16th in the FedExCup standings looks set to end that. Smith is desperate to make the Australian World Cup team but is most likely going to need to rely on a pick from Marc Leishman if Jason Day withdraws from consideration to be at the birth of his third child. In that scenario Leishman will be picking between Smith and former Masters champion Adam Scott to join him in Melbourne in November for the marquee event.
SEASON OVER … With the 36-hole cut done there are nine players already officially ejected from the FedExCup Playoffs including a major winner and stacks of TOUR winners. Other players kept their season alive with stellar and clutch play. Check out the full FedExCup update here.
JORDAN SPIETH – After two early bogeys the 2015 FedExCup champion rebounded with seven birdies, including six in an eight-hole run. But a late bogey had him settle for a 4-under 67 to be 6 under and tied seventh.
DUSTIN JOHNSON – Six back after rounds of 68-69.
BRYSON DECHAMBEAU – Last week’s winner will need a big weekend to claim another title after rounds of 70-68 have him tied 21st and seven shots back.
KEEGAN BRADLEY – Local boy backs up his opening 67 with a 69 to move to T7 at 6 under, five off the pace.
XANDER SCHAUFFELE – Reigning rookie of the year and TOUR Championship winner making his push for a return to East Lake after back-to-back 68s has him T7.
TONY FINAU – A second round 3-under 68 has Finau continuing his consistent season at 5 under and just five back.
BROOKS KOEPKA – Second straight 2-under 69 leaves Koepka needing a big weekend but still close enough just six back.
PHIL MICKELSON – Dropped four shots in his opening five holes on Saturday before fighting back for a 1-over 72. Is flirting with a missed cut at 2-over.
Phil Mickelson spins it back to cup at Dell Technologies
QUOTABLESThis is a golf course you can't sit still on.I want to still see if I can get up the FedExCup. And I know if I have a really good week I am right up there.That's funny, it ends Monday. I keep forgetting it's already Saturday.I had a little smile about that.They're all like gravy.I was too embarrassed.
Low round: 63 by Webb Simpson (1) and Tyrell Hatton (T2).
Longest drive: 351 yards, by Charley Hoffman (T68) at the 14th hole.
Longest putt: 50 feet, by Rafa Cabrera Bello (T7) at the par-3 16th hole.
Easiest hole: The 527-yard, par-5 18th played to a 4.594 average including three eagles.
Hardest hole: The 499-yard, par-4 12th played to a 4.250 average including just seven birdies.
CALL OF THE DAY
For play-by-play coverage of the third round of the Dell Technologies Championship, listen at PGATOUR.COM.
SHOT OF THE DAY
Shot of the Day
Webb Simpson's monster eagle for Shot of the Day