Wake Forest product, Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open Championship at San Francisco's Olympic Club with masterful play over the weekend to win by one stroke over fellow FJ staffer Michael Thompson.
Simpson was five over par after the first two rounds and fired a two under par 68 on Saturday to claw back up the leaderboard. Sitting four strokes off of the 54 hole lead, Simpson would have to put together another great round on the brutal U.S. Open track to have any chance of winning.
Simpson, in FJ ICON and Pure Touch Limited, rattled off three consecutive birdies on the front nine to shoot up the leaderboard. Adding another birdie at the 10th hole moved Webb to plus one, one stroke behind the leader. Webb continued to plug away making pars on each of his last eight holes to get into the clubhouse with the lead. Simpson now had to watch the players still on the golf course try and catch him, no one could, making Webb Simpson the winner of the 112th U.S. Open Championship.
Webb went on to comment on his play on the final day, ”I knew it was a tough golf course,” continuing, “I had to go out
and do as well as I could. I probably prayed more the last three holes
than I’ve ever done in my life. It helped me stay calm and get in with 2
This is Webb Simpson's first major victory in only his fifth major championship appearance.
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The affable Wisconsin native, Steve Stricker won the season opening Tournament of Champions at Kapalua with a final round of a four under par 69 to finish the tournament at 23 under par, four strokes clear of fellow FJ Staffers Webb Simpson and Jonathan Byrd.
Stricker was in style all week wearing the new FJ Performance Apparel and split saddle DryJoys Tour's. He was, also, in total control of his golf game, attacking the golf course in Saturday's second round. Stricker made eight birdies and an eagle to finish off the round with a ten under par 63. The blistering pace gave him a five shot lead over Webb Simpson and the field heading into the third round.
During the third round, Stricker struggled to make birdies early but did not give up any ground as he birdied the final four holes to retain the five stroke lead he had at the beginning of the day. Now heading into the final round with a comfortable lead, Stricker kept his head down and continued his steady play to close out the field for the victory. Stricker lead the field in overall putting, scrambling, bogey avoidance (making only 4 bogeys all week on the rugged Kapalua golf course), and one putt percentage.
This is Stricker's 8th PGA Tour win in the past 3 years, which is the most amongst any player on the PGA Tour.
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The world's number one player, Luke Donald was a late entrant into the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic. He announced his entry via Twitter proposing his goal to win the season long PGA Tour money title. Already leading the European Tour Money list by $1.8 million over Rory McIlroy, Donald aimed to become the first player ever to win both money titles in the same calender year.
Luke's chances looked slim entering the final round five strokes off the 54-hole lead in 13th place. At the turn, he was still two strokes behind the current money leader Webb Simpson, but Donald (in FJ ICON MyJoys) pieced together a brilliant back nine to charge up the leaderboard. He ran in 6 straight birdies on the back nine, including a holed 45 foot putt on the par-3 15th to give himself a two stroke lead. With pars on his last three holes, Donald finished the tournament at 17 under. He was two strokes clear of the field with several players still on the course. All of those players; including Simpson, could not match the brilliant back nine of Donald as Simpson finished tied for 6th.
The win gave Donald his second PGA Tour victory of the year, his 14th top ten of the year, and the season long money race on the PGA Tour. Donald has five possible starts left on the European Tour for a chance to become the first player ever to win both money titles.
Ben Crane was an afterthought beginning Sunday's final round three strokes off the 54 hole lead. Crane wearing DryJoys Tour and Pure Touch Limited, started his final round with seven straight pars before switching his game into overdrive on the par-4 eight by making his first birdie of the day. He would follow the birdie on eight with three more birdies over the next three holes. A bogey on number 12 only momentarily slowed Crane, as he made four more consecutive birdies from 14 through 17 to enter a tie at the top of the leaderboard with the two time 2011 winner Webb Simpson (FJ ICON #52039).
Both players would complete 72 holes at 15 under par to force the 18th playoff of the year on the PGA Tour. Beginning the playoff both players had something to prove; Crane, to win his first tourney of 2011 and Simpson a possible PGA Tour money title. Crane made the first move hitting his approach shot into the par-4 18th to six feet. Simpson would respond, hitting a tricky greenside bunker shot into tap in range. Crane's birdie putt narrowly missed the hole and both players left with a par. Both players would find the green on the par-3 17th. Simpson would putt first, lagging his put to three feet. Playing more aggressively, Crane ran his putt five feet by the hole, leaving himself a tough putt for par, but poured it into the center of the cup putting the pressure on Simpson. With a short putt to extend the Playoff Simpson would miss making Crane the 2011 McGladrey Classic winner.
Webb Simpson (FJ ICON # 52039) now has two PGA Tour wins on his resume after winning in a playoff at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Two weeks ago Simpson broke-through at the Wyndham Championship for his first PGA Tour win. Beginning the day two strokes off the lead, Simpson shot a front nine 30, that included four birdies and an eagle. Simpson's hot start would cool on the back nine until he rolled in a 30 foot putt for birdie on the final hole to give him a fighting chance for the win. With the leader making bogey on the final hole of regulation a playoff was set.On the first playoff hole (par 5 18th) Simpson rolled in another lengthy birdie putt to stay alive in the tournament and force another hole. After hitting the fairway on the next, Simpson took an aggressive line at the pin to set up another birdie bid. With the other player already in with par, Simpson calmly brushed in the eight footer for the victory. The win moves Simpson to number one in the Fed Ex Cup standings.
Already a two time runner up this year, North Carolina native Webb Simpson (FJ ICON #52013) shot a bogey-free 67 to win the Wyndham Championship.
Simpson's 64 on Saturday, which included a back nine 29, catapulted him ahead of the crowded leaderboard by two strokes heading into Sunday. His final round began with par on each of the first eight holes before making a birdie on the par-4 ninth. Simpson continued his steady play on to the back nine with consecutive birdies on 14 and 15 to extend the lead to three. With an easy two putt par on the 72nd hole, Simpson earned his first PGA Tour victory and moved to 3rd place in the Fed Ex Cup playoffs.
Bubba Watson (FJ ICON #52005 and SPIDR2) won the Zurich Classic for his second tour victory of the year and third overall. Throughout the tournament, the long hitting Bubba either shared the lead or held the top position himself. Beginning his final round tied with Webb Simpson (FJ ICON #52013) at twelve under par, Watson played solid golf on the front nine but still fell three strokes behind. Watson continued to play steady golf on his way through the back nine and posted fifteen under par for the tourney, forcing a playoff with playing partner Simpson. Both Simpson and Bubba birdied the first playoff hole. Playing the par-5 18th for the third time of the day, Bubba birdied from three feet and claimed the Zurich Classic. Watson also moves to number 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings with the victory.