Ryder recovery? Simpson opens with 66


NORTON, Mass. – Webb Simpson may have only one chance left to impress U.S. Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson, but he plans to make the most of it. 

Simpson opened the Deutsche Bank Championship with a 5-under 66, an effort that left him trailing only one player from the morning wave – Keegan Bradley, who like Simpson is hoping to hear his name announced Tuesday as one of Watson’s three captain’s picks for next month’s matches.

It was a welcome bounce-back for Simpson after he missed the cut last week at The Barclays. One year after needing a captain’s pick to make the Presidents Cup squad, he again finds himself in a familiar position.

“I know it’s a big week,” Simpson said. “I know I need a really good, consistent week to show him my game is there. I think it’s there.”

Consistency has been an issue of late, as Simpson’s last six starts have been largely feast (third at the Greenbrier Classic, T-5 at the Wyndham Championship) or famine (missed cuts at the Open Championship, PGA Championship and The Barclays).

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He derives comfort from walking the fairways at TPC Boston, though, a course where he won in 2011. 

“Certain courses, you see the tee shots better. You see the reads better,” he said. “I feel that way here. I always have.”

With the competition for Watson’s selections only intensifying after Hunter Mahan’s win at Ridgewood, Simpson knows that he’ll need to continue his strong play well into the weekend if he wants to book a ticket for Gleneagles.

“It’s kind of make-or-break for me,” he said. “Who knows what (Watson) is thinking. He’s got a lot of great guys playing well right now. I’ve got to keep playing well.”