PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – With three missed cuts and a T-69 in four career starts here, Webb Simpson arrived at TPC Sawgrass this week with modest expectations.
And, it turns out, a new attitude.
“At the beginning of the week, my wife (Dowd) was telling me that she thinks I have nothing to lose,” Simpson said Thursday. “It’s not like I built up any pressure on myself to play well here. But it feels great to finally break through with a good round here.”
Did he ever.
Simpson fired a bogey-free 67 in benign conditions to sit only four shots off the lead at The Players.
After a playoff loss at Harbour Town, another Pete Dye track, Simpson finally posted a good round on the Stadium Course. He had broken par in only two of his previous 10 rounds.
“I do have bad memories here of not playing well, but in terms of the golf course, everything fits my eye well,” he said. “There are a lot of doglegs, and it’s the kind of style course I grew up playing. So it’s a place where even though I’ve missed a few cuts, I didn’t get a bad taste in my mouth.”