Winless in 2013, Simpson excited to contend again


JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Webb Simpson has been working on his consistency and believes his game is rounding into form for these FedEx Cup Playoffs. After rounds of 67-66 at The Barclays, he’ll be able to test that theory in what he thinks is the best competitive environment to showcase such skill.

“The best test for what you're working on is getting in contention on the weekend on the PGA Tour,” he explained. “I'm excited to be in contention. … There's a lot of golf to play. We have half the tournament done, about halfway to go, and it's just nice to kind of be in there and have a chance, I think.”

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Bookended by bogeys on his first and last holes, Simpson added seven birdies in his second round at Liberty National on Friday. He was the clubhouse leader at 9 under.

“The greens remind me of Donald Ross greens,” he said. “I grew up in Raleigh playing on Pinehurst and playing a lot of Donald Ross courses. They are undulating; the putts break a lot and you have to use a lot of imagination around the greens. I think I'm just used to it and I enjoy it.”

After a breakthrough two-win season in 2011 and a U.S. Open title last year, Simpson has yet to find the winner’s circle this season, but it’s not as if he’s been slumping, either. In 21 previous starts, he owns four top-10s and 12 top 25s, including a runner-up finish at the RBC Heritage, where he lost to Graeme McDowell in a playoff.