Webb Simpson surges into the lead at The Barclays

By Doug FergusonAugust 28, 2009, 4:00 pm
The Barclays JERSEY CITY, N.J. ' Webb Simpson looked at the scores and the weather, neither of which indicated an easy time Friday at Liberty National. He quickly settled on a simple game plan Friday and made it pay off in The Barclays.
Simpson took advantage on some of the shorter holes to give him a cushion for the inevitable mistakes. It led to a 3-under 68 on a long, tough and wet afternoon that put the 24-year-old rookie atop the leaderboard for the first time all year.
My caddie and I talked beforehand about taking advantage of the par 5s and the shorter par 4s, just because we knew we were going to make bogeys, Simpson said. It was just one of those long, tough days. But I feel good with where Im at.
Tiger Woods at The Barclays
Tiger Woods slams his driver on the 16th hole Friday. (Getty Images)
He was at 8-under 134, two shots clear of Paul Goydos and Steve Marino, who started the second round tied for the lead and did well to get around in even-par 71.
Sergio Garcia also was tied for the lead, got stuck in the morning wave and the worst of the rain, and shot a 76.
It was hands down ' I mean, forget about the PGA (Championship) ' it was the longest course Ive played this year, the way it was playing, Garcia said. I dont know how many 5-, 4- and 3-irons I hit into the greens. I hit some woods into the green.
Tiger Woods tried to hit driver onto one green on the 16th, where the tees were moved up. His shot sailed 65 yards wide of his target, over the water hazard, beyond the tee boxes at No. 17. He nearly crushed a tee marker before stopping the club a foot short, and while he made par, it summed up his frustration.
Woods had a 72, yet still moved up 10 spots on the leaderboard into a tie for 17th at even-par 142. For the second straight day, he refused to meet with the reporters to discuss his round.
Smiles were rare on Friday, except at the top of the leaderboard.
The cut came at 5-over 147, matching the highest cut of the year (Bay Hill). Only nine players broke par, one day after there were 26 scores under par. The average score was 74.361, nearly 2 1/2 shots harder than the first round.
Simpson and Ernie Els had the low round at 68, and the Big Easy only got there with a driver on the 16th hole that stopped 8 feet from the hole for an eagle.
Goydos was atop the leaderboard for most of the round until he finished with three bogeys over his last four holes. He at least was happy to make enough pars and birdies that a sloppy ending to his round didnt hurt him.
Plus, he knew what to expect.
I was watching it a little bit this morning, and it didnt look like anybody was having a whole lot of fun, Goydos said. And quite frankly, I went downstairs about nine oclock and looked down, and didnt look like the guy parking the cars was having a whole lot of fun, either.
The difficulty came from a combination of factors.
A half-dozen tees were moved up, which helped. What hurt was the wet conditions ' the rain in the morning and the soft turf throughout the cloudy day ' and the heavy air that kept the ball from traveling very far.
Throw in the fact that if you do hit it a little crooked, youve got 3 or 4 inches of wet rough, Goydos said. Youve got greens that look like my shirts after Ive packed them. It just makes for a challenge.
Some players hopes for the $10 million FedEx Cup prize ended on Friday. Among those who missed the cut and will not finish among the top 100 to advance to Boston were Ben Curtis (84), Mark Calcavecchia (79) and Steve Flesch, who was disqualified after a 76.
The flip side is Heath Slocum, who finished bogey-double bogey for a 72 and still was tied for fourth at 4-under 138 with Fredrik Jacobson, who had a 72. Slocum made the top 125 to qualify for the playoffs by a measly two points. If he were to remain in a tie for fourth at the end of the week, he would go from No. 124 to No. 37 in the standings.
Simpson is No. 85 in the standings on the strength of a strong West Coast, and mediocre golf the rest of the season. He turned it around at a good time, however, at least made himself the player to chase going into the weekend, with more wet weather in the forecast. Tee times Saturday were pushed back a few hours in case of heavy rain expected overnight.
I couldnt have picked a better time to be playing well here in the playoffs, Simpson said. Im sure a lot of emotions will be going through my head tomorrow. But you know, Im a big believer in prayer, so Ill go to bed saying a few prayers tonight and come out tomorrow just like I did today.
Whatever he says will be more than Woods has offered after the first two days.
He headed straight to the locker room after making bogey from a fairway bunker on the 18th hole. It was the first time since the second round of the Memorial that he failed to break par in a regular PGA Tour event.
Woods missed only three fairways all day, yet he missed several putts, including a 5-foot birdie attempt.
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    Group standings at WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 6:00 pm

    Here are the group standings for pool play at the 2018 WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play Championship in Austin, Texas. The player with the most points in each pool advanced to Saturday's Round of 16 in Austin, Texas. Click here for scoring and click here for the bracket.

    Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
    (1) D. Johnson: 0-1-0 (2) J. Thomas: 1-0-0 (3) J. Rahm: 0-0-1 (4) J. Spieth: 1-0-0
    (32) K. Kisner: 0-0-1 (21) F. Molinari: 1-0-0 (28) K. Aphibarnrat: 1-0-0 (19) P. Reed: 1-0-0
    (38) A. Hadwin: 0-0-1
    (48) P. Kizzire: 0-1-0 (43) C. Reavie: 0-1-0 (34) H. Li: 0-1-0
    (52) B. Wiesberger: 1-0-0
    (60) L. List: 0-1-0 (63) K. Bradley: 0-0-1 (49) C. Schwartzel: 0-1-0
    Group 5 Group 6 Group 7 Group 8
    (5) H. Matsuyama: 1-0-0 (6) R. McIlroy: 0-1-0 (7) S. Garcia: 1-0-0 (8) J. Day: 1-0-0
    (30) P. Cantlay: 0-1-0
    (18) B. Harman: 0-0-1 (20) X. Schauffele: 1-0-0 (25) L. Oosthuizen: 1-0-0
    (46) C. Smith: 1-0-0 (44) J. Vegas: 0-0-1 (41) D. Frittelli: 0-1-0 (42) J. Dufner: 0-1-0
    (53) Y. Miyazato: 0-1-0 (51) P. Uihlein: 1-0-0 (62) S. Sharma: 0-1-0 (56) J. Hahn: 0-1-0
    Group 9 Group 10 Group 11 Group 12
    (9) T. Fleetwood: 1-1-0 (10) P. Casey: 1-0-0 (11) M. Leishman: 0-1-0 (12) T. Hatton: 1-0-0
    (26) D. Berger: 0-1-0 (31) M. Fitzpatrick: 0-1-0 (23) B. Grace: 0-1-0 (22) C. Hoffman: 0-1-0
    (33) K. Chappell: 1-1-0 (45) K. Stanley: 1-0-0 (35) B. Watson: 1-0-0 (36) B. Steele: 1-0-0
    (58) I. Poulter: 1-0-0 (51) R. Henley: 0-1-0 (64) J. Suri: 1-0-0 (55) A. Levy: 0-1-0
    Group 13 Group 14 Group 15 Group 16
    (13) A. Noren: 2-0-0 (14) P. Mickelson: 0-1-0 (15) P. Perez: 0-0-1 (16) M. Kuchar: 0-0-1
    (29) T. Finau: 2-0-0 (17) R. Cabrera Bello: 1-0-0 (24) G. Woodland: 0-0-1 (27) R. Fisher: 0-1-0
    (39) T. Pieters: 0-2-0 (40) S. Kodaira: 0-1-0 (37) W. Simpson: 0-0-1 (47) Y. Ikeda: 1-0-0
    (61) K. Na: 0-2-0 (59) C. Howell III: 1-0-0 (50) S.W. Kim: 0-0-1 (54) Z. Johnson: 0-0-1
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    Romo starts hot, stumbles to 77 in PGA Tour debut

    By Will GrayMarch 22, 2018, 5:14 pm

    There was plenty of good, but also plenty of bad for Tony Romo in his PGA Tour debut.

    Playing in the Corales Punta Cana Resort & Club Championship on a sponsor exemption, Romo shot an even-par 36 for his opening nine holes in the Dominican Republic. The former NFL quarterback bogeyed his first two holes, but steadied the ship with three birdies in a five-hole stretch from Nos. 4-8.

    The early highlight of the round came at the par-4 fifth hole, where Romo drained a putt from across the green for his second straight birdie:

    But the back nine wasn't as kind for the 37-year-old, who dropped five shots in a four-hole stretch from Nos. 13-16. It added up to a 5-over 77 in the opening round, which left Romo ahead of only Guy Boros among the players who had finished in the morning wave.

    "I hit two poor tee balls. Just didn't commit to it, and ultimately just got put in a tough spot where you're just trying to make par," Romo said. "I hit a lot of good shots, and they ended up a couple times in some poor spots. But you learn the golf course as you play it throughout the week."

    Romo has played as an amateur partner in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and has played individually in U.S. Open local qualifiers and mini-tour events as an amateur. But this marks his first attempt to gauge his game against the best players in the world who are not in Austin for the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play.

    Romo was even par through 12 holes before a three-putt bogey from the fringe on No. 13. A nasty lie in the rough led to a double bogey on the par-5 14th, and Romo had to hit provisional tee shots on both Nos. 15 and 16. While he ultimately found his original ball on both holes, he left with a pair of bogeys.

    "I really hit some good shots, and I'm close," Romo said. "I had a chance to be under par pretty easily there for a while, and then two or three shots on the back nine cost me. But that's golf."

    Romo will tee off at 1 p.m. ET Friday in the second round alongside Dru Love and Denny McCarthy.

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    Horschel, Kisner & Perez join "Feherty," Monday, March 26 at 9 p.m. ET

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsMarch 22, 2018, 5:10 pm

    PREVIEW: Perez details rocky collegiate golf experience at Arizona State

    Billy Horschel, Kevin Kisner and Pat Perez – each winners of multiple events on the PGA TOUR – will join David Feherty on his self-titled, Emmy-nominated series Feherty presented by Farmers Insurance®, Monday at 9 p.m. ET on Golf Channel.

    “This might be the biggest group of benign social deviants I’ve ever had the privilege of speaking to,” said Feherty. “They’ve been responsible for nine career wins on TOUR collectively, but they’re each also capable of getting into some mischief.”

    The episode – filmed in Naples, Fla. – will touch upon several topics, including:

    • Their respective upbringings and corresponding introductions to golf.
    • Reflections on their junior golf and collegiate playing days, and how it helped prepare them to compete as a professional.
    • Contemplating which mulligan(s) they’d take in their life if given the opportunity.

    Future guests on Feherty this year include Paul Azinger, Stewart Cink, Boo Weekley and Paul Goydos, among others.

    A two-time Emmy-nominated host (Outstanding Sports Personality – Studio Host) Feherty has been described as “golf’s iconoclast,” by Rolling Stone, and “the last unscripted man on TV,” by Men’s Journal. His all-star lineup of golf-enthused and culturally relevant guests feature celebrities from across entertainment, sports and politics. To date, Feherty has sat down with four U.S. Presidents (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump); sports legends Charles Barkley, Nick Saban, Stephen Curry and Bobby Knight; Hollywood icons Matthew McConaughey, Larry David and Samuel L. Jackson; World Golf of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Jack Nicklaus, Annika Sorenstam, Lee Trevino and Tom Watson; and a host of current golf superstars including Paula Creamer, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Michelle Wie. Feherty is produced by Golf Channel’s original productions group, which also oversees production for Driver vs. Driver and Golf Films.

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    Match-by-match: WGC-Dell Technologies, Day 2

    By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 22, 2018, 4:00 pm

    Here is how things played out on Day 2 of the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, as 64 players take on Austin Country Club with hopes of advancing out of pool play. Click here for Day 1 match results:

    Group 1: Dustin Johnson (1) vs. Adam Hadwin (38)

    Group 1: Kevin Kisner (32) vs. Bernd Wiesberger (52)

    Group 2: Justin Thomas (2) vs. Patton Kizzire (48)

    Group 2: Francesco Molinari (21) vs. Luke List (60)

     Group 3: Jon Rahm (3) vs. Chez Reavie (43)

    Group 3: Kiradech Aphibarnrat (28) vs. Keegan Bradley (63)

    Group 4: Jordan Spieth (4) vs. Haotong Li (34)

    Group 4: Patrick Reed (19) vs. Charl Schwartzel (49)

    Group 5: Hideki Matsuyama (5) vs. Cameron Smith (46)

    Group 5: Patrick Cantlay (30) vs. Yusaku Miyazato (53)

    Group 6: Rory McIlroy (6) vs. Jhonattan Vegas (44)

    Group 6: Brian Harman (18) vs. Peter Uihlein (57)

    Group 7: Sergio Garcia (7) vs. Dylan Frittelli (41)

    Group 7: Xander Schauffele (20) vs. Shubhankar Sharma (62)

    Group 8: Jason Day (8) vs. Jason Dufner (42)

    Group 8: Louis Oosthuizen (25) vs. James Hahn (56)

    Group 9: Tommy Fleetwood (9) def. Kevin Chappell (33), 7 and 6: Avenging an opening-day loss, the Englishman won the first four holes and needed to make only three birdies in a monster rout of Chappell. The 2017 Presidents Cupper made five bogeys and conceded two other holes but still has a chance to win the group.  

    Group 9: Daniel Berger (26) vs. Ian Poulter (58)

    Group 10: Paul Casey (10) vs. Kyle Stanley (45)

    Group 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick (31) vs. Russell Henley (51)

    Group 11: Marc Leishman (11) vs. Bubba Watson (35)

    Group 11: Branden Grace (23) vs. Julian Suri (64)

    Group 12: Tyrrell Hatton (12) vs. Brendan Steele (36)

    Group 12: Charley Hoffman (22) vs. Alexander Levy (55)

    Group 13: Alex Noren (13) def. Thomas Pieters (39), 5 and 4: Noren made quick work of Pieters in what could be a match of future Ryder Cup teammates. Noren built a 4-up lead after seven holes and then cruised from there, moving to 2-0 this week and eliminating Pieters. In 30 holes this week, Noren has made 12 birdies and no bogeys.

    Group 13: Tony Finau (29) vs. Kevin Na (61), 3 and 2: In a contrast of styles, the powerful Finau birdied the first three holes and never looked back against Na, setting up a battle of unbeatens in a winner-take-all match on Friday.

    Group 14: Phil Mickelson (14) vs. Satoshi Kodaira (40)

    Group 14: Rafa Cabrera Bello (17) vs. Charles Howell III (59)

    Group 15: Pat Perez (15) vs. Webb Simpson (37)

    Group 15: Gary Woodland (24) vs. Si Woo Kim (50)

    Group 16: Matt Kuchar (16) vs. Yuta Ikeda (47)

    Group 16: Ross Fisher (27) vs. Zach Johnson (54)