AUGUSTA, Ga. – Coming off the sixth green on Saturday at the Masters, Webb Simpson gave himself a pep talk.
“I made a sloppy bogey on [No.] 6, and I just kind of had a talk with myself going back to the seventh tee thinking about all my bad shots this week [that] have been just some poor thinking and not being really committed to what I decided to do,” he said. “I just said ‘Hey, if you stay fully committed the rest of the day, 'You're swinging great, you're putting well, you're going to make birdies,’ and that's what I did.”
Perhaps he shouldn’t have waited so long to reach his epiphany. In his previous 24 rounds at Augusta National, Simpson had recorded just two rounds in the 60s, including his closing 67 last year.
On Saturday, he went three better, posting a 64 to move into an early tie for second place at 9 under par, with the leaders just making the turn. His round included four consecutive birdies starting at the seventh hole and a 37-footer for eagle at No. 13 to move to.
The round gave Simpson a fighting chance on Sunday when officials went with the unprecedented move of sending players out in threesomes off the first and 10th tees in an effort to finish before an approaching storm front arrives.