Webb Simpson shot a final round 67 to hold off charges by Tommy Gainey and George McNeill to win the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, North Carolina. Simpson was bogey free during his final round and made birdies on the 9th, 15th and 16th to get to -18 for the tournament, three strokes better than McNeill.
(Webb Simpson earned his first PGA TOUR victory this week. Photo: Yahoo! Sports)
The win is Simpson’s first career PGA TOUR victory and caps off a great 2011 season for the upcoming star who graduated from Wake Forest in 2008. In 20 starts this season Simpson has recorded 15 finishes in the top 25 and seven top 10’s. Prior to winning this the Wyndham he had finished in second twice, at the Transitions Championship and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans where he lost in a playoff.
Along with $918,000 and a two year exemption on the PGA TOUR, Simpson jumped nine spots in the FedEx Cup standings moving from 12th to 9th. He now sits just 45 points behind the lead, Nick Watney. The win just about guarantees he will be in the TOUR Championship featuring the top 30 players in the FedEx Cup Standings.
FedEx Cup Field Is Set
Webb Simpson wasn't the only one to move into a better position. While Nick Watney and Luke Donald hold the top two spots, Ernie Els, Camilo Villegas, and Padraig Harrington all played themselves into at least one more event. Villegas, who has had a disappointing year, came into the Wyndham Championship in 125th place, holding the final spot to make the playoffs. A top 10 finish moved him up to 109th place and gives him a fighting chance at advancing to the "second round".
Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington, both major championship winners, rose to the call and moved from the outside in this weekend. Els came into the event in 126th place but finished in a tie for 30th to sneak into the playoffs in 118th place. Harrington cut it even closer. Coming into the final event he was in 130th but earned enough points with his 47th place finish to climb to 124th place and just make the field next week.
The most notable name to miss the FedEx Cup, Tiger Woods. Woods, who didn't compete this week, finished in 132nd place. He missed the playoffs by just 20 points despite playing in only eight events.
The FedEx Cup playoffs begin next week with the top 125 golfers at The Barclays. Matt Kuchar is the defending champion.