Paul Anthony Arco

The Takeaway

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Webb Design

Sunday, August 21, 2011


A little home cooking was all Webb Simpson needed to secure his first PGA TOUR win.

Simpson, the former Wake Forest star, fired a 67 Sunday, good enough for a three-stroke win at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C.

The 26-year-old Simpson, a Raleigh native, finished at 18-under 262. George McNeill (64) was at 15-under 265, and Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey (69) finished third at 14-under 266. Carl Pettersson (69), Vijay Singh (65), Jerry Kelly (65), Kyung-tae Kim (66) and Charles Howell III (67) finished at 13-under 267.

Simpson became the seventh different winner at Greensboro from an ACC school. Pettersson was the last to do it in 2008. Simpson is also the third Wake Forest grad to win the Wyndham. Lanny Wadkins did it in 1983 and so did Scott Hoch in 2001.

It was the final event before the PGA TOUR playoffs start next week for the FedExCup. Some players did enough to move on, while others are headed home.

Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and William McGirt moved into the top 125 in the final FedExCup standings and will play next week at The Barclays in New Jersey.

Els started at No. 126 and moved up to eight places, thanks to his 8-under 262 effort. Harrington finished at 6-under 274 and jumped from No. 130 to No. 124, and McGirt grabbed the No. 125 and final spot.

Matt Jones, David Mathis and Cameron Beckman dropped out of the top 125 after missing the cut. Justin Leonard missed a 13-foot putt on No. 18 that left him down and out at No. 126.

Simpson is the 12th first-time winner on the PGA TOUR this season. He shot a 6-under 64 on Saturday for a two-stroke lead heading into the final round. He started Sunday's round with eight straight pars before a birdie on No. 9. He added birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 for a three-shot lead.

With the win, Simpson moved up to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings.

McNeill made a late push, but it was too little too late. It was his fourth top-10 finish of the year, including a T2 at the Viking Classic last month. McNeil, who made 10 of 16 cuts this year, moved up to No. 54 in the FedExCup standings.

Gainey, who shot a 65 on Friday, was looking for his first PGA TOUR win. He led or shared the lead after each of the first two rounds, but two bogeys and a double bogey on Sunday sealed his fate. Still, he moved up to No. 30 in the FedExCup standings.

Stray Shots

Jeff Quinney and Gainey shot an opening round-best 63. McGirt, Jim Herman, Camilo Villegas and Heath Slocum led all second round scores with a 64. Pettersson shot a third-round best 63 and McNeil led all golfers with a final-round 64 … Those who missed the cut this week include Jason Dufner, Billy Mayfair, Anthony Kim and Chris Kirk … Singh likes the Wyndham Championship. His T4 finish is his fourth top 10 in eight starts at Greensboro … Charl Schwartzel has decided not to play in next week's Barclays, according to a release from the PGA TOUR … Oliver Fisher shot a 69 Sunday to win the Czech Open for his first career win on the European Tour. The 22-year-old Fisher finished two strokes better than Mikael Lundberg. Fisher was the youngest golfer to play in the Walker Cup when he teed it up in 2005 at the age of 16 … It was a good news, bad news week for Derek Lamely at the Wyndham. He didn't make the cut and didn't make the playoffs, but he aced No. 16, which earned him vacations for life, courtesy of Wyndham … Quinney, who has conditional status on the TOUR, needed a good week to earn a place in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. He started at No. 215 and was looking good when he opened the first round with a 63 to tie Gainey for the lead. But three straight rounds in the 70s (70, 71, 70) dropped him to a T47 and No. 209 in the FedExCup race … John Mallinger needed a runner-up finish to get into the top 125. He was T3 after the third round, but faltered Sunday (71) to finish No. 186 in the FedExCup standings … Charles Howell III has not missed a cut since THE PLAYERS in May. He has four top 10s during that stretch after posting a T4 … Daniel Summerhays needed a top-3 finish to reach the playoffs, but a final-round 71 left him at T17 and No. 162 in the FedExCup standings … Hunter Haas withdrew during the final round due to a back injury … James Nitties shot a 26-under 258 for a five-stroke win at the Midwest Classic on the Nationwide Tour. It was his fourth top-25 finish this season … Mike Weir had surgery on his right elbow this week and will miss up to six months. He has been experiencing soreness and discomfort for the past year. He's currently 15th on the all-time money list, and hasn't used one of the two exemptions given to golfers among the top 25.



Paul Anthony Arco is a freelance writer and contributor to rotoworld.com. He is host of The Golf Show!, which airs Saturday mornings on WNTA 1330 AM (www.wnta.com) in Rockford, Ill. Paul can be reached at paul@paulanthonyarco.com
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