World ranking (current/end of year)
Current 2020 Stats
FedEx Cup Rank: 5th
Top 10: 4
Top 25: 4
Made Cut: 5
Off-The-Tee: 149th (2019: 114th, 2018: 140th, 2017: 115th)
Approach: 7th (2019: 14th, 2018: 23rd, 2017: 22nd)
Around The Green: 31st (2019: 20th, 2018: 13th, 2017: 9th)
Putting: 13th (2019: 11th, 2018: 5th, 2017: 88th)
Tee-To-Green: 16th (2019: 20th, 2018: 8th, 2017: 24th)
Total: 6th (2019: 5th, 2018: 13th, 2017: 26th)
Simpson continues to be average statistically off the tee but his iron play has been a huge strength yet again this season. Consistently strong around the green, the huge turnaround has been in his putting. Bottom line: Simpson is one of the best putters on tour and has been for the last few seasons. If we rewind a little further, his SG: Putting rank was way down at 177th in 2016 and 174th in 2015 so the improvement has been dramatic and sustained. It’s been a matter of quality not quantity so far for Simpson in 2020 and, despite the limited evidence, his numbers are in line with his excellent 2019 season. February’s win in Phoenix returned him to the world’s top ten and he’ll now have his sights on a second major.
Grade so far: B+
Webb Simpson 2020 quotes
THE PLAYERS Championship (on scheduling): “I set out a couple years ago to try to play less. A couple reasons. One, I have five kids. If I'm able, where I stand with my TOUR card, if I'm able, I want to be home more. But also, I looked at the best players in the world, and it seemed like the thing for them was, on schedule was, they were playing a little less than other guys. I think one reason, they're able to, but also there's something to it. I think I've seen that I show up to golf tournaments, like this one, I'm more rested. I wasn't in those gruelling conditions the last two weeks. I'm excited to play golf, where I've felt in the past, if I'm on a long stretch, I'm not really excited to play golf. It feels more like work versus work and fun and competing. And so that's been a big difference for me mentally.”
Waste Management Phoenix Open (after beating Tony Finau in a playoff to secure his sixth PGA TOUR win): “I was reading an article about Jeff Bezos and their company mantra or company phrase is "step by step". And the article was just talking about how he's always tried to take every step and the company take every step, whether little or big, but treat it really carefully and do the best they can at each step. And I just thought this is a game with so many elements, players, we're playing outside, that you can only control so much. And so about two years ago I made my focus step by step, just, you know, when I go in the gym, I'm going to do the best I can, when I'm practising, the best I can. So it's just a reminder for me to take care of the little things and the big things seem to take care of themselves.”
Waste Management Phoenix Open (on his putting upturn): “I broke the putter in November of 2014 and so Japan, Dunlop Phoenix was my first event with the short putter. And Paul and I just agreed that if we get a year under our belt before the ban happens, it's only going to help us, even if we struggle. And that was a tough two years, but my dad always told me, You got to hang in there. Like, no matter what life throws at you, your job throws at you, you just got to hang in there. Not that it's always going to turn out well, but if you're not ready for things to turn around, then they probably won't. So I just kind of, there was many frustrating moments, for sure, but I hung in there and tried a lot of different stuff and finally found something that works.”
THE MAJORS (most recent result on the left)
The Masters: 5-20-MC-29-28-MC-MC-44
In theory, his current skill-set (not amazing from the tee, strong on approach, sharp around the greens, hot putter) makes him a good fit for Augusta. Perhaps that’s why his best two results have come in the last two editions, his T5 in 2019 a real leap forwards. He’s averaged 28 putts per round in those last two Masters (ranking fifth each time) so keep your eye on him for the next one.
PGA Championship: 29-19-33-13-54-MC-25-MC-MC
A solid last four appearances but Simpson could be a bigger factor this time and not just because of his climb in the world rankings. Harding Park in San Francisco is the venue this year and, of course, that’s not far from Olympic Club where he won the 2010 U.S. Open. In fact, not far is an understatement. It’s just a couple of miles away and both tracks were designed by Willie Watson and Sam Whiting.
U.S. Open: 16-10-35-MC-46-45-32-1-14
With five top 20s and an 8-for-9 slate in New Jersey along with three top tens in New York, Simpson should enjoy his trip to Winged Foot. That run includes T10 in the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock. He won this event on just his second start and has three further top 16s, missing just a single cut in nine appearances.
Open Championship: 30-12-37-39-40-MC-64-DNP-16
There’s more consistency to be found in his Open record. There’s no top tens but making seven cuts out of eight in such differing conditions on the links is quietly impressive. His cut-streak in the majors currently sits at 11 and his ‘worst’ finish in that run is T37 in this event at Royal Birkdale in 2017.