Tampa Bay Sports Day

THE PLAYERS: Webb Simpson’s Hot Round Propels Him into Lead

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — Webb Simpson tied the course record at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass with a 9-under 63. He’s the seventh player to accomplish the feat and the first since Colt Knost in the second round in 2016.

“It was a lot of fun. I felt like everything was working today. Putts that I’m just trying to get close are going in. I kind of rode the momentum and kept going,” Simpson said.

Simpson also tied the low 36-hole score at 15-under and tied the record for the most birdies or better (16) through 36 holes at since 1983. His five-stroke lead is the largest through 36 holes in The Players history.

His best finish at The Players in eight previous appearances is a tied for 15th in 2013. It’s the 11th time he’s held at least a share of the 36-hole lead on the PGA Tour and converted the the lead into a victory once in 10 previous leads.

Simpson’s tee shot on the par-3 17th hole that went in the water.

“I backed off a couple of times because the wind seemed to be changing and people were yelling at me to hit it. Honestly, I felt pretty good over it. Just blocked it a little bit. Was trying to smash it. I don’t think it was a mistake, just the wrong club probably,” he said.

Simpson, 33, has four win in his career.  The 2011 Wyndham Championship, Dell Technologies Championship; 2012 U.S. Open and 2014 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His best his season came in a tie for fourth in the Sony Open in Hawaii and a tie for fifth in the The Honda Classic and RBC Heritage.

“My mindset today was one shot at a time. I knew the golf course would get faster the longer we were out there. Tomorrow is probably going to be even faster. I have to be a little defensive, not because of the lead but because of what is front of us on the golf course,” Simpson noted. “The greens will be a little quicker, and I’ve done a good job so far of playing smart and taking my medicine if I drive in the rough. That will be a big deal tomorrow and I’ve just got to keep playing golf.”

Tiger Woods made the cut on the number at 1-under 143.

Second-Round Leaderboard
Webb Simpson 66-63 (-15)
Charl Schwartzel 68-66 (-10)
Patrick Cantlay 66-68 (-10)
Danny Lee 68-66 (-10)

NOTES: Through two rounds, No. 17 is the second-hardest hole (3.247) and No. 18 is the hardest hole (4.254). The last two holes have been the two toughest twice in 2007 and 1984…Jacksonville, Fla, resident Billy Horschel will donate $1000 for every birdie and $5000 for every eagle he makes at The Players 2018 to Feeding Northeast Florida. The organization can provide six meals for every $1 donated to help the one in six adults and one in four children in the area who are “food insecure” – defined as not always knowing where their next meal will come from….As part of its Eagles for Impact Challenge, Morgan Stanley will donate 1,500 books for every eagle made at The Players, with the goal of providing students around the U.S. with access to 75,000 books. This goal was surpassed during Friday’s second round, but Morgan Stanley will continue to donate 1,500 books for every eagle made.