by William Needham Finley IV™

Webb Simpson Dominates The Players Championship

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Raleigh’s Webb Simpson had quite a weekend. The Broughton and Wake Forest graduate, 2012 U.S. Open winner, Ryder Cup team member, Presidents Cup team member, Broughton Hall of Famer, cousin of Bonner Gaylord, and Carolina Country Club course record holder dominated the competition to win The PLAYERS Championship on Mother’s Day.

To celebrate, a victory parade will be held every day at 1:00 pm for the rest of May on the following route:

Winning the hearts and minds of the entire world isn’t easy, but Webb made it look that way. He shot 18 under par, decimating his peers, including the likes of Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, and everyone else who lost.

Tiger was gracious in defeat.


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Webb’s Friday round of 63, featuring 9 birdies and an eagle, tied the TPC Sawgrass course record. He also set a record for the largest margin through three rounds and tied Greg Norman’s 54-hole record at 19-under 197.

Webb overcame a lot in this victory. After winning the U.S. Open in 2012, the PGA Tour banned the anchored putting stroke (belly putter) used by Webb and many other golfers. It was a ruling made out of fear, fear that Webb would go on to win every single tournament for the rest of his career. The PGA was worried that Webb’s dominance would discourage younger players from even trying to play golf.


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With the ban in place, Webb’s putting declined. The day before the 2017 Players Championship began, Webb had a conversation with NC State alum Tim Clark while on the putting green. Clark suggested Webb try out a claw grip. Using his genius IQ and LeBron Jamesesque photographic memory, Webb memorized the grip in less than two seconds and is now 10th in putting this season.


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One of the best parts of Webb leading all weekend was that the announcers were able to focus on Broughton. Here they are congratulating the Broughton boys golf team for winning their 12th state title.


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And here they are talking about Broughton’s Pistol Pete Maravich.

The victory was Webb’s fifth on the PGA Tour and makes him eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame. Webb is now ranked 20th in the world and 9th in the Ryder Cup standings. So congratulations to Webb, his team, family, and friends. Everyone should celebrate this victory. But if there was any question as to where Webb is from, he gave Raleigh’s SportsChannel8 the exclusive answer last week.

As always, we got a glimpse of Webb taking a phone call after his victory.

“Hey Bonner, yeah I know it’s almost surfing season. Let me call you back. I’ve gotta go add to my trophy case.”

Go Webb, go Caps, go America.

Highlights from Webb’s win:

During his victory press conference, a reporter asked if Webb had really broken his belly putter. Webb replied:

“I was going to play in the Dunlop Phoenix tournament. I had made a plan to switch to the short putter that week kind of under the radar, I knew you guys wouldn’t be there. It was a year before the rule was enforced so I thought I’d get a year under my belt. I started to chicken out a little bit, and I called Paul and said ‘Hey I’m gonna take the belly putter one more tournament.’ My wife’s in the driveway pulling out with the kids and I tell her this, and I see my bag in the garage and I see the belly putter. For whatever reason I had the urge to break it. If I break it I can’t take it with me. So I go over there and snap it over my knee and I’m on the way to throw it in the trash can, and she tells me I better hang on to it, it’s been pretty good to me. So I put it in my trophy case, both pieces, and then went to Japan with the short putter.”

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