by Jeff Skinner
Webb Simpson continued his hot streak as he birdied three straight holes down the stretch and won the second stage of The PGA Tour FedEx Cup Playoffs. Going into the final hole of The Deutsche Bank Championship Simpson was two shots off the lead but he rolled in a 30 foot birdie putt that left him one shot back of leader Chez Reavie.
All Reavie needed was a par on eighteen to secure the victory and make a good case for Comeback Player of the Year. Reavie started the season on a medical exemption and doesn’t have full status for this season. Reavie had played great on the back nine with four birdies in six holes. He also had played 18 well all week with two birdies and a par but his third shot with his wedge sailed over the green. After a free drop due to the grandstand he ran his fourth shot past the hole and left himself a twelve foot par putt to win the championship. For the first time on the back nine his putter failed him and he and Simpson ended the day tied at fifteen under.
Both players made birdie when then replayed the eighteenth as the first playoff hole but on the second hole, the seventeenth, Simpson earned a distinct advantage.
After similar tee shots, Simpson stuck his approach to eight feet. Reavie left his approach 24 feet from the hole and needed two putts to get it down. That left Simpson with his putt for a birdie and a win. As he had all day he took his time lining it up and calmly stroked it in the hole.
It’s Simpson’s second career win and both have come in the last three weeks. It moves him to first place in The FedEx Cup Points race. He knew the playoffs would be a tough test but he is thrilled at his play recently. “Yeah, it’s been a whirlwind of a few weeks. This is my fourth tournament in a row. You know, I missed the cut at the PGA and then won Greensboro, my first win ever, and haven’t really had time to reflect on that because the Playoffs started. So I don’t really know what to think right now, but I’m certainly thankful for the chance to win, and having been able to finish the round with a birdie and then birdie the first two holes in a playoff was truly awesome.
You know, to be at No. 1 in the FedEx Cup with two weeks to go, I couldn’t expect anything more. You know, the goal for us is to be in the top 5 going into Atlanta, and it looks like I’m in a good position to do that, so I’m thrilled.”
The Playoffs continued to give us some exciting golf and a few intriguing stories. Simpson winning his second and furthering the case for the long putter was one. Chez Reavie playing all year to try and earn his tour card for 2012 (which he has earned) and making a run at the win here was another. The Tour and its Playoffs have moved past one or two players owning all the trophies and we’ll get to see who’s up to the task next as they move to The BMW Championship in two weeks.