Webb Simpson Produces Stunning Finish to Win Thriller at Habour Town
ON ANOTHER extraordinary day on the PGA Tour, England’s Tyrrell Hatton, who led after 54 holes, shot a final round of 66 but still finished two shots behind Webb Simpson at the RBC Heritage at Harbour Town Golf Links in South Carolina. Simpson carded a bogey-free 64, with five birdies in the final seven holes, to win on a tournament record 22 under. Abraham Ancer shot a 65 as he finished second on 21 under at Hilton Head.
Englishman Hatton, winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier in the year, shared the lead after round three with Simpson, Ancer and Ryan Palmer. He had four birdies on his front nine as he finished the week on 20 under.
American Daniel Berger, who won last week at Colonial, had three birdies in his final four holes, including a chip-in two on the par-three 17th, as he shot a six-under 65 to join Hatton in third.
It was an astonishing final day at the Harbour Town course on a day that finished three hours behind schedule because of a violent storm on the South Carolina coast.
At one point, six players shared the lead but Hatton moved clear to lead on 19 under with four birdies in five holes from the second.
However, he was unable to build on that momentum, parring the next five holes and then trading a birdie for a bogey on the 12th and 13th, before picking up his final shot on the 16th.
Ancer, who did not miss a green in regulation in the final round, also picked up four birdies on the front nine to reach the turn at 19 under. Further birdies on the 15th and 17th left him needing another on the last to force a play-off but, with darkness descending, he was unable to hole a 37-foot putt.
That left Simpson, a father of five, to celebrate his second victory on Father's Day. His first came in 2012 when he won the US Open, which traditionally finishes on Father's Day and had been scheduled to be played this week before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
“This morning I thought about my Dad, and when I was on the golf course, I thought about him,” Simpson said. “So still feeling my dad all around me from memories. He loved golf. I'll never forget calling my dad after on the way to the press conference after my US Open win, and when he picked up the phone, he just was laughing. That’s kind of what he did when he was happy, he would just laugh. So, I'm going to miss that laugh today for sure.”
"It was a crazy day," said 34-year-old Simpson, who also won in Phoenix in February and now finds himself in a career-high fifth place in the world rankings on Monday.
“I really have a desire to be in that top 10 or 15 guys in the world ranking all the time and have chances to win, not just twice a year, but as many times as I can,” Simpson said. “So that led me to just look at every part of my game, whether it's working out or the mental approach, and see if I can get better. That was three years ago probably. So, yeah ... it feels great to see the hard work pay off and see that the process I've put in place is working. But we're nuts. We always think we can get better, and I think there's room to grow.”
It was a good week for European players. Ian Poulter, who led after round one, closed with a 68 to finish on 16 under, alongside fellow Englishmen Justin Rose (65) and Matt Fitzpatrick (68), while Northern Ireland's world number one Rory McIlroy closed with a 70 and 11 under total.
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