Webb Simpson was 109 yards behind playing partner Bryson DeChambeau. After their first shots on the 9th hole at Harbour Town Golf Links on Thursday. Simpson was impressed by how DeChambeau got there.
After his first 18 holes at the RBC Heritage, Simpson was lower in another number, too. Scores. Simpson, 65. DeChambeau, 67. Simpson was impressed by how he got there, too.
“It’s very satisfying knowing, like, I’m not near as long as some of these guys and I’m able to kind of use my skills of distance control and shot shape to kind of pick me back up when I’m 40 yards or 30 yards behind these guys,” he said Thursday.
After 72 holes, Simpson had the lowest number. His ability to get in position to make birdies – and then make them – got him there.
He birdied five of his last seven holes on Sunday to shoot a 7-under 64 and finish at 22-under 262, one shot ahead of Abraham Ancer. Daniel Berger and Tyrrell Hatton were two shots behind, and Sergio Garcia and Joaquin Niemann were three behind.
Webb Simpson wins
After 11 holes, Simpson was two strokes out of the lead. Over the next seven, he grabbed it.
On 12, his approach dropped to 10 feet. He made the birdie. On 13, his approach dropped to 22 feet. He made the birdie. On 15, a par-5, he was home in two, and he made the birdie. He never lost the lead from there.
He secured it on 16 and 17. On 16, his approach dropped to 14 feet. He made the birdie. That gave him the outright lead. On 17, his tee shot dropped to 17 feet. He made the birdie. That gave him a cushion.
“I think it’s a good thing that guys were making birdies because they kind of forced me to be a little more aggressive and know that pars weren’t going to cut it,” Simpson said. “I was only 2-under through 11 holes today for the round and had to make birdies.”
Several tried to win
About a half-hour after play resumed after a three-hour delay due to a storm, seven players were tied for the lead at 17-under. Then it rained birdies.
Hatton was the first to get to 18-under with a birdie on 5, he was the first to get to 19-under with a birdie on 6, and he was the first to get to 20-under with a birdie on 12. He shot even-par from there and finished two strokes behind Simpson.
Niemann birdied 15 to move into a share of the lead with Simpson, Hatton and Ancer, and he took the lead outright with a birdie on 16. But he bogeyed the 17th and finished three shots behind Simpson.
Ancer had the lead at various points in the final round, and he shared it with Simpson after his birdie on 15. Berger, the winner last week at the Charles Schwab Challenge, joined them briefly with a chip-in on 17.
There was never a share of the lead again after Simpson’s birdie on 16.
Dylan Fritelli won the fourth round
Dylan Fritelli finished ahead of the storm, and he finished ahead of the field on Sunday.
Starting the day seven shots out of the lead, Fritelli shot 3-under on the back, then birdied 11, 12, 14, 15, 17 and 18 for a back-nine 29 and a 9-under 62. When the storm hit at about 2:30 p.m. ET, he had the clubhouse lead.
Thomas nearly matched the 62. Thomas birdied 1, 2, 6, 9, 11, 14, 15 and 16 and eagled 5, but he bogeyed 8 and 10 and finished with an 8-under 63.