Simpson wins Boston play-off

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Webb Simpson blazed home with birdies on the last three holes and then won a play-off to claim PGA Tour title No 2 this year.

Webb Simpson blazed home with birdies on each of the last three holes and then won a play-off at the second extra hole to claim his PGA Tour title No 2 this year.

More important, that title just happened to have been won in the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second leg of the FedEx Cup four-series Play-offs, and has set him up as one of the strongest contenders to win the Cup’s $10 million bonanza for the player with the most points after the Cup finale, The Tour Championship, in Atlanta later this month..

Simpson out-ran most of his rivals, including Luke Donald, Jason Day, Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel in the TPC Boston race, those three late birdies taking him to a 15-under 269 total, but he couldn’t shake off dogged, fellow-American Chez Reavie.

In fact Reavie looked as if he was about to win coming down the 18th – until he found some ugly rough beside the final green, airmailed the hole with his chip, came up short with his return shot and then missed the 12-foot putt he needed to win

Simpson, who had showed no emotion as he stood with his wife and baby watching Reavie’s vital stumble, was just as icy cool when he won the resultant sudden-death play-off at the second extra hole (the par four 17th) by sinking an eight-foot birdie putt after Reavie had missed his attempt there from 23 feet.

England’s World No 1 Luke Donald, who led the final round at one stage until he ran into a double-bogey, bogey stretch, carded a closing 67 to tie for third at 13 under, level with American Brandt Snedeker (66) and Australian Jason Day (68).

“I told somebody that I thought winning for the second time might be easier but it certainly wasn’t. It was tough,” Simpson, who his first PGA Tour title at last month’s Wyndham Championship, told a TV presenter after his greatest victory

“To finish the way I did, and birdie 17 in the playoff, was awesome.”

It’s awesome indeed.

The 26-year-old’s $1.44 million first prize moved him to the top of both the FedEx Cup and US Money winners standings with total prize money so far this year of over $5.3 million and clinched his place in the US Presidents Cup team.

Reavie, who started the season playing on a medical exemption, rocketed from 87th place to ninth in the FedEx Cup standings with his runner-up finish.

“To be number one in the FedExCup with two weeks to go, I couldn’t expect anything more,” Simpson said.

“The goal is to be in the top five going into Atlanta and it looks like I’m in a good position to do that so I am thrilled.”

The leading 70 players in the points standings move on to next week’s BMW Championship in Illinois before the top 30 qualify for the Tour Championship finale at Atlanta.

Simpson made a blistering start to the final round, reaching the turn in six-under 30, but he slowed after that with a bogey at the 10th and failed to make any further progress until those three closing birdies that cut Reavie’s lead to one.

Simpson believed he was about to come up just short in his own title bid as he stood watching his rivals progress on the closing hole.

“I figured my chances were one in a hundred,” Simpson said. “He played so well today, my hat’s off to him. One thing I will say, though, is that on 18 there was a tricky pin and if you pulled it a little, it easily went over the green.”

Reavie did exactly that and ended up bogeying the hole despite having a wedge in his hand for his third shot from just 117 yards.

“My game plan with a one-shot lead was to lay it up, wedge it on and make a par,” Reavie said. “That’s all I had to do and there was no risk in that unless you hit a wedge over the green.”

It’s a shot he is likely to never forget.

TOP 20 LEADERBOARD

269 Webb Simpson (USA) 69 68 67 65 (Simpson won at second play-off hole), Chez Reavie (USA) 67 68 68 66

271 Brandt Snedeker (USA) 69 64 72 66, Luke Donald (ENG) 66 70 68 67, Jason Day (Aus) 67 69 67 68,

272 Jim Furyk (USA) 69 69 66 68

273 Bo Van Pelt (USA) 73 68 66 66

274 Hunter Mahan (USA) 68 71 69 66, Adam Scott (Australia) 69 63 71 71
275 Kyle Stanley (USA) 68 71 68 68, Phil Mickelson (USA) 70 73 63 69, Ryan Moore (USA) 68 68 69 70, Blake Adams (USA) 70 67 68 70, Jerry Kelly (USA) 66 69 68 72, Brendan Steele (USA)69 67 67 72
276 Steve Marino (USA) 67 72 68 69, Zach Johnson (USA) 68 69 69 70, Ernie Els (RSA) 70 65 71 70, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 74 67 64 71, Bubba Watson (USA) 68 64 70 74

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