Golf Claps & Silent Treatment: Wyndham Championship
“D’oh!” – Homer Simpson.
“Dough!” – Webb Simpson.
That’s dough, as in a $936,000 check the latter collected for winning the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C. Cash is sure to keep rolling in for the talented 26-year-old, whose victory looks like the first of many.
Simpson – Webb, that is – had been building up to his moment all season. He carried a pair of runner-up finishes and a slew of top-25s into the event, which he calmly won with a bogey-free 67 on Sunday.
He’s now earned more than $3.6 million in this, his third full season on Tour. Something tells us he won’t be working at the nearest nuclear plant any time soon.
On to our weekly round-up of those we applaud, and those who left us appalled:
- Elongated putters: Here we go again. By using a belly putter, Simpson became the third consecutive winner relying on a flat-stick that doesn’t fit traditional dimensions. Long putters were once considered a last resort for aging pros with shaky hands and achy backs; not anymore. Simpson (26), PGA champ Keegan Bradley (25) and WGC-Bridgestone winner Adam Scott (31) are a long way from the Champions Tour.
- Carolina golfers: Simpson was raised in Raleigh and played college golf at Wake Forest. Third-place finisher Tommy Gainey hails from the “other” Carolina – Bishopville, S.C., to be exact. Carl Petterson, a Swede who played at North Carolina State, tied for fourth while Tar Heel State standard bearer Davis Love III posted a solid T12. Nothing like a little home cooking.
- Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and William McGirt: Your final qualifiers for the FedEx Cup are a pair of three-time major champs and… Some other guy. McGirt is a Tour rookie with just one top-20 all year, but he slipped into the 125th and final spot with a T52 showing in Greensboro. By the way, McGirt is from Fairmont, N.C.
- Ernie Els: Yep, the Big Easy lands on both lists this week. The silence is for Els’ final-round 72, a 2-over dud that dropped him from contention to a tie for 30th. Gotta say, we miss watching that Sinatra-smooth swing when things get tight on the weekend. Here’s hoping Ernie regains his form soon.
- Justin Leonard: The longtime stalwart played his way out of the FedEx Cup with a bogey on the 72nd hole. Good for McGirt, bad for Leonard, a 12-time winner who missed the playoff series for the first time since its 2007 inception.
- The two-gloves look: Sorry, Tommy Gainey, but the only thing worse than watching a pro wield a long putter is watching one wear a pair of gloves. Looks like you’re about to grab a hot pan from the oven.