Webb Simpson shoots a 63 to take 5 shot lead at The Players

Filed under: Florida News,Golf,Orlando Golf,Sport |

The Players Championship 2018, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach - 10th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Webb Simpson (pictured above) took charge of The Players Championship on Friday as he shot an exciting course record 63 to go 15 under overall and take a five-stroke lead going to the weekend.

Simpson, 32, became just the seventh player at T.P.C. Sawgrass to shoot a 63, a score first recorded by Fred Couples in 1992 and last posted by Colt Knost in 2016 as he recorded nine birdies and an eagle in the round. His 15-under 129 also tied a tournament record, which was set by Jason Day two years ago.

Chasing a purse of $1.98 million for winning The Players, Simpson had the opportunity to go even lower and possibly card a 59 but a double-bogey 5 on No. 17 brought Simpson’s momentum to a swift end. After making eagle at the second hole, Simpson went out in 5-under 31. Then he got really hot as he made six birdies in a row at Nos. 11-16 and stood on the 17th tee box at 17 under par with a seven-stroke lead. He needed to go birdie-birdie for a 59 or par-par for the course record by two.

As so often has happened in the past the 17th hole interfered. After calling caddie Paul Tesori in several times to judge the wind and discuss club selection, Simpson rocked one off the railroad ties circling one of the most famous holes in golf. Sadly, the ball leapt into the air, lobbed over the green and plopped into the water and the chance for one of the all-time iconic rounds on this famous course went by the wayside.

“I didn’t know the record,” Simpson said after the round. “I figured I was probably close. But to be honest, I cared more about having a good routine and hitting a good shot in this golf tournament than the record. The records are just bonuses to good play. It wasn’t really in my thoughts as much as probably everybody else’s.”

The Players Championship 2018, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach - 11th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Elsewhere Rickie Fowler (pictured above) had the misfortune to see his ball get stuck some 30 feet in the air in a pine tree on the right of the sixth fairway. At that point he was 5 under on the round and 3 under for the week and in good shape to make the cut. A portion of his golf ball was clearly visible from ground level and surrounding fans seemed sure it was his but given there were no identifying marks on the ball Fowler had to take a golf cart back to the tee box to hit a provisional. The set back seemed to affect the 29 year old and he went onto miss the cut.

The Players Championship 2018, TPC Sawgrass, Ponte Vedra Beach - 11th May 2018 (Photographer: Nigel G Worrall)

Also missing the cut were Phil Mickelson (+8), Martin Kaymer (+1), Rory McIlroy (+1) while just making the cut line at -1 was Tiger Woods (pictured above) who has never previously missed the cut at The Players. Woods made two birdies, one bogey and 15 pars in his round and afterwards he said “I didn’t quite swing it right today, and I didn’t quite have the shape, ball flight. I didn’t have much of what I wanted. With these greens as soft as they are, I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities I had today to really shoot a good number.”

 

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