Simpson seizes two-stroke Greenbrier lead

US Open champion Webb Simpson closed with back-to-back birdies Saturday to stretch his lead in the USPGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic to two strokes after three rounds.

Simpson posted a five-under par 65 that included five birdies and no bogeys for a 54-hole total of 14-under par 196.

That put him two strokes in front of Troy Kelly, who had eight birdies in an impressive eight-under 62 on the Old White TPC course for a 12-under total of 198.

It was a further stroke back to Ken Duke (65), Charlie Beljan (67) and JB Holmes (66) on 199.

Simpson, who claimed his first major title with his US Open triumph at The Olympic Club in San Francisco last month, has played 48 straight holes without a bogey -- his last miscue coming at his sixth hole of the first round.

He birdied four of his last six holes on Saturday to gain a bit of breathing room atop the leaderboard, but 20 players were within six shots of his lead.

Although the bunched field promised an unpredictable Sunday, two players Simpson won't have to worry about are Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Both missed the cut on Friday.

It was Woods's second missed cut of the season but just the ninth of his pro career. Simpson said he was not sorry that the 14-time major champion wasn't going to be around.

"When he's not lurking around on Saturdays and Sundays, it makes it a little easier, I think, for other guys," Simpson said.

Simpson said he fully expects someone to come out of the pack and challenge him on Sunday.

"The way I look at it is, I've got to go shoot under par. And if I don't, somebody's probably going to (play) pretty good. I think the golf course is playing in such a way that there's plenty of birdie opportunities."

Simpson briefly led this tournament going into the back nine of the final round last year. He faded to finish equal ninth.

"I realized shortly after the round that I wanted it so bad that it kind of put more pressure on myself than the pressure I was already feeling," he said. "So it kind of locked me up a little bit and I wasn't able to perform like I had been all week."

It's a lesson he's tried to remember, and since that disappointment he's gone from strength to strength.

On Saturday he stayed patient with six straight pars before nabbing his first birdie of the day at the seventh.

He regained the lead from Kelly with his fourth birdie of the day at 17, where he drained a six-foot putt, and then rolled in a 20-foot birdie putt at the par-three finishing hole.

Among his pursuers, both Kelly and Holmes are coming back from medical battles.

Kelly had hip-replacement surgery in September 2010 after being diagnosed with arthritis.

Holmes had brain surgery in September 2011 after vertigo symptoms led to a diagnosis of Chiari malformations -- a structural defect in the part of the brain that controls balance. He returned to the tour in January.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes
    ‘Taklub’ wins jury prize in Cannes

    The Yolanda-inspired film “Taklub” has won a special award at the Cannes Film Festival in France. The advocacy film, which had a successful premiere last Tuesday under the festival’s Un Certain Regard section, is directed by 2009 Cannes best director Brillante Mendoza and top-billed by Nora Aunor. The award cited the film’s sensitive portrayal of individuals and communities in the Philippines fighting to continue living despite natural disasters exposing them to suffering and death. …

  • Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam
    Orphan tops chemical engineering board exam

    A 21-year-old orphan from Capiz topped the chemical engineering board examinations held this month. Remington Salaya, a cum laude graduate of the Central Philippine University in Iloilo, ranked first in the board examinations with a score of 83.30 percent. Out of 405 chemical engineering graduates who took the exam in mid-May, 239 passed. …

  • A sunset party for APEC delegates
    A sunset party for APEC delegates

    Greeted by the beat of Ati-atihan drummers, delegates of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation trade ministers meeting enjoyed a welcome dinner and cultural presentation at sunset yesterday. Dubbed FuntaSea, Shangri-La Boracay Resort and Spa’s Banyugan Beach was transformed into a fantasy island, complete with mermaids, fire dancers, and choreographed paraws (sailboat) representing the best of Boracay. With APEC meetings being held all over the Philippines, each presentation is conceptualized …

  • UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute
    UN chief urges peaceful solution of sea dispute

    United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called Friday for a peaceful solution to territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where China’s increased assertiveness has alarmed its smaller neighbors. In Manila, Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. appealed to China to respect various international agreements on freedom of navigation and aviation. Coloma’s call came in the wake of an incident Wednesday where Chinese naval forces warned a US …

  • Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center
    Phl seeks transparency, inclusivity in Asean-China Center

    Philippine Ambassador to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Elizabeth Buensuceso has called on participants of the ASEAN-China Center (ACC) brainstorming session to vigorously work on promoting ASEAN-China relations under the principles of inclusivity, transparency and centrality. The brainstorming session, attended by the ACC’s joint council and joint executive board members, also involved a midterm review of ACC’s work since its establishment in 2011. The ACC aims to promote …

  • Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation
    Lebanon tightens rules on HSW repatriation

    Distressed Filipino domestic helpers in Lebanon may find it more difficult to return home. The government of Lebanon has tightened the rules on repatriation of distressed household service workers (HSWs), Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz reported yesterday. Citing a report from the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), Baldoz said the Lebanese government opted to re-impose a previous policy requiring investigation into every case of HSWs who ran away from their employers and sought …

  • Army execs face attrition over promotion quota
    Army execs face attrition over promotion quota

    Dozens of Philippine Army officials may be removed from the service due to a promotion quota system in the Armed Forces of the Philippines, according to AFP chief Gen. Gregorio Pio Catapang. In a letter to Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, he requested that the 30 percent promotion quota – which means that only 30 percent of those eligible for promotion in a given year will actually be promoted – in the Army be raised to 50 percent. Under the military’s attrition law, middle-grade officers …

  • Philippines backs support for small enterprises at APEC meet

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' top trade official on Saturday called for support for the integration of micro, small and medium enterprises in global trade, which he said would help reduce poverty and inequality in the Asia-Pacific region. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options