PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Webb Simpson, you may remember him as the winner of the the U.S. Open 2012, thrashed his way around TPC Sawgrass on Friday at The Players Championship. He made a mockery of the course and left everyone in his wake.
Simpson’s nine-under, 63 tied for lowest round at The Players Championship. The mark is held by six others: Colt Knost – 2016, Jason Day – 2016, Fred Couples – 1992, Greg Norman – 1994, Roberto Castro – 2013, Martin Kaymer – 2014. His five-stroke lead over the field is the largest in Players Championship history. He bested the previous mark — set by Jason Day in 2016 — by one-stroke.
On the back nine, Simpson went off and made six straight birdies from holes 11 through 16. That stretch included holing a difficult putt from off the green:
Simpson then faced the lovely 17th hole that doesn’t care who you are or how big your lead is. The result was a tee shot that came up just short enough to hit the front bulkhead, bounce onto the back of the green, and roll into the water. After chipping from the drop zone, he walked away with a double-bogey and moved back to nine-under for the day.
The 17th stole his chance at the course record, but he will still enter the weekend with a sizable lead.
Unfortunately for Tiger Woods, the cut line moved to two-under and it looks like may not be around for the weekend, as he sits in the clubhouse at one-under.