Simpson Set To Toast Mothers Day With Sawgrass Victory Stats On His Side

Ponte Vedre, Florida …

Webb Simpson heads into Mother’s Day will take a virtual insurmountable seven-shot lead into the final round of the Players Championship at Ponte Vedre in Florida.

Simpson, 32 continues to defy the sceptics in improving on his second round overnight five-shot lead by signing for a day three four-under par 68 and move to 19-under par.

Simpson’s 54-hole leading effort matched that of Australia’s Greg Norman in 1994 and with Norman eventually winning by four.

At the end of day two, Simpson had been five shots clear on three players but now with a round to play in the $11m Simpson is seven shots clear of just one player in New Zealand’s Danny Lee (70) at 10-under par.

World No. 1 Dustin Johnson birdied three of his closing six holes in a 69 to be next best at nine-under but 1- shots adrift of the lead.

Simpson, who has not tasted success for nearly four years, immediately declared his intentions on day three with a birdie at the first and then another at the par-4 fourth to get to 17 under.

He bogeyed the par-3 eighth but promptly recovered that shot with a birdie at the par-5 ninth.

And while the Masters winning duo of Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth went out early on Saturday in shooting similar rounds of 65 to move to eight-under, Simpson was not fazed.

This was no more evident when Simpson pulled off his ‘shot of the day’ at the par-5 11th hole.

Webb Simpson all set to deliver his mother a 2018 Players Chamionship success (Photo @pgatour)

The North Carolina native, and winner of the U.S. Open in 2012, had 248-yards to the flag at 11 but sent his second shot some 33-yards past the hole and into a rear greenside bunker.

But then in yet another stroke of brilliance this week from the current World No. 41 as Simpson proceeded to hole his third shot for an eagle ‘3’.

It sent Simpson to a remarkable 19-under par and then seven shots clear of his rivals

However, Simpson who had seemingly made ‘everything’ on day two then struggled somewhat in playing the three-hole stretch from the 14th to 16th in one-over.

But after finding the water on Friday at the infamous par-3 17th and taking a double-bogey ‘5’,  Simpson brought a huge crowd to their feet in sinking a three-footer for birdie and get back to 19-under and eventually signing for his 68.

“I felt like today was a good day overall but then I wasn’t quite as sharp as I’d like to be,” Simpson said.

“I dropped a couple shots but overall, I felt like we had a great game plan and we stuck to it.

“It was a nice bonus on 11 and a nice one on 18 to finish off the round. All in all, with a five-shot lead, I think it was a good, solid day, but I’d like to clean up those mistakes and come out tomorrow with an even sharper round.”

And with Mother’s Day falling on the final day Simpson revealed he has an added extra incentive to win.

“You know, being Mother’s Day and seeing what my mother has gone through ..  I was with her last week in Charlotte, so this would be an amazing Mother’s Day present for her,” he said.

“But there is still 18 holes to play and I’ve got a lot of work to do.

“I know I have tied records but I don’t think it matters until I win. All those things that have happened, I’d love to know them if I win tomorrow.

“I’m trying not to dwell there. I’m trying to just look forward, you know, do what I always do on a Saturday night of a golf tournament and get ready tomorrow morning, and that’s kind of where I’m at.”

Woods and Spieth will play alongside each other over the final round and with Woods delighted after his lowest score by three shots this year.

“I finally got off to a good start in birdieing the first couple of holes and I just kept it rolling from here,” he said.

“I played a lot of good shots out there today and it was nice to see a few putts go in.

“Overall on the whole day I just hit a lot of quality shots and a 65 was probably the highest I could have shot.

“I felt also a lot more comfortable with my driver and could be a bit more aggressive off the tees and consequently I had a lot of 9-irons and on down into the greens as the ball is just flying forever in this humidly.

“Like at the last I had 196-yards into the green and I was hitting 9-iron and so the ball is going a long way and the golf course is playing short.”

And if there was any disappointment in his round, Woods said it was getting himself to eight-under through 12 holes but then finished at seven-under.

“I mean to be 8-under there through 12, realistically I probably could have got a couple more out of it and got to 10 for the day,” he said.

“That wasn’t that bad a tee shot there at 14 and I ended up in a spot where I had to really, I didn’t have much of a shot. I don’t make birdie at 16. 17’s a sand wedge in there, but I’ll take it.”



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