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Aug. 21, 2011
GREENSBORO, N.C. - Former Wake Forest All-American Webb Simpson shot a bogey-free final round 67 at the Wyndham Championship on Sunday to claim his first PGA Tour victory. Simpson shot rounds of 66-65-64-67 to finish at 18-under par.
The 2008 Wake Forest graduate started Sunday's final round with a two-shot lead over playing partner Tommy Gainey. Simpson had struggled on the opening holes earlier in the week but he made eight-straight pars and still held a one-shot lead. He kicked started the round with a birdie at No. 9 to make the turn with a two-shot advantage over past Wyndham champion Carl Pettersson and John Mallinger.
Five more pars to start the back nine solidified his lead and back-to-back birdies on Nos. 15 and 16 gave him a three-shot cushion with two holes to play. A solid par on No. 17 and a good drive on No. 18 let him enjoy the walk to his first victory on tour. He finished three-shots clear of George McNeill, who shot a 64.
Simpson's tournament got off to a rough start on Thursday afternoon, as he was 3-over par through the first four holes. But he got going with an eagle at No. 5 and back-to-back birdies at Nos. 6 and 7 to make the turn in 1-under. He would finish the day with a 4-under 66 and was tied for eighth.
On Friday, the Raleigh, N.C. native posted a brilliant bogey-free 65, which included an eagle on the par-5 fifth for the second-straight day. Simpson was 9-under par through 36 holes and found himself in the final pairing with Gainey.
Saturday's third round started off a little rocky as bogeys on Nos. 1 and 4 dropped Simpson to 7-under par and five shots behind Gainey. He then picked-up a pair of birdies on Nos. 5 and 8 to make the turn at even-par 35. After three-straight pars on Nos. 10, 11 and 12, the fun started at the short par-4 13th. Simpson made birdies at Nos. 13 and 14 and then stuck his approach to the par-5 15th to within five-feet for his third eagle of the week. That vaulted him into a tie for the lead but Simpson wasn't done. Another good approach to No. 16 gave him another birdie and he would then close out the round with a birdie at No. 17 and a solid par at No. 18 for a third-round 64.
Simpson has enjoyed a tremendous 2011 season. On top of becoming a father for the first time in February, the 2008 Wake Forest graduate has posted a total of seven top-10s and earned over $3.6 million. He is currently No. 3 in the FedEx Cup Standings heading into the first playoff event next week. The top-5 in the standings heading into the opening event control their own destiny when it comes to the $10 million first prize. Simpson also moved into the top-10 of the Presidents Cup standings with the win. The Presidents Cup is being played at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
This is the third Demon Deacon to win the Wyndham Championship in its 72-year history. Lanny Wadkins claimed the title at Forest Oaks Country Club in 1983 and Scott Hoch followed in his footsteps with a victory in 2001.
Simpson was a four-time All-American for the Demon Deacons from 2005-08. He is one of just five men's golfers in school-history to earn All-America honors all four years. Simpson played in a total of 45 events for the Deacs and had a career scoring average of 71.9. He recorded three victories and 14 top-5 finishes. The opening round 62 he fired at the 2007 Western Refining All-American Classic is the lowest 18-hole score in school-history.