It was another Father’s Day that Webb Simpson will not forget after earning a victory today in the final round of the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head, South Carolina. This was the second time that Father’s Day proved to bring good fortune to Simpson, the first was eight years ago at the U.S. Open.
The only missing for Simpson was the sound of his father’s laugh, which was how his father shared his joy when learning his son won the U.S. Open. In honour of his late father, Simpson wore yellow as it was his Dad’s favourite colour.
After a storm delayed the day by three hours and nearly brought an end to the final round, there were nine players remaining, and all vying to take the lead with an hour remaining in play. However, Webb Simpson managed to pull ahead in the back nine after scoring five birdies over six holes to finish the day ahead of Abraham Ancer by one shot.
Simpson, who finished the tournament at 22-under 264, set a tournament record taking two shots off the 2009 record set by Brian Gay. Commenting in post-match interviews, Simpson said,
“I think it’s a good thing that guys were making birdies because they kind of forced me to be a little more aggressive and know that pars weren’t going to cut it.”
Canadian Corey Conners, who hails from Listowel, Ontario’s began the day two strokes behind the leader however faltered to finish at 14 under in 21st. Abbotsford, B.C’s Adam Hadwin ended his round at 11 under, while fellow Canadian Mackenzie Hughes ended his day at 3 under and tied for 70th. Father’s Day is usually reversed for the U.S. Open’s final round, however, due to COVID-19, it was moved to September, a first since 1976. The pandemic saw its course shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. However, the RBC Heritage was scheduled in as its replacement. For Simpson, who himself has five children, it was his second win of the year. Commenting, Simpson said,
“I won The Players on Mother’s Day after my dad passed away, and that was really special. That was an emotional win. U.S. Open on Father’s Day, I’ll never forget calling my dad after on the way to the press conference, and when he picked up the phone, he just was laughing. That’s kind of what he did when he was happy, he would just laugh. So I’m going to miss that laugh today for sure. But I thought a lot about him. This morning I thought about him, and when I was on the golf course, I thought about him. … He loved golf. He would have loved watching today.”
There was no doubt, the top three put on a show. Simpson, Tyrrell Hatton and Joaquin Niemann were all tied at 20 under during the middle of the round. Ultimately, it was down to who would gain the advantage, and after Simpson pulled ahead, he was hounded by Ancer, every step of the way only finishing one shot ahead. His chances to win his first PGA title came on the 18th after his putt fell short. Commenting, Ancer said,
“That’s just golf. You’ve just got to keep trying. I’m not going to change anything or work on anything. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and I think that will eventually happen.”
Daniel Berger also managed to stay in the fight after scoring a birdie on the 17th and finishing his day with a 65. Tyrrell Hatton, who hasn’t won a PGA title since Arnold Palmer Invitational victory was in the lead at one point but bogied on the 13th hole and instead had to settle for a third place finish.
Simpson saw his ranking jumping to No. 5 in February after winning the Phoenix Open in February. For sports punters, this is valuable as the PGA gets into full swing, especially if they are looking for a new sports betting partner such as bet365, a top-rated bookmaker and casino. The Tour will now move onto the Travelers Championship in Connecticut, but due to the coronavirus, it is still unknown who will be playing.