Sometimes stepping back, walking away, and returning to the drawing board offers clarity, and in terms of a one-and-done selection for The McGladrey Classic that has proven to be the case.
Probably my biggest fear about plugging in Webb Simpson was how he would respond in his first start following a win. So, I dug into his trends coming out of his three previous wins.
His first win was the 2011 Wyndham Championship, and he tied for 10th at The Barclays the very next week. The week after that, he won his second title at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
He followed his aforementioned second win at TPC Boston with a fifth at the BMW Championship.
Three starts after his win at the Deutsche Bank, and after taking two weeks off following the TOUR Championship, he lost in a playoff to Ben Crane at The McGladrey Classic.
Following his 2012 U.S. Open win, he tied for 27th at the Travelers Championship, and then took a week off before sharing seventh at The Greenbrier Classic.
So we know several things for sure:
- He has posted a top-seven finish in one of his first two starts immediately following a win.
- His win at the Deutsche Bank Championship came on a quicker turnaround after a win (Wyndham) than what a win this week would be in relation to his win at TPC Summerlin.
- He is coming off a two-week layoff, which is exactly what he came off when he finished P2 in the 2011 McGladrey.
- The 2011 McGladrey was the windiest of the previous three editions, so if wind does come into play it shouldn't be a huge deal.
- He, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson are the indisputable class of the field.
Nothing suggests anything worse than a top 10 for Simpson this week, and you don’t have to dig very hard to find reason to believe he could contend for a win again this week.
I’m rolling with it.
Best of luck!