Sunday, May 01, 2011

Simpson Proved Himself To Be A Winner In New Orleans

   Webb Simpson did the right thing Sunday afternoon and while it may have cost him the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, it won't cost him in the long run.

   Simpson, who moved with his wife,  Dowd, to Charlotte last August, was leading the New Orleans tournament by one stroke over his friend Bubba Watson Sunday when his ball moved as he addressed a six-inch par putt on the 15th hole. The rule may not be fair -- Simpson didn't cause the ball to move, the wind apparently did -- but golf's rules are sacrosanct so he paid the one-stroke penalty and ultimately lost to Watson on the second hole of a sudden-death playoff.

   It was one of those moments the player gets it right no matter how painful the cost. Simpson was trying to win his first PGA Tour event but he saw the violation immediately and called for a rules official. He had a stroke added on the 15th hole, turning a par into a bogey, and it was the difference in holding his first trophy and the accompanying Masters invitation and a second-place finish to a friend.

   That's the thing about golf. It's about calling your own violations. It's not like basketball or football where players and teams are always trying to influence officials to make a call -- or not make a call -- without getting it right. Golfers, the overwhelming majority of them anyway, want to get it right. The game gets easier with a clear conscience.

   Simpson has been close a few times now and hasn't yet won his first tournament but he won a legion of admirers Sunday for how he handled a difficult situation. Hopefully, he knows how much of a winner he was on Sunday in New Orleans.


Geprge Hanson said...

He did in fact win back a few detractors yesterday...seems like a good kid.

But coming down the stretch in Tampa he was so miserably/incredibly slow that he put a LOT of people off. Yesterday it didn't seem to be as much of a problem, let's hope he keeps working on that.