Webb Simpson / Associated PressWebb Simpson's no longer considered an under the radar guy -- winning a U.S. Open changed everything -- but coming into the Greenbrier Classic, it wasn't like anyone was really paying a lot of attention to the 26-year-old with Tiger Woods (his playing partner for the first two rounds) and Phil Mickelson in the field.
Despite winning three times in the last 12 months, Simpson still seems to get overlooked as a good but not great player with a solid game. If you want a prime example of the lack of respect he's received recently, Simpson was passed over for PGA Tour Player of the Month honors in June -- Tiger Woods won the award -- despite the fact he, you know, actually won what many consider to be the toughest test on the schedule.
But after another flawless round at the Greenbrier, maybe it's time everyone started giving Simpson a little more respect. Going quietly about his business for the first two days, the U.S. Open champ posted a flawless 5-under 65 on Saturday at the Old White TPC, his second straight bogey-free round of the week.
Going back to the 15th hole of the opening round, Simpson's now gone 48 holes this week without a bogey on his card, an impressive feat that tells you everything you need to know about the state of Simpson's game at the moment: he's playing on a different level than most of his peers. Heading into the final round with a two-shot lead, there's a good chance we could be talking about Simpson as a winner of multiple events on tour for the second straight year by Sunday evening.
Not only that, a win would also be his second in his last three starts. Tiger Woods may be the best golfer in the world at the moment -- assuming wins, not current form, are the measuring stick -- but Simpson's quietly turned into a force to be reckoned with over the last 12 months.
We've been looking for a twentysomething to break out of the pack, and at the moment, it would appear as if Simpson's that guy. Another win on Sunday would certainly solidify that statement.