Webb Simpson finds himself on the bubble for the American Ryder Cup team, and has a chance to get himself onto the squad with a strong performance in the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina, this weekend.
Simpson has found plenty of success at the Wyndham over the course of his career, winning his first PGA Tour title there in 2011 and finishing in the top 10 on eight other occasions.
Simpson eyes Ryder Cup berth
Right now, Simpson ranks 13th in the Ryder Cup standings. That puts him among several players that captain Steve Stricker will consider for one of his six discretionary picks. Simpson has never won the Ryder Cup: he was on losing teams in 2012, 2014, and 2018, and missed the team in 2016, when the Americans won at Hazeltine.
“Sitting at home in ’16, it was a bittersweet feeling, I was so bummed not to be there, but I was so happy that we won,” Simpson told Golf Digest. “I remember feeling like I would love to have that experience at least one time in my career. It would be one of those things where I feel like if I was on a winning Ryder Cup team, I would kind of check that off the list because I’ve never experienced it and it would be an amazing feeling and accomplishment.”
If Simpson needs to make a statement, the Wyndham is the perfect place. He loves the tournament so much that he and his wife Dowd named one of their children after the event.
“Our third child we named Wyndham Rose partly because of this golf tournament and just kind of what it means to me and my family,” Simpson told reporters. “So a lot of kind of special factors this week for me.”
Zalatoris needs Wyndham win to reach playoffs
Simpson comes into the event as a +1200 favorite to win the Wyndham Championship, according to FanDuel Sportsbook. He’s closely followed by Hideki Matsuyama (+1500). Last weekend, Matsuyama nearly won the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational while in a three-way playoff with Abraham Ancer and Sam Burns. Matsuyama had a 20-foot birdie putt for the win, but it lipped out. Ancer ultimately won the tournament on the second playoff hole.
Hideki for the win …
Lip out. 😫 pic.twitter.com/pqphgUItZK
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) August 8, 2021
Louis Oosthuizen comes into the Wyndham Championship as the +1800 third choice, with Brian Harman (+2700) also among the top contenders.
One of the biggest storylines at the Wyndham is the fate of Will Zalatoris (+2800). While the 24-year-old has shot up to No. 29 in the world rankings, including a second-place finish at the Masters, he remains a Special Temporary Member on the PGA Tour, meaning he has zero FedEx Cup points.
|Wyndham Championship odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Webb Simpson: +1200||Hideki Matsuyama: +1500|
|Louis Oosthuizen: +1800||Brian Harman: +2700|
|Will Zalatoris: +2800||Sungjae Im: +2900|
|Jason Kokrak: +2900||Russell Henley: +3000|
That means that, despite nearly $4 million in earnings, he won’t take part in the FedEx Cup Playoffs unless he can win this weekend. While other players understand the rules, they say that Zalatoris clearly deserves a spot in the playoff field.
“I think I represent a lot of the players, I mean, that I’ve talked to that we all feel that he should be able to go to the playoffs,” Simpson told reporters. “Nothing that the Tour has done wrong, I just think it’s a rule that really needs to be looked at and revised.”