Julie Jacobson / AP)
Las Vegas — Webb Simpson got the fast start he has looking for — in the final round at TPC Summerlin and in the PGA Tour’s new wraparound season.
Simpson birdied two of the first three holes Sunday, pulling away for a six-stroke win in the second event of the season.
“One over through three yesterday and 2 under today felt like a huge difference,” Simpson said. “And it was because it really let me slow down and pace myself, and you know, try to let the guys come after me.”
Winning for the first time since the 2012 U.S. Open, Simpson closed with a 5-under 66 in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He finished at 24-under 260 after opening with rounds of 64, 63 and 67 to take a four-stroke lead into the final round.
“As we were going kind of middle of the round, pins were tough, greens were drying out and I knew it would take a really special round for somebody to shoot 7, 8 under,” Simpson said.
“So, I felt like I was in control, and I asked my caddie, once I hit it on the green on 17 where we stood. And I was just thankful that I was able to kind of manage my golf ball the last couple rounds.”
Simpson earned $1.08 million for his fourth PGA Tour title. In addition to the U.S. Open last year at The Olympic Club, he won the Wyndham Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship in 2011.
Ryo Ishikawa and Jason Bohn tied for second. Ishikawa, the Japanese player who had to play the Web.com Tour Finals to regain his PGA Tour card, shot a 65.
“I wish I could made a couple putts, like three putts,” Ishikawa said. “I missed a lot of putts this week, like 10 feet, 15 feet, 20 feet. I missed a lot. But still, I’m pretty happy with that result.”
Bohn had a 66.
Charley Hoffman was fourth at 17 under after a 64.
“When you get that far up the leaderboard every putt you make is worth big dollars and big FedEx Cup points,” Hoffman said. “So, to get the year started off on the right foot, you always want to make those putts.”
Chesson Hadley, second entering the final round, had a 70 to drop into a tie for fifth at 16 under with Luke Guthrie, Troy Matteson and Charles Howell III.
“I was certainly nervous out there today, but I was able just to kind of hang in there,” Hadley said.
Guthrie and Matteson shot 64, and Howell had a 65. Matteson had seven straight birdies — on Nos. 9-15 — to fall one short of the tournament record set by Jerry Kelly in 2003.
“It was a really good ball-striking round,” Matteson said. “As a matter of fact, when I got to 16, I thought I was going to get that eighth one and I ended up hitting the pin and almost going into the lake, so I would have had a tap-in there. But you know what, all in all it’s a great end to my week. I didn’t quite figure it out in the middle (of the tournament), but I certainly put it together today.”
Keb Hanabank Championship
Amy Yang made a 15-foot birdie putt on the first hole of a playoff with South Korean compatriot Hee Kyung Seo to win the KEB HanaBank Championship.
Yang won her first LPGA Tour title, finishing with a 3-under 69 to match Seo at 9-under 207 on Sky 72 Golf Club's Ocean Course. Seo closed with a 68.
Michelle Wie, who started the round tied for 22nd, surged up the leaderboard with six birdies for the day's lowest score of 66. She tied for third at 8 under with 2012 champion Suzann Pettersen of Norway and South Korea's Sei Young Kim. Pettersen had a 70, and Kim shot 69.
Greater Hickory Classic
Michael Allen won the Greater Hickory Classic for his second Champions Tour title of the year and fifth overall, beating Olin Browne with a birdie on the first hole of a playoff.
Allen closed with a 5-under 65, also birdieing the par-5 18th in regulation to match Browne at 13-under 197 at Rock Barn. Browne shot a 64, charging to the lead with seven birdies over a nine-hole stretch.
In the playoff, Allen put his second shot within 10 feet, and Browne hooked his second shot badly into the rough off the green. Allen's eagle putt just lipped out, and he tapped in for birdie. Browne missed a 40-foot putt for birdie and settled for par.
Second-round leader Bernhard Langer had a 69 to finish third at 11 under. He cut Kenny Perry's lead in the Charles Schwab Cup standings to 394 points with two events remaining. Perry, who entered the tournament with a 609-point lead, tied for 20th at 4 under after a 69.