Webb Simpson rides late surge to win RBC Heritage

Webb Simpson birdied five of six holes down the stretch Sunday, then parred No. 18 to edge Mexico’s Abraham Ancer by one stroke and win the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, S.C.

Simpson, along with Ancer one of four players tied for the 54-hole lead, shot a 7-under 64 in the final round at Harbour Town Golf Links, his best round of the tournament. That gave him a four-round total of 22-under 262. Ancer shot a 6-under 65 — his second straight 65 — on Sunday.

Daniel Berger — who won last weekend’s Charles Schwab Challenge — finished tied for third with England’s Tyrrell Hatton at 20 under. Berger shot a final-round 65 while Hatton, another of the 54-hole co-leaders, shot a 66. Spain’s Sergio Garcia (65) and Chile’s Joaquin Niemann (65) tied for fifth at 19 under.

American Ryan Palmer, the other golfer tied for first entering the day, shot a 2-under 69 on Sunday to finish tied for eighth at 17 under. Brooks Koepka shot a 65 on Sunday to finish at alone in seventh at 18 under.

Webb Simpson
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

For Simpson, the win was his seventh on the PGA Tour and his second this season, following his win at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

He attributed his strong play Sunday to the fact that the rest of the leaderboard would make any slip-up costly.

“I think it’s a good thing that guys were making birdies because they kind of forced me to be a little more aggressive and know that pars weren’t going to cut it,” said Simpson, who birdied holes 12, 13 and 15 through 17 after making birdie on only two of the first 11 holes. “I was only 2 under through 11 holes today for the round and had to make birdies.

“It’s typically not a golf course where you can force it, but today after the storm, it softened things out, not much wind, we could go attacking. Guys kept making birdies. I was blown away with the scores, but there I hit my run, 12 through 17, and ultimately that’s what made the difference.”

Despite missing the cut last week at the Schwab, Simpson has been one of the hottest golfers on tour. He has two wins, a second, a third and five top 10s in seven starts this season.

“Big props to Webb,” Ancer said after his round. “He played amazing down the stretch, especially in the end. But, yeah, tons of positives this week.”

Despite the solid showing, however, Ancer lamented just missing out on his first PGA Tour win.

“Yeah, it’s tough,” he said, “especially like this week, when I felt like I was right there during the weekend, hitting it even more than enough to win. That’s just golf. You’ve just got to keep trying. I’m not going to change anything or work on anything. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, and I think that will eventually happen.”

Weather caused a delay of nearly three hours with the leaders on the early holes. South Africa’s Dylan Frittelli posted a career-best 9-under 62 to grab the early clubhouse lead before the pause.

Frittelli’s round was the best of the tournament and vaulted him from a tie for 47th to start the day.

The 30-year-old with one career PGA Tour win (2019 John Deere Classic) birdied seven of his final 10 holes and finished the day in the group at 17 under, tied for eighth.

“My putting was solid,” Frittelli told reporters.

“I missed, I guess, one short-ish one and one medium range one on 16. Besides that, I felt like everything was pretty much a tap-in; didn’t feel like I had to make too many. That’s kind of the strength of my game anyway. So I look back and think, ‘Oh, it’s just a normal round of golf, hit it where I saw it and make the odd putt,’ but I’m extremely proud of the way I played today.”

Nonetheless, Frittelli knew his score wouldn’t hold up once players got back on the course.

“The court setup is not very tough today,” he said. “With the top players in the world playing here, there’s going to be someone that’s going to shoot 4 or 5 under. I’m going to go home and pack my bags. I’ll have a spare set of clothes on standby in case I need to rush back for a playoff. I’ll probably be sipping something cold by the time they’re finishing.”

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)