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Webb Simpson eager to build on Players triumph

 

By Robert Johnson

Webb Simpson jumped from 41st to 20th in the world rankings with his victory at the Players Championship on Sunday, still far from superstar territory in a sport with room for only a handful of household names.

Tiger Woods, at 42, will no doubt dominate the golf landscape until he retires while 20-somethings Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have all occupied top spot at a young age.

Masters champion Patrick Reed and Dustin Johnson, World No.1 before Thomas deposed him on Sunday, were all but ignored by fans, media and the television cameras alike at TPC Sawgrass, so Simpson would seem to have little chance of being more than a 24-hour story.

If capturing a US Open at 26 did not earn Simpson fame, a Players Championship six years later is unlikely to do so either.

But he is among a group of players fractionally below the top echelon, capable of winning when they put all facets of the game together at the same time.

Simpson probably would have won more than five times on the PGA Tour but for the rule change two years ago that banned anchoring long putters against chests.

"I've never putted this well in my life," Simpson said after cruising to a four-stroke victory with an 18-under 270 total.

"This is probably the first time I can say I'm glad they banned it (anchoring), because I probably wouldn't have ever swayed away from the belly putter. To unlearn a skill in the middle of your career was the biggest challenge.

"I want to build on this and be in contention more in big tournaments. I think this will help."

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