Spotlight on: Webb Simpson at TPC Summerlin in the Shriners Children’s Open

The past winner is chasing a first win since The Heritage in June 2020.

It's been a tricky year for Webb Simpson.

He started it in a fine run of form, having logged eight top three finishes (two of them wins) in 27 starts from mid-2019 to the end of 2020.

When he logged tied sixth in a WGC event, T12th at the Masters and a top 10 when defending at The Heritage all seemed well.

Then injury hit and ruined his early summer.

He's bounced back with six cuts from his last half dozen starts, four of them top 20s, but a best of tied seventh is down on that stellar form.

Can he revive his best golf at TPC Summerlin this week?

He has plenty of reasons to be hopeful because he claimed the fourth of his seven PGA Tour wins on the course, in 2013, and it was no fluke - he trounced the field by six strokes.

Moreover, as is typical of the North Carolina player, he is very consistent on a course he likes.

So let's take a look at his history with the course, the record book, and how we can profit from it.

Simpson on Summerlin

"I love these greens. I grew up on bent grass greens just like this. I read them well and they're going in, which is nice." (2010)

"This is a golf course where guys can shoot, as we've seen this week, 8, 9, 10, 11-under. So I have to go out with a mindset of attacking and trying to make birdies." (2013)

"I love coming here. It's always great weather, but I love this golf course because it reminds me of the course I grew up playing. You have a lot of options off the tee, and the greens are undulating and fast. I'm comfortable playing this kind of golf." (2014)

"I like it because you have to think your way around this golf course. Other courses, you don't think. You hit driver and you hit it as far as you can. This golf course has doglegs, run-outs, bunkers. The last thing is there is a lot of short holes, so scoring clubs, which is always fun. You got to make some birdies here, which is kind of in my wheelhouse." (2019)

Simpson in the outright

His Summerlin record is undoubtedly strong.

He missed the cut on debut in 2009, but has played four rounds in all nine visits since.

Seven of those nine starts have reaped top 20 finishes with the highlights a pair of fourths and that victory in 2013. He was tied seventh two years ago and T13th last year.

Form-wise he had struggles in early summer, a spell that was prompted by his injury.

But he re-emerged from rehabilitation to land a top 20 at the Open and has added another three since then without missing a cut.

He was T30th in the first event of the 2021/22 season at the Fortinet Championship when tied ninth after 54 holes.

Simpson in the first round

In his last 50 starts he placed (top six) eight times in round one, with one solo and one shared lead.

At Summerlin, however, the stats are fairly uninviting.

In his ten appearances, he's only twice ended the first round in a position better than T20th, when T11th in 2010 and tied sixth ahead of his victory in 2013.

(For what it's worth, he averages 68.70 in round one and 67-something in every other round.)

Simpson's Thursday three-ball

Simpson (6/4) plays with Scottie Scheffler (13/10) and Martin Laird (3/1).

Since the start of 2020 the three-way head-to-head count is 2-4-3 in round one, 3-6-6 in the pre-cut rounds, and 7-9-7 in all rounds.

That's not great news for Simpson and those numbers about his sluggish starts don't help.

Scheffler has carded a 67 and a 69 in his two Thursday visits here, with two 67s in round two - and 74-75 the only time he reached the weekend.

Laird is making his 13th start and has a 63, a 64, a 64 and two 67s in his Thursday log book. He's also shot a 62 and a 63 on Friday.

The outsider might have a chance of pinching this - Laird at 3/1 is the pick in this week's Spotlight On.

Simpson in a matchbet

He's been paired with Sam Burns by PlanetSportBet.

Throughout their careers there is absolutely no doubt that Simpson has an advantage, leading 22-8 in the head-to-head count, and that remains the case since the start of 2020 (10-5).

So why have they been paired?

This is a simple case of course form versus current form.

Simpson leads the Summerlin head-to-head 3-0 (with one tie).

But in 2021 Burns has come of age as a PGA Tour performer and he leads 5-3.

READ MORE: Betting preview: Sam Burns to continue impressive form in the Shriners Children's Open

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