Webb Simpson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open with a pair of timely putts—one to get into a playoff and then another on the first hole of sudden death with Tony Finau to grab his sixth PGA Tour title.
Simpson won the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club using an anchored stroke with a Ping Craz-E belly putter. When anchoring was outlawed starting in 2016, Simpson famously broke the shaft of that putter as a signal that he needed to move on. After trying a conventional stroke for a while, Simpson returned to a mid-length putter, Odyssey’s Tank Cruiser V-Line Mid, that he uses in a conforming, arm-lock style, something he discussed with Golf Digest in 2018.
“To be honest, it took me a while to understand all the rules about where it can and cannot be in relation to the elbow joint,” Simpson said. “The butt of the putter isn’t technically anchored to anything. So I’m not sure I was surprised it was allowed, but I’m glad it’s legal.”
Simpson used that putter to hole a 17-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to force the playoff, and then a similar length in overtime.
Simpson’s bag is not typical of most PGA Tour pros as he carries a driver, two fairway woods and a pair of hybrids, starting his iron set at the 5-iron and only carrying two wedges along with a pitching wedge.
“With the new tech in these hybrids, I can get the desired height that I want with them,” Simpson told Golf Digest last year. “Also … with the modern ball being less spinny, I can flight them down if I need to. Week in and week out we play in wind but the greens are firm. So you don’t always want to hit it low and you don’t always want to flight it high. I’m able to do both with these hybrids, whereas if I had the 4-iron to match my set I wouldn’t be able to hit it high enough. It’s a perfect combo of height, but not spinny height.”
Simpson also is a player who sticks with one grind rather than adapting to conditions. “I have a K-Grind on my 60-degree. Guys will change wedges at different venues as the conditions change, but I don’t ever change.”
Except when it comes to success in playoffs. Simpson was 1-5 in overtime prior to the Waste Management Phoenix Open and had lost his last four before beating Finau on Sunday. Sometimes, change can be good.
What Webb Simpson had in the bag at the Waste Management Phoenix Open
Ball: Titlist Pro V1
Driver: Titleist TS3 (Mitsubishi Tensei AV 65TX, 10.5 degrees
3-wood: Titleist TS2, 15 degrees
5-wood: Titleist 913Fd, 18 degrees
Hybrids: Titleist 913Hd (20 degrees); Titleist 915Hd, 23.5 degrees
Irons (5-PW): Titleist 620 MB
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (54 degrees); Titleist Vokey prototype (60 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Tank Cruiser V-Line Mid