Simpson sizzles with a 63 to take charge in Vegas

Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:27pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson wielded a red-hot putter as he piled up nine birdies to charge into a four-shot lead in Friday's second round of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas.

American Simpson, who teed off at the par-four 10th hole, had only one bogey on his way to an eight-under-par 63 at the TPC Summerlin in the second event of the PGA Tour's 2013-14 season.

The North Carolina native, who won last year's U.S. Open at Olympic Club in San Francisco, birdied five of his last nine holes to post a 15-under total of 127.

Fellow Americans Jeff Overton (68), Jason Bohn (64), JJ Henry (71) and Chesson Hadley (66) plus Australian John Senden (66) share second place four off the lead at 11-under.

Bohn matched Simpson's nine birdies but carded a double bogey five on the penultimate hole to drop back.

"The ball was really going far," Simpson, 28, told Golf Channel after hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation and needing only 24 putts.

"I was wondering why scores were so low yesterday but the course played a little shorter than I thought it would.

"I just putted well and kept it going. I think guys are going to keep making birdies so I've got to keep the hammer down."

The TPC Summerlin regularly yields low scores in the high Nevada desert where fine weather, thin air and smooth greens usually lead to birdies galore. American Ryan Moore won last year's title with a 24-under total and also shot a 63 on Friday to move into a tie for seventh at 10-under.   Continued...

U.S. team member Webb Simpson hits from a bunker on the 14th hole as he plays International player Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa during the Singles matches for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes