Michael Thompson Stephen Morton/AP/Press Association Images
Steady Progress

Thompson leads, Simpson is two off the pace

Webb Simpson is in touch with the leader at the second-last PGA Tour event of the year. Round of the day, however, was Trevor Immelman’s.

WEBB SIMPSON HAS kept himself in contention at the McGladrey Classic in Georgia, shooting a one-under-par round of 69 to share a tie for third.

The American is hoping to battle for the PGA Tour money title with current leader Luke Donald next week at the season-ending Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Disney, and a good finish on Sunday will set up the dual nicely.

A bogey-free round of 67 has Michael Thompson top of the leaderboard overnight on -13, three birdies early on in his day enough to set the pace at Seaside Course. Billy Horschel is second, having led the event at the finish of play on Friday, and is one stroke behind Thompson and one ahead of Trevor Immelman and Simpson.

A superb eight-under round of 62 moved South African Immelman right up into the leading groups – his efforts capped off in superb fashion as an eagle on 15 became part of a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie run on the back nine. He also started off with third birdies in four holes and only a bogey on the eighth prevented him from collecting a flawless card.

“I can’t say that I’ve ever done that before. In fact, I think this is my lowest competitive round ever, 62, so really happy with it,” Immelman told reporters afterwards. “It was a great day. We had some breeze to start, but it really lied down for us the last five or six holes. Got some putts to go in, so it was great.”

Simpson, for his part, had a mixed day – his three birdies outnumbering two bogeys – and he admitted afterwards that 35 putts was simply too high to be able to challenge for victory.

“We struggled on the greens all day reading putts,” he explained. “We were just pretty much getting fooled on every one, and 18 kind of summed it up. Hit a lot of good putts that didn’t go in. Good news is we’re hitting it great and keeping it in play. Good news for (Sunday).”

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