Webb Simpson Wins Wyndham, Proclaims Christ Lord and Savior
You probably don’t know James Frederick Simpson. If you are a fan of the PGA Tour you know him simply as ‘Webb’. Webb Simpson won the Wyndham Championship at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. He lives only an hour and fifteen minutes from the club so he had the advantage of playing before a hometown crowd.
I was watching the tournament off and on all day but finally the dreaded chore of mowing the lawn beckoned me. Not a pleasant task in 95 degrees heat that feels like 150 degrees when you’re mowing the lawn and missing an exciting golf tournament. I called a time-out to watch the 18th hole. By that time Webb had the win wrapped up. I watched him pocket $936,000 as he shot a 3 under 67 to win by three strokes. His wife, Dowd, holding his infant son, James, met him in a warm family embrace on the 18th.
I was about to return to my dreadful task when the on-course reporter, David Feherty, interrupted the celebration. When he asked about his win, Webb was quick to give glory to his “Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” I was hoping Feherty would ask Webb to expound on his statement about Jesus Christ but that seems to be a topic reporters tend to avoid like the plague. They quickly move on and the mention of his name seems to create an uncomfortable awkwardness for them.
As the sweat and grass clippings dropped from my arms and face I felt a strong sense of pride as a brother in Christ honored our Father. I have no idea how many Christians connected with a him at that moment but I can assure you we are legion.
What kind of man is Webb Simpson? He joins eleven other young players this year with first-time tour victories. He nearly accomplished that in May at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans. Simpson lost a stroke on the 15th hole when he called on a referee to confess that the ball had moved upon his addressing it. I don’t think any other person in the world would have noticed the miniscule movement of that ball but Webb did. His honesty cost him a stroke but secured his integrity. He was tied at the end of regulation and lost in a playoff to Bubba Watson.
What kind of man is Webb Simpson? He is a family man. He loves his family and demonstrates that openly to the whole world. When his son was born earlier this year the new father tweeted: @webbsimpson “ I’m so thankful to God for this day. James is happy and sleeping. I think he likes his Momma more than me” and “Fatherhood so far- truly amazing. Sleep so far- little to none. He’s my little pal already. God is good. Dowd is doing great.” God is central in his life whether he is winning a tournament, hugging his family or looking into the face of his newborn.
Earlier in the week, Mark Stevens asked Webb, who is a graduate and All-American golfer from Wake Forest if his best years were those spent in that school. Webb replied, “, “In terms of the best time of my life, I'm having it right now. I got married and have a baby and playing on the PGA TOUR.”
On Saturday Mark Stevens asked Simpson about his chances of winning the tournament: “You know, the way I look at it, if God wants me to win, then I will. If not, you know, I'll have plenty more opportunities. But I'm just going to rely on my faith and if it's my time, great, we're going to go out there and win my ten shots. If we come up short, then it's just the way it's going to happen.”
Simpson admitted to being nervous in a post-victory interview with John McGinnis. He said he was calmed by the words of the song: “The Lord is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken…”
Some would argue that one’s religion should be a private matter, not something to talk about or mention to others. That is an absurdity to the born-again Christian. We are compelled to “go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere”. When a man marries the love of his life he wants to celebrate and share his joy with family and friends. When a young couple have their first child they want the whole family to share in their joy. When a person experiences forgiveness and genuine relationship with Christ, trying to keep that a secret is like trying to keep a puppy in a shoe box. It’s very difficult if not impossible to do.
I checked Webb’s Facebook page and I found a multitude of comments like these:
“Congratulations, and for giving glory to your Lord as well! May He give you favor while you honor Him!”
“Congratulations!! Not just an amazing game but an amazing testimony to your faith. Well done!”
“Congratulations on the great win today! Thanks for honoring our great Savior as well. Good luck on the quest for the FedEx cup!”
“I can't tell you how much of an inspiration it was to hear you give God the glory the way you did. That's the way to get others to understand that Jesus is Lord! :)”
“Pure Class! Great win and tribute to our Savior”
“I saw the last 4 holes and told my wife there is something about this guy that i like. As soon as u made that putt and honored our Lord & Savior, we said that he's our new favorite player. May God bless u & your family!”
New favorite player indeed. I trudged back out the door to finish mowing my lawn thinking: “Webb Simpson did something Tiger Woods has never done.”