Webb Simpson secures his 4th sponsor exemption of the PGA Tour season despite criticism from fellow star

THE PLAYERS Championship - Preview Day Three
Webb Simpson gets sponsor exemption for Wells Fargo Championship. (Image via Getty)

Webb Simpson has received a sponsor exemption into next week’s Wells Fargo Championship.

According to the PGA Tour, the 38-year-old joined Gary Woodland on the exemption list. However, Simpson’s selection seems more controversial, as it's his fourth sponsor exemption of the year.

For the unversed, Simpson is a player-director on the PGA Tour policy board. Notably, the World No. 220 golfer lives near the seventh tee at Quail Hollow and is a member of the club, raising more questions from fans about the event’s eligibility criteria.

This isn’t the first time Webb Simpson has come under fire for getting sponsor exemption this season.

Earlier in March, Webb Simpson, along with Adam Scott, received sponsor exemption into the 2024 Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill. Following that, PGA Tour player Dylan Wu took a jibe at the development.

Wu claimed that players getting more than one sponsor exemption into elevated events didn’t “seem fair.” Furthermore, Wu, while not taking names, said that player-directors getting special exemptions seemed “suspect.” He also noted that the “new model” of exemptions is “all about meritocracy.”

Wu tweeted:

“Great players and major champions. I can’t say much because I missed the cut hard this week but getting more than one sponsor exemption into elevated events doesn’t seem fair. Seems like if you’re a player director, you’ll get an invite into an elevated event. Seems suspect …
"And trust me, they’re both great players that probably deserve it but this new model is all about meritocracy. Sponsor exemptions going to the same players every elevated event doesn’t seem to follow the “play better” saying. Seems like “be more famous” or “know the right people”

Webb Simpson’s PGA Tour season so far

Webb Simpson hasn’t had a good start to the 2024 PGA Tour season. The seven-time winner on the Tour started off the schedule with a T66 finish at the Sony Open. He followed that up with a T39 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am and a T30 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

The 38-year-old failed to make the cut at The Players Championship. The 2012 U.S. Open champion continued his poor run of form at the Valspar Championship and the Valero Texas Open, where he finished T54 and T45, respectively. The ace golfer last appeared at the RBC Heritage, where he finished T42. Interestingly, Simpson had only three top-25s last year.

It's pertinent to note that Webb Simpson shared the sponsor exemptions this season with fellow board members, Adam Scott and Peter Malnati. However, Malnati cleared his name by winning the Valero Texas Open, his first PGA Tour victory in nine years, and booked a berth for the rest of the Signature events.

Scott managed five top-25s from seven outings, while Simpson continued to struggle on the field. With several questions raised over his eligibility for the elevated event, it will be interesting to see how the experienced golfer fares in the Wells Fargo Championship next week.

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Edited by Vishnu Mohan
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