Webb Simpson rallies, wins Deutsche Bank

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Webb Simpson rallies, wins Deutsche Bank

By Doug Ferguson, AP

NORTON, Mass. (AP) -- Webb Simpson finished off an amazing comeback with three clutch birdies, the final one on the second extra playoff hole Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship for his second win in three weeks.
On a day filled with big crowds and big moments appropriate to the FedEx Cup playoffs, Simpson delivered a stunning conclusion on the TPC Boston. He looked as if he would be the runner-up until knocking in a 30-foot birdie putt on the par-5 18th hole for a 6-under 65. That put him into a playoff when Chez Reavie, who had birdied the toughest holes on the back nine, made bogey on the easiest hole on the course at No. 18 for a 66. The finished regulation at 15-under 269. On the 18th hole in the playoff, Simpson again looked to be out of luck when Reavie chipped to tap-in range for birdie. But Simpson rolled in a 15-foot putt to keep the playoff going, and then won with an 8-foot putt on the 17th hole. Simpson won his first PGA Tour title three weeks ago at the Wyndham Championship, putting him in good shape for the FedEx Cup playoffs and the chase for a 10 million prize. Now, he goes to No. 1 in the standings and is assured of being among the top five when the FedEx Cup concludes at the Tour Championship at the end of the month. "I thought winning the second time would be easier," Simpson said. That was never the case on a breezy Labor Day south of Boston, a final round so scrambled that seven players - including world No. 1 Luke Donald - had a share of the lead at some point. Simpson one-putted seven of his last eight greens, mostly for par on the back nine in regulation to stay in the hunt, then received just enough help from Reavie. The win was filled with perks, beyond his ranking in the FedEx Cup race. Simpson locked up a spot on the Presidents Cup team in Australia, and moves to No. 14 in the world. Reavie, who started the season on a medical exemption from knee surgery last year and won't get his full PGA Tour status back until January, came roaring up the leaderboard on the back nine. He made four birdies in a six-hole stretch - including on the toughest par 3 at No. 11 and the toughest hole at No. 14 - and was poised to capture his second PGA Tour title until one wedge cost him. He laid up on the 18th with a one-shot lead and Simpson already finished, but his wedge sailed over the green, and his 10-foot par putt for the win grazed the side of the cup. The runner-up finish still moves Reavie to No. 9 in the FedEx Cup, assuring him a spot in the Tour Championship - and in three majors next year, including the Masters. Brandt Snedeker, who closed with a 61 last week to tie for third, went out in 30 to take the lead until getting wild off the teed on the back nine. He had to settle for a 66 and another tie for third. Donald, who matched birdies and eagles with Simpson in regulation, fell apart with a double bogey on No. 12 and a tee shot over the 16th green that led to bogey. He closed with a 67 and tied for third, along with Jason Day, who had a 68. Bubba Watson, who had a one-shot lead going into the wild final day, chipped in for eagle on the final hole to salvage a 74 that put him in a tie for 16th, seven shots behind. The drama wasn't limited to the final holes. The top 70 in the FedEx Cup advance to the third playoff event in two weeks outside Chicago, and some big names were on the cusp of missing out. Ernie Els, who barely qualified for the playoffs and then narrowly made it to the second stage in Boston, made two key par putts and finished with a 5-foot birdie over his last four holes to move up to No. 68 and advance. Geoff Ogilvy, trying to keep alive his hopes of making the Presidents Cup in his native Australia, thought he was finished when he made two late bogeys and then hit into native grass behind the rock and took a penalty shot. But he holed a 20-foot par putt on the 17th, then a 6-foot birdie on the 18th hole to move up to No. 69. Chris Stroud produced a shot even more memorable. Needing nothing less than eagle on the final hole, he hit 3-iron just onto the green, and it caught the ridge and settled 3 feet away for eagle that atoned for a messy day and put him at No. 70. The PGA Tour now takes a week off before resuming these playoffs at the BMW Championship.--Associated Press

Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

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Saturday, Aug. 27: Adding toughness Habs' priority

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, after a busy morning celebrating my 3-year-old’s birthday at the trampoline park. Yee-ha.

*PHT writer Joey Alfieri says that adding toughness was a big offseason priority for the Montreal Canadiens.

*There’s at least one big fan of the Edmonton Oilers trade that brought defenseman Adam Larsson from the New Jersey Devils, and that fan’s name is Mark Letestu.

*Here’s everything you need to know about the Ice Guardians movie premiering this fall that takes a long, balanced look at the NHL enforcers.

*Roberto Luongo has an alibi for the robbery in Winnipeg with one suspect getting away in goalie equipment, and it’s funny as you would expect it to be.

*CSN Washington takes a look at the New York Rangers in their season previews for the Metro Division.

*I’m not entirely sure whether this “RIP Harambe” thing is genuine or meant to be ironic by the largely millenial group that seem so enamored with it, but I think it’s just stupid. I think the same with the crying Jordan meme…also stupid.

*For something completely different: a look at how Triumph the Insult Comic Dog learned how to poop on Trump’s politics.

 

Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

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Report: Patriots sign LB Jonathan Freeny to two-year extension

The Patriots have signed linebacker and special teamer Jonathan Freeny to a two-year contract extension through 2018, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported.

Freeney, 27, was originally signed by the Patriots to a one-year free-agent deal in March 2015 after spending the first four years of his NFL career with the Miami Dolphins. He then earned a one-year extension last September and played 13 games, seven starts, with 50 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble. 

 

 

Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

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Countdown to camp: Danton Heinen

Click here for the gallery.

From now until the beginning of training camp, Bruins Insider Joe Haggerty is profiling players who will be on, or have a chance to be on, the 2016-17 Bruins. Today: Danton Heinen.

Danton Heinen exploded into a high-profile prospect for the Bruins after finishing among the NCAA’s top scoring players a couple of years ago as a freshman along with a couple of guys named Jack Eichel and Dylan Larkin. 

Since then, Heinen has continued to produce offense at the University of Denver and continued to create offense that leads to points. Now, the 21-year-old Heinen will be entering the professional arena for his first full season with the Bruins and he’ll be attempting to transition from the prospect phase to a regular gig in the NHL. That’s the challenge for a talented player who appears headed into a very good opportunity in NHL training camp.

 

What happened last year

Heinen was every bit as explosive in his second season for Denver as he was in his brilliant freshman campaign. He improved on his scoring with 20 goals and 48 points in 41 games. Then Heinen signed with the Bruins at the end of his sophomore season and played in a couple of pro games in the AHL with Providence as a tune-up for this first full pro campaign with the Bruins organization. Heinen finished with two assists and a plus-1 rating in four games with the P-Bruins and showed the coaches in Providence that he was ready to play and produce with more talented players. If Heinen surprised a little bit as a breakout freshman two years ago, his sophomore follow-up in Denver last season proved to everybody that he wasn’t a fluke.

 

Questions to be answered this season

The real question surrounding Heinen is about his ceiling as an NHL player and just how good he can become as a player with the skills and playmaking abilities to be a top-six forward. He’s proven he can dominate at the collegiate level while admittedly playing with some pretty good teammates at Denver. Heinen showed at the end of the season in Providence that the pro scene might not be much different for him. At this point, Heinen simply needs to go out and prove it against the best players in the world and show that his speed, playmaking and hockey sense are all elite in the AHL or NHL. Heinen’s biggest obstacle might be his size. He'll need to survive as a targeted skill player despite not being much more than the 6-feet, 180-pound range for a forward. It’s about average for a playmaking wing in the NHL, but the hits and attention will be at a much more intense level than anything he faced in the NCAA world.

 

What they're saying

“He’s the type of player that he can play with good players because he’s got high hockey IQ and he’s got really good skill. I think anywhere you put him, he’s smart enough to figure it out. I think you’ll notice him during training camp. It will definitely be up to him, but I think he’ll push some guys.” –Bruins assistant coach Jay Pandolfo on Heinen during last month’s development camp where Heinen soared as a performer.

 
Outlook

While Heinen still has some things he’ll need to prove before he’s a regular contributor for the Bruins, he comes into the Boston fold as an experienced player following two very good seasons at the college level. So, Heinen should be a little closer to plug-and-play for Claude Julien than some of the other young players that have come through the system in the past couple of years. Heinen will still need to flash in camp while being handed a big spot to perform with high-end veterans Patrice Bergeron, David Krejci and Brad Marchand potentially off playing in the World Cup of Hockey. Heinen also has a much greater chance of winning an NHL job sooner rather than later after the Bruins lost out on the Jimmy Vesey sweepstakes and still have a top-six forward opening that somebody is going to fill. Heinen and Frank Vatrano are the two biggest favorites to fill that position, which became vacant when Loui Eriksson departed for Vancouver. Whichever winger loses that battle should be also be a strong candidate for a role on the third line, as well, barring any late veteran signings by the B’s. That set of circumstances leaves a very good situation for Heinen to potentially walk into with the Black and Gold, but he'll still have to show he’s fully capable of seizing his good fortune and good timing.