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SONY OPEN IN HAWAII


January 15, 2015


Webb Simpson


HONOLULU, HAWAII

Q. ¬†Great playing, 28 on your final nine, the front nine, cruising like 1‑under par and all of a sudden birdied 18.¬† What happened?
WEBB SIMPSON:  The putts started falling.  Today was a big day for me.  I was extremely nervous, first round on the PGA TOUR with a short putter, but I just had a couple verses in my yardage book today that I kept reading, and I stayed calm.  All thanks to God for giving me strength to just get through today.  Today was a hurdle I felt like I needed to get over, and just real thankful.

Q.  Was it solid all day with the putter?
WEBB SIMPSON:¬† Yeah, I felt great.¬† I made a lot of putts.¬† I didn't hit it great on the back nine my first nine holes but then started driving it well.¬† If you drive it well around this golf course, you're going to give yourself opportunities.¬† I was able to do that on the front pretty much for‑‑ really the last 10 holes.

Q.  When was the last time you used the short putter before you went to the long one?
WEBB SIMPSON:  It was fall of '04 in college, so it's been a while.  I used it in Japan this fall but on the PGA TOUR, this is a first.

Q.  Talk about how well you played today.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I played well.  To be honest with you, I told Dennis I was really nervous starting the day, my first round with the short putter.  Just a lot of anticipation.  I used it in Japan at the Dunlop Phoenix in the fall, but I talked to my wife this morning and she gave me a couple verses to think about today.  Honestly, I know religion gets thrown around a lot, but I couldn't have done it today without God and without scripture.  All that to say it was a good day, and on this golf course if you drive it in the fairway like I did on the front, you'll have plenty of opportunities, and the fairways are firm right now.  You drive it well, you'll have short irons in.  I just started rolling some putts in, and sooner or later I realized I had made four or five in a row, and just tried to keep it going.

Q.  How good a putting round was it?
WEBB SIMPSON:¬† It was one of my best putting rounds I've ever had to be honest.¬† I've been putting well with it, but it's easy to putt well at your home course playing with your buddies.¬† So today there was a lot of pressure and didn't sleep that great last night, but had a good morning, talked to my wife, and good warm‑up, and it was big to see a few putts go in early.¬† Real thankful for just how the day unfolded.

Q.  Apparently it unfolded rather well.  Where did you really start to feel comfortable, from the first green that you putted or did it take a little bit?
WEBB SIMPSON:¬† Yeah, you know, I made a good putt on the first hole and a long two‑putt on the second hole, but all day I had a couple simple thoughts of just stay in my routine, don't take too much time.¬† I think I've gotten in trouble in the past by taking too much time and second‑guessing myself.¬† Trust and freedom were two big words for me today, and I was able to do that all day.¬† 9 I hit a bad 4‑iron but another long putt that‑‑ my tendency with the short putter is to have a tough time with long putts, but over the last really few weeks, I've gotten better with it.¬† Hopefully I'll continue to get better.

Q.  Is it a Scotty Cameron putter?
WEBB SIMPSON:  It's a White Hot Odyssey.

Q.¬† 35‑inch?
WEBB SIMPSON:  34.

Q.¬† Last time you putted with a conventional putter‑‑
WEBB SIMPSON:¬† '04, first semester.¬† I switched to the belly putter that fall.¬† Honestly I hadn't used a short putter in a tournament since Japan in November, so it's been a long time.¬† I mean, I think the biggest‑‑

Q.  So 10 years?
WEBB SIMPSON:¬† Yeah.¬† I think the biggest thing‑‑ I don't know if you hear Keegan or whoever else, Adam, talk about it, the pressure comes when there's expectation.¬† There's more focus on you, which you know, two ways to deal with it.¬† One, it can negatively affect you, or two, you can realize that, hey, that's just how it is and you've got to play through it.¬† I spent‑‑ just a lot of anticipation for me has led to being really nervous.¬† More than anything, I'm just glad to get started.¬† I didn't want to wait until 2016 because I didn't want to be in a position where I felt like I was forced into the short putter.

Q.¬† It's only one round, but still, you must feel very good mentally about‑‑
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, yeah.

Q.  Basically if you'd have started out struggling, it can get in your head, too.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Absolutely.  Golf is a funny game.  Any time you start off playing solid, it just gives me confidence, and like you said, I've got a long three rounds to go, and a lot can happen.  But a good start.

Q.  Goals for this year?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Same goal every year is just to get better.  I made some swing changes in the fall.  I went and saw Butch Harmon for half a day.

Q.  Is that new for you?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I had never seen him before.  You know, what my caddie and I Paul are working on, we wanted to make sure that we were doing it the right way, and he was nice enough to give us some time.  I had a good day with him, and the changes are simple.  You wouldn't notice them per se, but just trying to get a little better, so that's the goal.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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