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April 29, 2015

Webb Simpson


CANDACE REINHEIMER:テつ We have Webb Simpson in the interview room.テつ Webb, you obviously fared well with golf in this area, having won the U.S. Open before.テつ Can you talk about TPC Harding Park and how the course fared for you here?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ This is the first time playing this course this year and I really enjoy it.テつ Tee to green it's really similar to Olympic.テつ And, you know, the greens are newer, so they're firm.テつ And this wind and dry air I think is going to dry them out.テつ It's going to play really tough the rest of the week.
But it's my first time back in the area since the U.S. Open.テつ I went out to Olympic yesterday and actually recreated the chip and the putt just to mess around with that.テつ I may get in trouble because I didn't go in the pro shop.テつ It was just kind of meant to be.テつ There was a spare cart with a wedge and two golf balls and we had to do it.
Actually, here's the whole story:テつ We went out to the snack shop on the range, just to see if it was open.テつ Nobody was open, but there was a lady unloading groceries.テつ And I asked her if we could have a burger and she said, "No, we're closed."
I said, "I'll pay you $50 for a burger, I need a burger."
She said, "All right."テつ She said, "Did you win the U.S. Open or something?"テつ Kind of joking.
I said, "Yes, I did."テつ Made us a burger.テつ In the meantime there was a spare cart, and I said, "Is that your cart?"
She said, "No, that's not my cart."テつ There was a key in it.テつ We were going to get a picture on the 18th green, me and my buddy.テつ And looked in the back there was a wedge and two balls.テつ You couldn't have written it better.テつ That was my first time back, was yesterday.テつ So‑‑

Q.テつ That's the question I was going to ask you and you answered it.

Q.テつ Are you all excited about getting there and‑‑ were you excited about getting there and had you planned this knowing that Harding was across the lake from it?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I hadn't planned anything, but I figured I might go out there and just see it.テつ But one thing led to another yesterday.テつ It was the burger that drew me in more than the golf course.

Q.テつ Was it worth $50?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ So the funny part is I had either $48 or $100.テつ And I think I can't give her $48, I told her $50.テつ I have to give her $100, and she didn't take it.
Her dad started cooking in the '50s.テつ She's the daughter, and she and her husband have a thing on the 18th hole.テつ So she's been in the business a long time.テつ She appreciated the effort of the $100, but she didn't take it.

Q.テつ How did the recreated shot turn out?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I chunked the first one, but we erased that video.テつ So the one that we have was good.テつ But it was amazing being back.テつ I forget how small the green is, especially with no people and no scoreboard.テつ But it was fun.

Q.テつ This was not a consequential part of your match today, but I have a question about it, nonetheless.テつ On the third hole Poulter had like a three‑footer for bogey.テつ He was lining it up and you conceded it.テつ How do you decide when and where to concede putts like that?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ It's hard because early on you try to get a feel what the day is going to be like.テつ Some days I play with guys that don't give much of anything.テつ And I think at our level there's not many players who play games with you, give you a two‑footer but not a one‑footer, we don't see any of that happening.
But there's always a fine line of two, two and a half feet.テつ Some guys will give it, some guys wouldn't.テつ But sometimes, you know, on the 15th hole, he had about a two‑footer and I was planning on giving it to him but I had a 50‑footer for birdie.テつ So I made him mark it.テつ Because in your mind if you give them the putt, now you think now I have to two putt.テつ Because his coin is down, you don't think that.テつ I lagged it up a foot and then I gave it to him.テつ But I felt like it was pretty fair all day.

Q.テつ You said at this level, so at lower levels is there more gamesmanship, is that what you're suggesting?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah, I played in the U.S. Am quite a few times, and I've had to putt one‑footers, that you never have to putt out here.テつ So I think younger guys maybe think that we do that, too.テつ But it's really fair.
Even in Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup, it's pretty fair.テつ I've never been shocked about putting a putt.テつ I've never had a shock before.

Q.テつ If someone was uncharitable to you early, would that dictate how you treat him later on?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ A little bit.テつ You know, I've kind of got my‑‑ 18 inches is automatic, no matter what.

Q.テつ No matter what?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ No matter what.テつ Because, you know, if he's trying to play a game with me.テつ I feel like if I play it back, I'm playing his tune instead of just staying steady.テつ And I had my caddie out there who's really paying attention, too.テつ If I'm unsure, I'll converse with him a little bit and ask him what he thinks.テつ And one time a day it went one way, and one time the other one when I asked him.

Q.テつ Can you come up and down on that?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Like I couple of times, I thought I shouldn't give it, but I asked him, I said, "I shouldn't give him that, right?"
And he said, "No, you don't give him that."

Q.テつ Why?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Just because, you know, length of putts that maybe I wasn't giving earlier, maybe his putt is similar.
But I've actually talked to Ian about it before, and he doesn't really care.テつ He'd almost rather putt everything.テつ So you're not trying to figure out all day what to do.テつ And so I know he doesn't mind one way or the other.

Q.テつ Another San Francisco question relating to Olympic.テつ You're talking about obviously similar surface greens, but Olympic with all of those reverse cambers, do you ever think back what a funky golf course it is, no water and etcetera, etcetera, one fairway bunker that you won there.テつ Did you think, well, that was a pretty good performance?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah, you know, I used to not be a good driver of the ball.テつ And at Olympic you have to drive it well.テつ The fairways here are more generous than Olympic.テつ You don't have to drive it quite as well, but the rough is pretty long here, you still have to get it in the fairway.
I never looked at myself as a ball‑striker until I really won the U.S. Open.テつ I really started really thinking, maybe I can hit the ball pretty well.テつ That was where I first started gravitating towards hard golf courses and wanting to play hard venues.

Q.テつ Back to this concession thing.テつ 51 weeks of the year, you just expect to have to putt out.テつ So why do you think it is it bothers some players so much when they are asked to putt out short putts?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I think they're thinking really you're going to make me putt this?テつ It's a foot.テつ I can be honest, I don't think there's‑‑ I think there's less than five guys that actually want to play games with that kind of stuff out here.テつ It might be one or two.

Q.テつ In the field this week?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah, I mean, from the guys I've talked to and played against Presidents Cups, Ryder Cups, even team events, it's very friendly, I feel like two feet and in.
But, you know, the point Ian was making is it's better almost to expect I'm just going to putt it than sit there for three minutes on a two‑footer wondering.テつ But in your mind, if you said every other week we're putting it, you just don't think about it.テつ It would almost be easier if we just putt them.

Q.テつ So Jason Day said yesterday he would make people putt one‑footers if it came down to that.テつ Is he one of the ones you're talking about?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ From what I've seen with him in match play, he's fair.テつ But if it doesn't go‑‑ if somebody makes him putt one, I guess he'd make them do the same.テつ And honestly there would probably be more guys to do that than what I was saying I'd do.テつ But I always want to psych them out by smiling at them and saying good shot, than trying to be all tough guy.

Q.テつ Reverse psychology?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Reverse psychology.

Q.テつ Someone said in the Pro Am when you teed off they announced you as the U.S. Open champion, 2012, just up the road.テつ And you had remarked to the announcer, could you introduce me like that every day?テつ You just get a good feeling coming to this area and what kind of memories does it stir up?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah, I do.テつ You know, looking back, it was a week where if I hadn't won Sunday it would still have been one of my favorite weeks of my life.テつ Because we had our son, James, was a few months‑‑ no, sorry, 16 months old.テつ And first time my wife and I had a time away since he'd been born.テつ So it was just a great week.
We love the city.テつ I think honestly it helped me win.テつ Because I walked into Sunday not really caring, in a good way.テつ I was focused but I just‑‑ I didn't need it that bad.テつ Usually you see guys in those positions where they're pretty carefree.テつ They usually play well.
So, yeah, I don't know, something about it.テつ I played in the U.S. Am here in '07 at Olympic and lost in the first round.テつ Didn't play well then.テつ But it is fun to come back.

Q.テつ Does the weather here freak you out at all?テつ Sunday at Olympic was really cold.テつ And the other days were sort of like this.テつ And we started out two days ago, it was really cold and foggy.テつ Do you care at all or are you saying, hey, what's going on here or are you used to it now?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I'm used to it.テつ I do like it warmer, though.テつ It takes me a little longer than some guys to warm up when it's cold.テつ This morning I got out and I was freezing.テつ I had two sweaters on.テつ And I warmed up a little longer.テつ But it was nice to see the sun come out.
CANDACE REINHEIMER:テつ Thank you, Webb, good luck this week.

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