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May 27, 2017

Webb Simpson

Fort Worth, Texas

THE MODERATOR: Webb, thank you for joining us. 54-hole leader here at the Dean & Deluca Invitational. Just some thoughts on having the lead after the third round.

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I'm thrilled to have the lead. I think it's been a while. I don't know how long it's been. But excited for the day tomorrow.

Good, solid day. I was happy to go out in the last group today and hit some good shots, make some good putts in this environment to kind of and get me ready for tomorrow.

Understanding we got a different wind tomorrow, so golf course will play differently. Hopefully I come out ready. I been saying every day that I'm just trying to shoot under par each round and I've done it so far.

Another good one tomorrow, and hopefully it'll be good enough.


Q. Can you talk about the conditions? Not only it being hot, but the wind. I think Paul Casey just said that it actually felt like it played a little bit easier today; would you agree with that?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah. I think the wind was a little less than we've seen. The pins were a little bit friendlier. You know, a hole like 12 we've had it straight into wind. Today was about half and half, and my drive went 30 yards further than it's been going. Some holes change.

It didn't seem as hard as yesterday or even Thursday. But that's the beauty of that golf course. If you're a little off it'll expose you pretty quickly. At the same time, you're going to have a lot of short irons into the greens. You'll have birdie opportunities if you're in the fairway.

Q. You made it look pretty easy out there today. Lipped out a few putts. Probably could have done a bit better. Was it as easy as it looked?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think the big thing for me is I was hitting to them in the fairway. When you start hitting them in the rough you start guessing. You're dealing with jumpers. You're dealing with the wind.

At least in the fairway you're in control, and so that's probably why it looked easy. Didn't feel easy. It's 100 degrees out there. Knowing that caddies are going down, we were just trying to stay upright.

Q. Is it easier or harder to get play a course like Colonial, which is different from what you play? A lot of doglegs. You know, not what you usually find out here on the PGA TOUR. Is it harder? Is it easier? More fun for you?
WEBB SIMPSON: I like it because I grew up on a golf course that's short, fairly tight, some doglegs. I grew up going to Pinehurst a lot. Same kind of thing.

I like it. There are some quirky tee shots where it doesn't really fit anybody's eye I don't think with 10 and 17.

2 you're going over trees.

But the more you play here the more comfortable you get the more -- you know, I think most guys on tour love this place. You have mixed reviews at most places, but pretty unanimous that guys enjoy coming here.

Q. Obviously you're a major champion. I heard you mention outside something about how this felt like a major with the difficult conditions. Could you expand on some of those thoughts and just how things have gone for you thus far this week?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean, I said that because there is so much thinking involved on every shot. We go play Memorial next week. Normal Memorial conditions, everything seems a little easier. You're not worried about fairways bouncing left or right, crosswinds every hole. So there is just a lot of thinking, so I'm more tired after my rounds this week than normal.

But, you know, Paul has been great this week. We're really trying to plan before the round what we're going to do, stick to the game plan, and not have it etched in stone, but at least have an idea what we're doing before we tee it up.

Q. You talked about the heat. Just how much of a challenge is it to play in these type of conditions, and do you have to make many add adjustments?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think for me, growing up in the south I'm used to it. I think for other guys growing up out west or north east it could be very difficult to adjust.

The ball does go further. Kevin and I hit a couple shots today on the back nine that we thought were pretty good and they end up five, six, seven yards past the hole. You have to adjust for that.

But you just got to be smart, I think. My trainer says hydration is more important before and after than during. I've just been drinking about a thousand ounces of the water a day.

Q. Go back to Scottsdale and the playoff. Over the course of the season has your game been in the similar position or do you feel like it's ebbed and flowed so far this year?
WEBB SIMPSON: Definitely feel like it's ebbed and flowed. I feel like since probably Hilton Head, I feel like Hilton Head I had a chance to win Sunday.

PLAYERS Championship I was in the mix after two days.

So I feel like that's starting to happen more, where I'm part of the conversation of contending.

That's a good feeling. I know what I'm doing is working. I think Phoenix was kind of evidence of -- you know, 50th place at the Hope, or Career Builder; second in Phoenix; missed cut at Pebble; 39th at L.A.

So more of that in the beginning of the year, but I feel a lot better about my game now than even Phoenix, L.A. period.

Q. Looking to tomorrow, obviously the wind is going to change a little bit. The course is still going to be the same. Do you have a specific plan that's different for tomorrow? Kind of stick with what you're doing?
WEBB SIMPSON: I'm going to stick with what I've done mentally. I mean, there is going to be probably six holes where we hit a different club off the tee knowing it's a north wind. Which I'm thankful I played in the practice round. I've seen this wind before.

It'll just be -- you know, got to map it out a little differently. At the end of the day, you go out and execute as best you can.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Webb.


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