home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


February 22, 2018

Webb Simpson

Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Q. The last time you played in this tournament was 2011, seven years later, how would you describe your return to PGA National?
WEBB SIMPSON: Definitely excited to get a good round under my belt. I came here a couple years ago but had to withdraw for an injury. So it's nice to be healthy. Anything under par any day out here is really good.

Q. Late last year, you lost your father, Sam. How do you deal with the loss of a parent while being a parent and husband yourself and trying to play golf all at the same time?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it's a hard balance. The sorrow and the sadness of losing your dad, but also the joy of raising kids and being a dad. You know, I think about him all the time. I still hear his voice out there when I'm playing, and trying to make a birdie or two coming in to finish strong, like he always told me.

But we're working through it. I'm one of six kids, so we're supporting my mom and just trying to get through it together.

Q. What's the favorite message you remember the most from him?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, he always told me to never quit. Didn't matter what it looked like, no matter what the scorecard said, just never quit. Some days you start out and you're struggling, but if you can kind of hang in there, you never know what will happen.

Q. Just how satisfying is a round of 66 around PGA National?
WEBB SIMPSON: It feels good. Anything in the red figures here is good. It's a really hard golf course, and it looks like it's going to be windy all week, so I told myself, any score under par, I'm doing something right.

Q. A couple of highlights for you out there. It appears, when you look at statistics, that the putting was very hot. You're No. 1 in strokes gained putting, 25 putts today. What's really clicking for you with this club?
WEBB SIMPSON: Tim Clark gave me a lesson last year at THE PLAYERS. Just a minute changed my grip a little bit and since did I that, I feel like I've been putting pretty solid ever since. That's what I was going for, just more consistent putting. I had plenty of good days with the short putter but plenty of bad days. You just don't want that as a player.

Q. We saw Billy Horschel giving you some props. Next question, looking at 17 -- watch his reaction. Is he on commission this week?
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't know. He's great to play with. He's animated, but great to play with. He cheers for the other guys, which is always good.

Q. And looking forward to this week, with the wind blowing how it is, what have you got to do particularly well over the course of the week to have a chance to win here?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think you've got to be smarter here than most places we play. There's some times where you have a perfect number over water to a tucked pin and you're tempted to go five feet left of it when you need to go 15 feet left of it.

So you'll hear it a lot this week but I think you've got to avoid the big numbers, take your medicine and rely on your short game. You're going to miss greens here. There's rough off the fairway and you're going to miss greens, so who can kind of manage their game the best, and I did a good job of that today.

Q. What golf course were you playing today?
WEBB SIMPSON: I mean, it was a challenging day, even though I shot 4-under. It was hard till the very end, but very happy to get in there with a good score to start out.

You know, this is a golf course, you'll probably hear guys talk about, but you can kind of shoot yourself out of it in one round but you certainly can't win it in one round, so I've got plenty more golf to play.

Q. Wind was a challenge out there. How did you choose to attack it or ride it today?
WEBB SIMPSON: We knew the hard holes were, we're going to respect them, play away from the trouble as much as we can. I feel like I'm chipping and putting well right now, so I have to rely on that more so this week than probably most weeks.

But it's all about managing your game, managing this golf course, trying to avoid the double bogeys.

Q. How smooth was that little birdie on 17 to bounce back the way you did, and you benefitted --
WEBB SIMPSON: That hole is so hard today. Any 3 there, I mean, all week, even from an up tee I'll take. That was an added bonus for sure.

Q. Can you sum up your day for us?
WEBB SIMPSON: I feel like everything was pretty solid. I guess they said I was No. 1 in strokes gained putting, so I guess that was the strong suit. But my goal starting this week was just to avoid big numbers and respect those hard holes because they are really hard. I mean, they are some of the hardest holes we play all year. We probably had two or three of them here in one golf course. I managed today well, and birdieing 17 was an added bonus.

Q. Talk about 17. That's playing the hardest of the day.
WEBB SIMPSON: It's funny because my caddie, Paul, thought -- Billy Horschel's 5-iron was in the bag, so he assumed he hit a 4, which I assumed, too. So we were thinking about one more club. Well in, reality, Billy hit a 6. So we were all messed up there.

But, you know, we kind of committed to the number, committed to the shot and hit a good shot and made a good putt. That's what you've got to do. This week will expose doubt or not being committed, and so you're better choosing a wrong club and being committed than the other way.

Q. What did you hit to?
WEBB SIMPSON: 25 feet.

Q. What did you end up hitting?
WEBB SIMPSON: I ended up hitting 4-iron. We went through the numbers again, and it's a challenge but you have to go off the facts instead of what you feel because a lot of times you feel like you don't have enough club or you have too much ball but you've got to trust it.

Q. What was the wind for you there at the time?
WEBB SIMPSON: It was mostly in, blowing a little bit off the left. Probably had 25 yards of hurt.

Q. 4-iron into that is a pretty daunting shot, right?
WEBB SIMPSON: It was a tough shot. They moved the tee up on 15. I thought the tee would be up on 17, but they didn't do it there.

Q. Finish in the golf swing had a little bit of flair, too.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, don't go in the water, that's kind of what you're thinking. But the biggest thing is stepping up on that tee on 15 and the other shots out here, trying to make a good golf swing, trying to stay committed. That will be the secret this week.

Q. There's been a lot of grumbling about the lack of grass on the greens. How did you find them?
WEBB SIMPSON: There are some spots that are a little bare, but for the most part they still rolled really nice, so no problem.

Q. I think I'm right in saying that you're not as familiar with this course as the other guys here. How were you able to be so confident today and feel your way around the way you did this week so far?
WEBB SIMPSON: My caddie's been on TOUR for 20-plus years. He's been here enough. I trust him. He did his work. Even if you play one year at a golf course, you feel like that's enough to kind of get it know it.

Our yardage books are pretty informative and there wasn't a whole lot new to learn this year, I didn't think.

Q. So what were your impressions firsthand after round one?
WEBB SIMPSON: It's going to be a challenge every day. I think it's going to be windy every day. So each day has its own challenges. I played some holes well today and a couple adjustments I need to make but overall I'm very pleased.

Q. Was 2011 the last time you played?
WEBB SIMPSON: That's the last time I played.

Q. Was it on this course?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, this course.

Q. Was that the only time you've played?
WEBB SIMPSON: I played 2009 and 2010.

Q. Can you tell us how the schedule worked out and why you haven't played that much here?
WEBB SIMPSON: I normally play Pebble Or L.A. or both, and if I'm in Doral or now Mexico City, I play there. It's just a scheduling thing. Nothing against the tournament.

Q. Any haunting memories you're faced with?
WEBB SIMPSON: Certainly you don't forget hard holes and when you stand on certain tee boxes or certain approach shots, you remember that, man, this is one of the hardest courses we play all year, including majors.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

tech 129
About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297