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May 13, 2018

Webb Simpson

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

MIKE TIRICO: Well, good evening, everyone. What a great day it was, and applaud to all of you, and happy Mother's Day to all the moms who are here with us today. As well, welcome to THE PLAYERS Championship trophy presentation. I think the folks up here need little introduction, but the Commissioner of the PGA TOUR, Jay Monahan, the champion from 2017, Si Woo Kim, and the new champion of THE PLAYERS, Webb Simpson. And we'll start the proceedings with the commissioner. Here's Jay.

JAY MONAHAN: What a special week, and let me start off by saying thank you to Mike, and thank you to all the great people at NBC. This marks 31 consecutive years of NBC covering THE PLAYERS, and we're proud of our partnership.

I also want to recognize our international media partners, 55 partners that take THE PLAYERS Championship to over a billion households throughout the world. To our proud partners, this is a phenomenal week, and we can't do it without them. Grant Thornton, Optum, and Morgan Stanley, they enable this championship. They enable the limited commercial format, and we're thankful for our partnership. Thank you.

So you, the fans, I can't tell you how wonderful it is to be here on the grounds and to see such a young, diverse and happy group of fans here from start to finish. It's also great to see so many people come from throughout the world to experience THE PLAYERS here at TPC Sawgrass, and as Mike said, on this Sunday, it's always great to look out and see so many moms. Happy Mother's Day.

Our volunteers, 2100 strong, led by our Red Coats and Damon Linto, they prepared so hard for this championship, and they presented it brilliantly. We're very proud of all of you.

I want to give a special shout-out to two special men over here to my left, Commissioner Deane Beman and Commissioner Tim Finchem, who together have created and grown this championship. It's great to have you both here.

Si Woo, the youngest winner in the history of THE PLAYERS, it's been great to celebrate your championship over the past year. And to our new champion, Webb Simpson (applause), you beat the deepest field in golf on golf's greatest stadium, and you did so in decisive fashion, and it was an awesome performance with an unbelievable score, and we're proud to call you a PLAYERS Champion.

MIKE TIRICO: Jay, thank you. We look forward to March next year and THE PLAYERS Championship. And as Jay mentioned, last year at age 21, the youngest winner of this great tournament, Si Woo Kim, the 2017 champ, has some words for our 2018 champ. Si Woo?

SI WOO KIM: It's been great to be PLAYERS Champion here, and really -- I'm not speaking English very well, but really, congratulations, Webb.

MIKE TIRICO: Very well done. Thank you very much. How about a hand, and we'll get a word here with the 2018 winner of THE PLAYERS Championship, Webb Simpson.

Webb, come on down. You've never finished in the top 10 here, and you come out and put up an incredible performance. What was it that clicked for you around this place this week?

WEBB SIMPSON: It's hard to put it into words what this week has been like. I always love coming here. Obviously this is where Paul and Michelle and Isaiah and Alexis live, so this place is special to me for that reason.

I've never really played well, as you said, but I enjoyed the golf course. I'm comfortable on the golf course. And I think, you know, sometimes in golf it's just a mystery. Some weeks, something happens, and a good solid round the first round, and then second round was pretty special. You know, hung in there this weekend to get it done.

You know, all in all, an incredible week.

MIKE TIRICO: You talked about Paul, your caddie Paul Tesori, who's over there, Michelle, Isaiah, Paul's family, as well. Who got more recognition this week out there? Were they calling for you or calling for Paul as you were walking around this week?

WEBB SIMPSON: It was definitely Paul 100-fold. I had to spend extra time in the morning warming up because he'd take forever to get from the putting green to the range. I call him the mayor. He's the mayor around here. Everybody loves Pauly.

MIKE TIRICO: It's been a while for you, over 100 starts until you got this win, get back in the winner's circle. What does it mean, the time, the energy, the down moments, the support from Dowd, the rest of your family? Your wife is over here, your four kids at home. What does it mean to see all their dedication and kind of turn it into something really special with this trophy here?

WEBB SIMPSON: It means everything. You know, first and foremost, I'm a child of God, and so I've been given a gift to play golf, and I've got to take care of that as much as I can, so even when I'm struggling, there's still importance on continuing to get better, so that's what helped me through the struggles.

And then of course my wife was with me every step of the way. We've spent the last few years, many dinners with me in tears being frustrated about my golf game, and she was right there the whole time just supporting me, encouraging me to work hard. She was a positive light for sure, and the countless friends and family who have been praying for me and pulling for me. This is truly a team sport. Although I'm the only one out there hitting shots, it really is a team sport.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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