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March 17, 2019

Webb Simpson

Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida

Q. Happy with the round today?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, so I was up there and I was just -- my ball's on the fringe, and I was seeing if I was standing in the rough or if I was going to get both feet in the fringe or whatever and the end of my putter just got stuck on my shirt and it moved the ball about a quarter of an inch. I thought it might be a penalty, but we called anyways, and if it's on the green it's not a penalty. So this is where I'm going to be loud and clear, like we have to get intent into the rules. We have to. Because it's killing our game when it comes to these kind of things.

Q. Isn't intent already in the rules? How did this not come into play? You clearly had no intention to move the ball.
WEBB SIMPSON: Right, well, he said if the ball's off the green it doesn't matter. Doesn't matter. Now you can be looking for a ball in the rough this high at a U.S. Open; if you step on it, it's a penalty. It used not to be a penalty. So they have reversed that rule that saved the player from a mistake that anybody can make, and so why would they change that rule I'm not so sure about.

So like today, I think the -- what they try to say is either it's hard to write the rule with intent or you open it up for gray area. Well, I think it's actually the opposite because I'm playing with Lucas, we're up there, why would I try to move the ball? Like there's no advantage. Hey, and there's cameras everywhere, too. I don't know if that got on there, but my putter hit my clothes, it moved it a quarter inch, I'm going to move it back. So I'm just I'm hoping that somehow or another intent can get broadened, I guess.

Q. Aside from that, what about the move to March? Now that you've played a tournament in that, how much different was this experience for you than last year?
WEBB SIMPSON: It definitely -- 80 degrees on Friday and really cold today, definitely more variables. The golf course played firm, but the rain came in and softened it out a little bit. It's definitely more of a guessing game in March. I felt like some areas were bouncing, some areas were stopping, whereas in May everything's really firm and fast. But they did a great job with the golf course all week and I thought it played exactly how it should have played for us. Birdies to be made but still tough.

Q. Will you prepare any differently for this tournament next year having played it in March now?
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't think so. I think we were pretty prepared knowing we could get anything. But definitely I think one year under my belt helps. 18, for example, played a lot different for me. I usually hit a hybrid or a 5-wood; I hit a couple drivers, I think, and a couple 3-woods or whatever. Knowing that, going into next year, I think I'll kind of know what to expect.

Q. What about 17? Today was a day it was kind of blowing into your face.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, 17 was tough with that right-to-left because I don't mind that hole in the wind, it's just that into right-to-left with a right pin's pretty tough. Yesterday there was a bunch of birdies. But yeah, I hit a shot, I wasn't quite trying to hit it right at the hole, so yeah, it was nice to get that ball on to land, and man, it was fun coming down the stretch just remembering last year and I didn't quite have it where I wanted it through two days this week to have a chance. Those guys are taking it low, but overall pretty solid.

Q. Was the feedback you were getting from fans different having been a champion here?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it was nice. Obviously having Paul live here, he had more fans than I did, which was true last year, too. It feels like a home tournament in a lot of ways for me. It's special.

Q. What part of your game are you particularly happy with right now?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, I putted really poorly the first two rounds at Honda and turned it around and putted really well on the weekend and then putted great this week. So I'm really happy about my putting, and I think the missing link for me in the last year has been driving, and I would say for about a month now since Mexico I've been driving it well. So when I'm driving it well and putting well it's usually when I play my best.

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