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April 17, 2019

Webb Simpson

Hilton Head, South Carolina

Q. Webb, just talk about your initial reaction on Tiger's win this past week.
WEBB SIMPSON: It was pretty cool to see. I know that everyone had question marks on his health and what he's been through with injury and how far could he come back with the come back. And I think even in his mind he said before he didn't know the future.

To come from feeling that way and thinking that to winning the Masters is pretty amazing.

I was happy for him. I certainly wanted to win, but I think I put it up there as one of the coolest moments in the history of golf. You think of '86 Masters when Jack won and then Tiger in 2019. And they're different but yet very comparable to kind of how big the moment was.

Q. Now the sports world is looking at golf. Talk about the momentum building towards FedExCup?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think this year is really exciting. One, because we have a regular season FedExCup race that ends at the Wyndham Championship, which I think is fantastic. I think guys are paying attention now to their FedExCup number now more than ever. But I think the three event playoff system is going to be better for both the players and the fans. I think there's kind of a -- it's a faster playoff process, which is good. I think there will be more excitement there in Atlanta for the finale. I'm excited. Last week helped my position, I was sliding a little bit, but got back in a better position. An exciting time right now for the PGA Tour.

Q. With the condensed schedule, talk about your mindset going through the next few months?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, so I love the new schedule. I love the way there's kind of a rhythm to big events. The majors, The PLAYERS, and so my schedule is definitely different this summer. I'm taking some time off in the middle of the summer, but that's kind of in preparation for the FedExCup playoffs ending with The Open Championship and WGC Memphis, Wyndham and then the playoffs. So it's a big stretch for me. So I need that time off in the summer that I normally wouldn't take off.

Q. Webb, first of all, talk about, you take one on the chin for the State of North Carolina today. Talk about what went wrong out there?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, he got a lead early, hitting the sign in the first skills challenge. And then I got tied back up. But then the putting, I just couldn't -- I we couldn't get it done. AJ was the star.

Q. Is it better to fall to him today in this than the next four rounds?
WEBB SIMPSON: For sure. If I beat him standing on Sunday I'll be a lot happier about that than today. Even though today is fun, but I let him feel good about it for now.

Q. What club did you use to try to go off of B there?
WEBB SIMPSON: I used a 60, same thing he used.

Q. (No microphone.)
WEBB SIMPSON: I think it's cool. I mean when we're in competition the fans can hardly see any interaction from us. And so we're out here and it's laid back. It's not official yet. So I think it's great, especially with the media age we're in. People see it and -- I think it's good.

Q. Can you talk about, you've had a couple of days to think about what happened on Sunday. You played against Tiger a lot. Can you put it in context what he was able to do?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I think -- I heard him asked where does this major stack up with all of them. And you certainly think of his first one there, and you think of '08, Torrey. But I think this was the biggest in the sense that kind of the unknown, you know?

Kind of what I experienced, honestly, why the players means more to me than winning the U.S. Open. Because I went through a period of unknown, like what does the future look like. And then he went through that in a different way with injury and all that.

I do think you could compare it to maybe the biggest, if not one of the biggest moments in the history of golf. It has long been compared to Jack; who is better? And I think the debate continues. But from where he was, not knowing if he would ever play again competitively to winning at Eastlake, almost winning the FedExCup and then he wins the Masters.

It was amazing for me to be right there playing in the group in front of him to feel the atmosphere. My first chance to win the Masters. I was disappointed, personally, for me. But I was happy for him knowing what he went through.

Q. You did have a pretty good weekend. Is it exciting to get back out here this week and maybe try and build on it?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think so. I played well last year here, I've had some good finishes. And I know what to do around this golf course. The greens are typically firm. The wind blows. So it's kind of a quirky, tricky golf course, but a really good one. I always love being here.

Q. What is the big difference? You have the pressure cooker that is Augusta National. You come here. Is this more laid back, is it more of a vacation, is it more have fun out there? Is it still business for you?
WEBB SIMPSON: It's still business. I'm not anymore laid back this week than I was last week. There's certainly less to do this week for me. A major championship there's kind of more going on. But especially now that the Pro Am is done I'm going to go practice, prepare, just like I did for the Masters and ready for competition tomorrow.

Q. What could you do this week to decompress after having been in that spot?
WEBB SIMPSON: I needed it. I took a full day off Monday. I went home Sunday night. I did travel here Monday, I drove down. I didn't do anything golf-wise. I didn't work out. I just tried to not think about golf at all. And that was good for me, after a big event you need a little time away. But the nature of our sport is there's an event every week, so you've got to be able to rebound after that, rest pretty quickly and get your mind right and get back ready to compete.

Q. Do you change any kind of preparation knowing that the PGA is coming up in a month instead of having two months between the Masters and the U.S. Open as usual?
WEBB SIMPSON: No, my preparation for majors is not that different than a regular event. The Masters is a few shots you have to hook. So I might work on that a little bit.

But Bethpage Black, there's nothing unique about that golf course in terms of skill that you have to work on that's unique to what we do every week. It's long. It's not that tight. And so I'll prepare for that like I prepare for any event.

Q. I guess you just have to get ready for those New York crowds?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, they're fun. They're fun.

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