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June 21, 2020

Webb Simpson

Hilton Head, South Carolina

THE MODERATOR: I'd like to welcome the champion of the 2020 RBC Heritage, Webb Simpson, into the press conference room. What a Father's Day for you, Webb. Congratulations on your victory. Can we get some comments?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, thrilled to death to be sitting here as the champion for many reasons. I'm RBC Ambassador, so that makes it special. I love this golf course. I love this area. I've never quite gotten it done here. I was close in 2013, losing to Graeme McDowell in the playoff. So it feels great.

Honestly, the last kind of ten holes were a blur because guys are making birdies, we're trying to finish before night comes, and so to finish with five birdies like that was really special, especially after going kind of yesterday and the first 10 holes, 11 holes today not making putts. To see the putts go in when I needed them, that was really fun to see the ball going in the hole.

Q. You were chasing daylight here a little bit. Talk to us about the delay and what it was like to go back and try to finish.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, the TOUR did a phenomenal job. They didn't know the storm was coming. It kind of came out of nowhere. And then we're looking at daylight, how late can we play? 8:45, 8:50. We kind of figured out we've got to start by this time to get it done, and when they came out and said, go warm up, they only let us warm up for about 20 minutes, which is what we wanted. Sometimes warmups can be too long, and we run out of daylight. They did a great job of getting us back out there so we could barely get it done.

Q. Webb, congratulations. Just with your familiarity here and as different as things have been this week, how much did your knowledge of this place help you be comfortable today, as crazy as it was out there?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think it helped a little bit, but not as much as it would have in April. I think I know the golf course a lot better -- you know, more firm, overseeded. We took a lot of new notes this year, especially around the green, and I hit different clubs off the tee because the fairways are softer.

So I don't know if my course knowledge helped as much as just being in contention lately a few times and kind of enjoying that and kind of knowing my body and how far shots are going to go and controlling my breathing. That was what I was thankfully leaning on those last few holes.

Q. What were your conversations with Paul when those putts were going in there? You know, those three birdies that kind of separated you. What were you all kind of talking through during that time?
WEBB SIMPSON: Nothing different. I mean, he's really good at kind of sticking in the system of one shot at a time, one hole at a time. So we're not getting too excited. We might get excited if I'm four, five, or six up, but guys were right there. Abraham Ancer was playing awesome, Tyrrell Hatton, so many guys were playing great, Daniel Berger. So we knew we had to keep making birdies. We still had a job to do.

Q. Webb, you obviously played well out here before, having been in the playoff. You played here a lot. Does that factor in at all on Sunday afternoon? I know they're a little bit different greens than what you have experienced in April, but you seem to have a familiarity with the greens. Does that help you at all?
WEBB SIMPSON: For sure. I think the little nuances of not going all the way back to the pin on 14. 17, the ball seems to release more than most greens. I think those things from 11 years here really helped. Because when you know certain facts like that, it helps you to be more confident in the club you're choosing because some holes I'm flying an 8 iron to the hole. 17, we were trying to land it ten yards short of the hole. So that, I think previous knowledge, like I said there in 14, really helps me be more confident in my club selection.

Q. And the birdie putt on 17 seemed to seal it for you, but did it feel different because there wasn't the roar that you would probably expect in that situation?
WEBB SIMPSON: Maybe a little bit, but in the moment, you -- you know, for me, my process was the same. It felt just as good to make it, but, yeah, that would have been -- there would have definitely been some momentum building from the crowd, I think for a few guys. Not just me, but a few guys there on the last few holes, because a lot of guys were making birdies.

Q. Congratulations, Webb. Just your thoughts on becoming the first guy in maybe forever to win on Father's Day two different tournaments. How special that is for you? And I think they said on TV that you wear yellow on Father's Day, it's your dad's favorite. Can you talk about that a little bit?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, definitely really special. I feel like I won the THE PLAYERS on Mother's Day after my dad passed away, and that was really special, especially it had been 3 1/2, 4 1/2 years since I won. That was an emotional win. U.S. Open on Father's Day, I'll never forget calling my dad after on the way to the press conference, and when he picked up the phone, he just was laughing. That's kind of what he did when he was happy, he would just laugh. So I'm going to miss that laugh today for sure.

But I thought a lot about him. This morning I thought about him, and when I was on the golf course, I thought about him. Yeah, I started wearing yellow on Sundays in his honor. Yellow is his favorite color. My kids know that. Whenever they give me a card, it's always in yellow crayon or yellow marker. So still feeling my dad all around me from memories. He loved golf. He would have loved watching today.

Q. And if you could tolerate my lame golf question, of all the birdie putts you made on the back, which was so critical, I'm curious about the shot you hit on 15, the second that set up that two-putt.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, that was a great number for me. It was a really similar number to yesterday. I hit the same club, hit a 5 wood, had a pretty good lie. I knew anything left of that pin was an uphill two putt. It was basically the same shot I hit yesterday, just a little further left.

Yeah, that kind of -- that was a big drive to hit because, if you don't hit it in the fairway, you've got to lay up, and that wedge shot is pretty tough today to that pin. It was a big drive and a big second shot.

Q. With a leaderboard that tightly packed, there are so many surges. Even just walking the back nine looking at the leaderboard, it's amazing how the narrative kind of shifts in your mind. Oh, this guy's at 20 now. This guy's at 19. Are you aware of that when you're playing? Is there a sense of momentum shifts? And is there any sense that, when you surge, it has to be at the right time? Not that you can really plan that, but really you were the last one to surge, and you ended up winning.
WEBB SIMPSON: I think it's at both ends. It's both staying in your own lane, worrying about yourself, but also you've got to know what's going on. I think, had I not looked at the leaderboards, I would have thought 20 was enough, but I'm looking there on 12, I looked at the leaderboards, and then the next leaderboard, maybe we have one on 13, but I was just amazed tons of guys were shooting low scores and making birdies.

So that made me, not change a whole lot, but just attack a little bit more and make sure that all my putts were getting to the hole. I left a couple putts short on the front, but I made sure I didn't do that on the last seven holes.

Q. Webb, just one broad one. I remember when you won THE PLAYERS a couple years ago, you went to No. 20 in the world, and you talked about that desire to want to kind of stay there and improve. Going up to, I think, No. 5 now, how proud are you of yourself from taking that win at the THE PLAYERS and still moving forward, I guess?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I think I said it then, Justin Rose is kind of my inspiration. He seems like he's always there every week. He works hard at his craft, and I just thought, you know, I have good weeks. I make it to the TOUR Championship. I've won a few times. But I really have a desire to be in that top 10 or 15 guys in the world ranking all the time and have chances to win, not just twice a year, but as many times as I can.

So that led me to just look at every part of my game, whether it's working out or the mental approach, and see if I can get better. That was three years ago probably. So, yeah, to your question, it feels great to see the hard work pay off and see that the process I've put in place is working.

But we're nuts. We always think we can get better, and I think there's room to grow.

Q. Did it take winning for you not to be asked about Bryson?
WEBB SIMPSON: Maybe so. I'm fine talking about Bryson. We can talk about him, whatever you want to talk about.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you for your time and congratulations again.

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