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November 10, 2020

Webb Simpson

Augusta, Georgia

Q. What's your assessment of how it's playing?
WEBB SIMPSON: I feel like in April you can get certain lies that you can put some spin on it and other lies you can't. I feel like this week it's just a little more neutral, tougher to put spin on the ball around the greens with that Bermuda coming through, but I think the chipping areas are really consistent.
Putting from off the green is a little harder, I think, this year, so I've kind of tried everything. I've tried the 3‑iron hybrid, I've tried bumping it with a lob wedge, tried putting it. It kind of depends on the hole, kind of where you are. You know, I wouldn't say a ton different than in April.

Q. In general is the course playing soft at the moment?
WEBB SIMPSON: It is soft. Tee to green it's soft. The greens were a little more firm today than yesterday, but I know Mother Nature is kind of going to possibly give us some rain this week. But I mean, I know‑‑ I'm a member of Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte and we use the same grass, and we overseed end of September, so I'm well aware of the amount of water it takes to get this grass to grow. I think overall they've done a great job of giving us a golf course that's similar to what we're used to but obviously a few months earlier than when we normally are here.

Q. You've had kind of progressing success through the years. Assess your comfort level now.
WEBB SIMPSON: I'm a lot more comfortable. You know, two years ago I had a really good weekend, and I kind of made up my mind I was going to play a lot safer than I'd been playing, just accepting 25, 30 feet sometimes with a wedge in my hand, but know that there's four par‑5s, and 3 is going to be a flip lob wedge.
Just knowing that I think allowed me to put together a good weekend in 2018, and last year I obviously played great, and I've kind of continued that same mindset last year.

Q. Having a caddie like Paul who's been here a few times and seen it in a lot of different conditions, how much has that helped you?
WEBB SIMPSON: It's great, yeah. He's seen every condition, wet, dry, cold, warm. Thankfully this week it's going to be on the warmer side. But he's very comfortable around here. He's got endless notes in his yardage book from the years, so when we play practice rounds we're just going through those tendencies that he's written down through the years, just kind of reminding ourselves what the tendencies are on the greens, the way the ball runs in these fairways.
Augusta is one of those places‑‑ we said today, you can learn something new every time you play it no matter how many times you've been here, new lines on putts, new ways to bring the ball back off these hills. I think that's what makes this place so special.

Q. You've had a terrific year; is there any sort of pressure you're putting on yourself to cap off a great year with a great finish at a unique Masters in November?
WEBB SIMPSON: No, no pressure. I certainly want to finish the year strong, but I've prepared for this tournament like I do for pretty much every other tournament besides having to have a few shots here that I don't normally need. But this is the type of place that gets my juices flowing. I get excited to be here maybe more than most places, you know, since I was a kid dreaming of playing in the Masters.
The older I'm getting, the more I'm kind of enjoying the week versus just looking at it as work or a mental grind. I really enjoy myself out there competing, especially the really challenging shots. The risk‑reward holes out here, 13 and 15, knowing when to lay up and knowing when to go for it, all that's fun for me, so I'm excited for Thursday.

Q. You took the last two weeks off, correct?

Q. Did you do anything special?
WEBB SIMPSON: I was just with my kids and my wife, normal training with my trainer and played some golf, practiced some. But pretty quiet two weeks for me.

Q. Your faith is a very important part of your life. How has it helped you throughout your career and how has it continued to help you?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, that's a great question. I think as I look at kind of the two hardest years professionally for me were '15 and '16, going through the belly putter change. I learned a lot about myself. I realized that as golfers, even as a Christian golfer, it's easy for me to kind of find my identity in my scores and what I'm ranked in the world. When part of the game was kind of taken away from me, I was really struggling. I went from whatever I was, 20th in the world to maybe 80th in the world.
My faith played a huge part in knowing that first I'm a child of God; I'm not a golfer first. Golf happens to be what I do for work. And so that really kind of anchored me, I think, during those two years where I believe if I wasn't a man of faith during that time, it would have been a lot harder because if my identity was wrapped up in golf, that identity was taken away from me. But kind of having that secure identity in being a Christian‑‑ it still wasn't easy, but it definitely gave me a peace, I think, through that tough time, knowing that, hey, this is important, but it's just a game, it's just my job. I'm going to do my best to get through it.

Q. Anyone else on TOUR that you really talk to about it or leaned on, or is it mostly just family?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean, I have a couple great friends out here who are Christians, as well, who were great friends during that time. But my wife was a huge support during that time, kind of pointing me back to‑‑ when we go through tough times, sometimes it's easy to believe lies or believe things that aren't true or maybe certain things become too important, so she was there to remind me of things that were true, and obviously my caddie Paul has the same faith, and so he was a great support system for me, as well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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