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August 25, 2006

Webb Simpson


CRAIG SMITH: You must be tired, you had a real close match this morning that could have gone either way and you got an early lead here and kind of leveled out. Long day, you had some pretty tough matches.

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, this morning. I just wasn't hitting it as straight, wasn't hitting it as good. You know, short game bailed me out this morning. But this afternoon, I really drove it well. I think I only missed a couple fairways, which out here is definitely the key. My first bogey was 16, so that was pretty good for match play.

Q. Thinking about the summer you've had, Sunny Hanna, winning that, kind of send notice through the amateur ranks that this guy is pretty good, gives you a little confidence coming here, too?

WEBB SIMPSON: It was a great start this summer, my first tournament after the NCAAs, it was a positive start. So I played a lot of tournaments, so it was good getting that confidence.

CRAIG SMITH: Can you win this?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I think so, with a little good luck and if I keep playing well.

You know, everybody, the smaller the field, everybody gets better and better. So just anybody's win to take.

Q. You've had such a good summer, what's been the key to it in your mind?

WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I never for some reason, I never seem to play that well when it's cold. So always seem to start playing good when the end of the spring rolls around. You know, I'm big on confidence, so like I said, Sunny Hanna gave me a lot of that. I just stayed focused on golf all summer. I didn't really do anything else, so, that was big.

Q. The other day after I talked to you, I talked to Ted Kiegiel, and he said that, you know, ever since you were a kid that you've had the ability; the confidence always seemed to be the last missing piece. Has something clicked?

WEBB SIMPSON: I seem to I seem to, you know, what's the word I seem to kind of get hot and kind of keep getting hot. You know, when I'm cold, it's hard for me to get back on a good path.

But, I don't know, I mean, I guess it's just I've improved mentally I would say more than anything, because my technique has improved here and there, but still a lot of room for improvement. But I would say mentally is where I improved the most.

Q. Have you been working with someone?

WEBB SIMPSON: No, not really. I talk to my dad and my coach from Wake Forest coach about little things. I had a couple tournaments this spring where I had rough finishes coming down the stretch where I probably should have won.

But you know, I just talked with them and ask questions and listen, so that was about it, but no mental coach or anything like that.

Q. You play as fast as anyone out there.


Q. Can't even say "good shot" to your opponent because yours is up in the air. Do you ever get to a point in a college match or out here where it tries your patience because you're waiting?

WEBB SIMPSON: Oh, yeah, college golf is definitely very slow because usually we play tournaments with 15 teams. So I've got to kind of sit back and slowed own my walk a little. I got with my dad, he's a fast walker, too, so I usually try to keep up with him.

Coming down the stretch is usually when I get quicker. So coming down the stretch I really try to slow it down, everything I do.

Q. They were talking on TV, some round that you played with Dean Smith?


Q. When was that and what's that all about?

WEBB SIMPSON: That was back when I was 12. I just kind of walked up to the first tee and asked a couple questions and he let me play with him and his son in law and his son. Yeah, that was a fun experience, because I grew up a UNC fan, so it was like a dream come true.

Q. So why did you end up at Wake Forest?

WEBB SIMPSON: A few reasons, but mainly for the program and the coach. And Carolina, I probably would have gotten a little distracted, such a big school.

Q. How does this care with the Sunny Hanna win, do you need to go one more yet to be calling this your career highlight?

WEBB SIMPSON: Oh, yeah. Sunny Hanna had a great field, but, you know, I think this field this career is probably the best U.S. Am field they have had in a long time, all the international players over here, and most of the good players I know qualified.

So this is a lot bigger than Sunny Hanna, not to take away from that tournament, but a lot more people playing and just a lot more into it, longer week.

Q. Is it hard now that you've won two, I'm sure you're pretty tired, but to allow yourself to look ahead, or don't you want to do that?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I'm just going to try to see tomorrow's match just as I've seen the last four. So you know, I go back and relax tonight, try to get rested up. I'm not really tired right now but that's probably just because I'm still feeling like I'm out there.

Q. And how are you doing that, what are you doing to get away from it?

WEBB SIMPSON: We've actually been going to the same restaurant every night, six nights in a row for them and five out of six for me. I was at the players' dinner the night we didn't go. But it's just easy to get to. We'll probably end up going back to that one.

Q. What's the restaurant?


Q. Now, you come from a big family, who all is here?

WEBB SIMPSON: My dad is caddying obviously. My mom is here, my second oldest sister, Blake, she's 25 and everybody else is at home.

Q. Is your dad a pretty good golfer?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, he's a pretty good golfer. He's pretty good.

Q. What does he bring to you when you're playing?

WEBB SIMPSON: He gives me hope when I'm his age that I can still hit it far. He still hits it about as far as I do.

Q. Do you consider yourself a long hitter?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, you know, growing up until I was probably 14, I was really short and I got bigger and stronger and with technology nowadays, everybody seems to hit it pretty far. But I would say I'm probably a little bit above average.

Q. You were a highly touted junior going into Wake. How is your game different from when you first started playing college golf?

WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I never really thought much about certain shots. Never thought too much into a round before I got to wake. But my freshman year was a big time learning experience. I worked a lot with Coach Haas and how to play the game differently because, you know, college golf, every course is so long. So you can't go out and make birdies every round.

I just had to learn to accept pars when I used to try to make birdie and force it and end up making bogey or worse.

Q. In college golf, obviously there's very little match play except for the one match play tournament, have you played much match play, and have you had much success?

WEBB SIMPSON: Well, this tournament, I've only won one match the last my first two years playing, I won one match last year.

The North and South Amateur I played the last, I don't know, three years maybe, and my second year, I believe I won three matches. So good experience winning matches there. And this past year, I won a couple. So not a whole lot. I never braid in the British Amateur or anything like that.

Q. Has your short game been the strength of your game over the years?

WEBB SIMPSON: Yes. Because, you know, growing up, not hitting it far, I had to learn how to get it in the hole a different way. And I grew up on a short course, so I had a lot of wedges. Learned how to hit those.

Q. What course was that?

WEBB SIMPSON: Carolina Country Club.

Q. And when did you go to the longer putter?

WEBB SIMPSON: It was Thanksgiving, it will be two years this Thanksgiving.

Q. Why, again?

WEBB SIMPSON: You know, it was my freshman the fall of my freshman year. I played pretty good the first few events, but you know, I was having tournaments where I'd have 25 putts the first round and 33 the next or 34. I just was kind of frustrated with the inconsistency.

So we were in Pinehurst for Thanksgiving, and I'm in the pro shop, just grabbed it, grabbed the belly putter and putted pretty good and stuck with it. Same one, same putter I've been using.

End of FastScripts.

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