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October 14, 2011

Webb Simpson


DOUG MILNE: Webb Simpson, thanks for joining us for a few minutes after a successful round 2, 3-under 67 today, just a few comments. Obviously you're just playing incredibly well right now, just a few opening comments about the round today and we'll just take it from there with some questions after that.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I could tell sitting in my hotel this morning that it was going to be a windy day, and starting out we had some tough holes. I made a bogey at 4 but kind of hung in there. I knew it was one of those hang-in-there days. Played nicely on the back and got up-and-down when I needed to. I'm just as satisfied with today's round as yesterday's, given the conditions.
DOUG MILNE: I was told I need today ask you about the comment your wife made about the shoes you played in today.
WEBB SIMPSON: Do you want to read the text? No, I can't read the text. It's bad for my sponsor. It's funny, she's cracking on me. She didn't like the shoes with the outfit. She liked the shoes but not with the outfit. She thought I looked like an Armenian basketball player, whatever that means.

Q. Luke decided he was going to play Disney next week and it almost kind of puts the Money List into a nice little battle the last two weeks. Your thoughts on that, and no matter what happens or no matter what you do this week, are there any plans for you to play next week?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I'm going to play next week, and I figured -- I thought Luke was going to definitely play. It's just with the commitment deadline being Friday, being the end of play Friday, it's just so hard to tell what you're doing to do for the week and how well you've play on the weekend. I think he's kind of thinking the same thing I'm thinking, that if one of us was going to play, the other one really needed to. It's going to be fun. I'm sure -- he's one of those competitive guys on the TOUR, and so I'm sure he's going to come guns loaded and he's going to play great like he has all year.

Q. I hate to do what-ifs this year, but if there had been zero inclination from Luke, would you have played next week?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think so, because even if I was leading by ten today, if I don't have a good weekend, I'll come up short, and then if I didn't commit, I'd feel really dumb that I gave up that opportunity.

Q. So when you committed to this you effectively were committing to both of them in your head?
WEBB SIMPSON: Pretty much. I didn't want him to know that.

Q. Luke felt the need to add a little hash tag, "bring it on." I don't know if you have heard about that. I know that probably doesn't mean any real big harm because Luke is not exactly like a University of Miami football player, in your face or something like that. But after the FedExCup, with Tiger entering last week and now this little thing the last couple weeks, the Fall Series has turned out to be fun and maybe a little bit attention-getting now?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, his birdie on 18 turned out -- at the TOUR Championship turned out to be the biggest putt of the year for him in my opinion. It just kind of turned around our schedules a little bit. But you know, it is fun. It'll be nice to go down there. It's an interesting dynamic. We're not used to this. I'm sure there will be a lot of head-to-head talks, and I'm sure they'll think about pairing us together first two rounds.
So a lot is going to happen next week, and a lot can happen this weekend. Like I said, the last couple days in here, I'm just going to try and win the golf tournament. If I can play well this weekend, even if I don't win, a great chunk will be added to the Money List.

Q. Are you the kind of player that would want to be paired with him?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I don't really care. It would be more fun if we were paired together on the weekend. First two rounds, they're important, but they don't mean a ton, as long as we're both playing pretty decent. So it would be fun to get paired with him, especially on Sunday. I'm sure that would be great for everyone.

Q. Talk about your stretch on 15 and 16 today.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, 15 I knew was going to be a short hole. I hit a good drive and had 6-iron in, hit it in the bunker, but pretty easy up-and-down, made a three-footer, four-footer for birdie.
16 was downwind, had a 100-yard shot, hit it in there about four feet, so made those holes easy like I wanted to.

Q. What did you hit off the tee there, on 16?
WEBB SIMPSON: I hit driver.

Q. 4 gave everybody a lot of fits today. Was that all wind out there?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it was. You know, I hit a drive in the right rough and hit it right of the green and I hit a great pitch to about four feet, and I thought I made it. I had the wind blowing right to left and the putt should have gone a little right and I played it straight and it ended up breaking against the wind pretty hard. It's a tough hole, it's a good hole. Even 5 played pretty tough today. I saw Stewart Cink hit his second shot on 5 from 40 yards in the marsh and hit it on the green.
There's just nothing blocking the wind out there on the point.

Q. Did you play Disney last year?

Q. Any thoughts on either one of those courses?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I grew up playing a lot of golf down there, the AJGA Polo Match Play used to be there, so I know the course well. It's always a fun tournament to go to. It's a relaxed field and you get carts on the practice rounds. All week it's just pretty laid back.

Q. Will it feel relaxed do you think next week?
WEBB SIMPSON: I mean, I don't know. We'll see. Never been in this situation. You know, there's -- when I'm trying to win the golf tournament, I'm trying to win the Money List, so I'm sure it's going to be tough to focus on what we're doing, but I'm going to try my best.

Q. And you've got Mickey Mouse right in the muddle of it ready to present the trophy.

Q. What was it in the hotel that made you see what kind of day it was going to be?
WEBB SIMPSON: We were just sitting on the back porch and looking at the ocean. The ocean was whipping pretty good and the flags were blowing and the palm trees were blowing, and I noticed it picked up pretty early.

Q. Did you have trouble on 13?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I got a good break there. It was in the hazard, and I had a swing, so I got away with one there. I thought it was too far left. That was kind of a big hole for me.

Q. (No microphone.)
WEBB SIMPSON: I hit it long right on the fringe and had to chip it because of the hill. I chipped it to about seven, eight feet, made par.

Q. There's an old saying that it's hard to follow up a good round with another good round, and so with your 63 yesterday, was it anticipated that you would be able to do as well as you've done today and still be tied for the lead? Do you just not pay attention?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I don't think too far ahead. When I tee it up on the first hole, you know it's going to be tough out there, and so you don't have expectations to shoot 5- or 6-under, you just try to keep the ball in front of you and try to avoid big numbers. I told myself starting the day, anything under par would be a great round, even 1-under, and I know it wouldn't move that far from the lead.

Q. You talked about knowing it would be difficult to score out there today. When you were through six holes at 1-under and four back, were you starting to get a little impatient and wondering if you would be able to make up any of the ground on Michael?
WEBB SIMPSON: Not really. I knew 7 was going to be downwind. I knew we could reach that hole in two, and then 8 was going to be a wedge opportunity. So I didn't get too frustrated. I made a big putt on 5 I thought for par, about a six, seven-footer to stay at 1-over. Days like this you just kind of stay patient and take your birdies when they come, and if you get a little frustrated, it's quick to come back and get you, and you'll probably make a few bogeys.

Q. As the year has gone on, have you made a conscious effort to play faster?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I've tried to. I watched the coverage of Tampa when I lost by one, and the back nine it just looked like I was backing off all the time, really indecisive. I have worked on that, and I think I'm doing a lot better job. I had a bunch of timings last year, a bunch of bad timings, and this year I haven't had as many. I think I play better when I play quicker.

Q. Why are you better right now than you were a year ago?
WEBB SIMPSON: I think a few things. I've been working out with the team all year, so I think physically I'm in better shape. Having Paul on the bag has helped, and he's helped with my golf swing, as well, and I think besides that, it's just confidence. I think when you see golfers playing well, they just seem to keep it going, and then when you're not playing well, it's hard to kind of climb your way out of it. So much of this game is just all momentum, and you just -- I think having good finishes and playing well down the stretch and winning golf tournaments or even being in contention makes you a better player.

Q. Can you pinpoint when that confidence started to surge?
WEBB SIMPSON: I started feeling like I could play out here and win golf tournaments. Earlier in the year I think when I backed up losing by one in New Orleans with another chance to win right there on Sunday and playing well Sunday, I kind of felt like -- not that I belonged, but that I can win. You know, there's always -- we want to believe that we can win. There's always a question in mind of can I really win or contend. I think midpoint of the season when I was really trying to contend on Sunday was where I said, it's a matter of timing now.

Q. (No microphone.)
WEBB SIMPSON: No, Quail I finished 21st. I was in contention, though, Saturday.
DOUG MILNE: Webb, we appreciate your time, and best of luck on the weekend.

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