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November 15, 2011

Webb Simpson


WEBB SIMPSON: Once we get going, I'll be teeing off on the even holes so I won't have to worry about the first tee jinx.

Q. What have you been doing?
WEBB SIMPSON: Been relaxing. I took about eight days off after Disney and then had about just less than two weeks to get ready to prepare. Just been relaxing, working out, practicing, so it's been nice. Kind of hard to treat it as three weeks off, because I want to be ready for this, I didn't want to come here not prepared. So it's been good.

Q. What were the pros and cons of playing the Aussie Open?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, my son was sick there a few weeks ago, and having a last-minute decision to play McGladrey, kind of through a kink in. I wanted to make sure he was better. I didn't want to leave the country before I knew he was better, so just worked out to stay at home.
He had a cold, but it was a pretty bad cold, he couldn't get rid of it. The doctor and us wanted to make sure it wasn't anything bad. I was pretty worried.

Q. Freddie Couples earlier said that he had never seen you play before; did you put on a good show for him?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, he only saw me play a couple of holes but he came out there today as well. Freddie is an awesome player but he's not really intimidating. He makes us feel very relaxed. So I really enjoyed spending some time with him.

Q. As a captain, did he contact you or did he try and introduce himself, get to know you a bit?
WEBB SIMPSON: We spoke a few times. When I pulled out of those events in Asia, I called him, ran it by him to make sure he was okay with it. Spoke to him a little bit over the phone.

Q. Yesterday you your approach to the 4th where you hit a couple of balls that finished in front of the flag, how many of those do you reckon you're going to get between now and the end of the week?
WEBB SIMPSON: Probably plenty. I think you'll see so many so many types of golf shots, guys will be playing from so many sides of the green, I think you'll see us playing as save as we can.

Q. What is your early assessment of Royal Melbourne?
WEBB SIMPSON: It's great. It's not that long and it's beautiful, the greens are unbelievable, they are firm. And I think, you know, the team that wins will have to think their way around the course the best. It will be about making putts.
But I think the premium this week is going to be controlling the golf ball. I think you'll see a lot of different strategies when you compare alternate-shot to best-ball on a course like this because with a hole like 6, the short par 4, best-ball you might want to both go for it where alternate-shot I think you'll want to play it safe and give yourself a wedge.

Q. Have you ever seen Fred play?
WEBB SIMPSON: Maybe at the Masters a couple of times. That might be it.

Q. Has there been any talk on who you're going to be possibly paired with?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, we are throwing around some ideas, I think for me personally, a good fit is going to be someone that doesn't necessarily have to be a rookie. But I like to have a good time out there. The veterans -- you might see a couple of the veteran/rookie match-ups, but I don't think it will be too surprising who we are playing with.

Q. Have you been reading up on the history of the course in preparation for this?
WEBB SIMPSON: A little bit. I try to find out as much about the course as I could online. I played with Robert Allenby about a month ago at Sea Island and he was telling me something about it. It's hard to describe. I don't think anyone could have done it justice.
My caddie and I were out there talking about how we played here, and there are not that many golf courses left like this where you get on a hole that's 350, and 4 is a good score where in the States you make birdie all the time.

Q. Wearing the shirt, what does this mean?
WEBB SIMPSON: It means a great deal. It's the second time I've played a team, I played in the Walker Cup, and so all of these feelings, I'm enjoying it. And it's an honor to be walking alongside these guys who are the best players in the world. I think both teams, all 12 players will play great golf this week. To be in the mix and have a chance to be on the team is awesome.

Q. Did everyone welcome you to the team?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean, it's been great. Our whole personality, it's pretty laid back. Mostly the guys play ping-pong, like Matt and Phil, and I beat Phil the first game last night.

Q. How firm are you finding the golf course?
WEBB SIMPSON: The greens are about as firm as I've ever played. The fairways aren't too firm. They are nice and rolling but nothing compared to the greens. You know, I think what I've heard around here is that if we get enough rain, they will remain firm. They are beautiful.

Q. Using that long putter on greens that are going to be this fast, is there any potential problem with that? Or are you just so used to it?
WEBB SIMPSON: I'm pretty used to it. We play a few times in the States over the year where the greens are this speed. I'd trying to do a little work today and tomorrow to get the speed, I think that's pretty crucial, especially in alternate-shot, you don't want to leave your partner 4- or 5-footers all day. So try to dial it in.

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