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January 7, 2012

Webb Simpson


JOHN BUSH:  Webb Simpson joins us after a second consecutive 5‑under par 68.  Nice playing again.  Let's just get your comments.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I think today the course was playing a little bit easier.  The wind was down a little bit and the pins were a little more accessible.  But I played solid again, missed a five‑, six‑footer on 5 for birdie, and a five‑footer on 13.  But other than that, played really solid.  It was nice to birdie three of the last four.
JOHN BUSH:  Take us through those.
WEBB SIMPSON:  15 I hit a good drive, poor second shot but a really good pitch to about six feet, made birdie.
16, I hit sand wedge from 100 yards to about five feet, made that.
And then 18, played an okay second shot to the fringe and nice two‑putt.

Q.  Stricker is out there at 14‑under with a chance to go 15, 16‑under.  Kevin Na, 9‑under for his last ten holes today.  Is there a possible‑‑ are we looking at a possible shootout for the last two rounds?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I think‑‑ I told my caddie out there on 13, I hadn't made any birdies since No.7, that this course you just have to stay patient because you can get on a run.  Kevin Na did it today, and I'm sure a couple other guys did it.  But it's the kind of course where you're going to have plenty of birdie opportunities.  So if you can keep your ball in play, you'll probably make a few.

Q.  Having said that, obviously Stricker, he did finish at 15 with a five‑shot lead.  It's a pretty daunting task for anybody to catch, even with 36 holes left, don't you think?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, he's proved himself over and over again, especially here the last five, six years.  He's such a great player.  He's a good friend.  He's given me a lot of great advice over these last couple years and got to know him well at Presidents Cup.  If I'm playing with him, I'm not sure if I am, but I hope I am.  He's great to play with, easy to play with, and hopefully I can put a little pressure on him.

Q.  You talked about trying to be patient until some more birdies came.  At some point do you also feel like because the course is maybe playing easier that there is a tendency to say, I'd better start making some?  Do you change your mindset a little?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, a little bit.  You know, I think certain holes you can be really aggressive and kind of just let it rip.  But a perfect example is like 15 today, I missed my second shot right.  If I get a little cute with the pitch shot, it'll come back to me and I'll make 6.  There are just little things about this course where you kind of have to be careful, but I think 23 or 24 of the 27 guys are under par.  There are plenty of birdie holes.  I think it helps the round when you can get off to a good start.

Q.  I just want to ask, given how you played last year, especially late in the season and your consistency, was one of those things that you really didn't want the year to end because you were playing so well, or were you glad to at least have a few weeks off?
WEBB SIMPSON:  No, I needed a break.  I had played so much and I wasn't used to that much golf.  It came at a good time.  It probably‑‑ my off‑season, I wish it was about three or four more weeks longer.  But we're going to do a nice job in January and February of resting, and I'll take a few weeks off in January and February.  I just want to be fresh come the Masters, Wells Fargo and THE PLAYERS, that stretch where I'm usually burned out, so I just want to get my rest and make sure I'm ready to go.

Q.  Have you decided where you're going to be playing?
WEBB SIMPSON:  As of now I'm playing next week, Phoenix, Match Play.

Q.  Do you have to pace yourself physically because of the way this course is more than other courses?
WEBB SIMPSON:  I think so.  I'm getting a little more body work done by my trainer this week just to make sure everything is working well.  But you do, you've got to make sure you're eating well, having enough water out there, because it's brutal.  A lot of the holes are‑‑ seems like they're never going to end.
JOHN BUSH:  Webb, we appreciate your time.  We'll see you tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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