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August 30, 2012

Webb Simpson


MARK STEVENS:  We'd like to welcome our defending champion of the Deutsche Bank Championship, Webb Simpson.  Webb is No. 20 in the FedExCup standings.  If you want to talk about your thoughts coming into this week and defending, and then we'll have a few questions.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Obviously it feels great to be back here with so many good memories last year, and so I love this place, love the golf course.  It's in great shape.
18, I just hung back for a little bit to really take it in.  I told Jim McCabe, I think it's going to be a lot harder.  I think the old green was a lot wider, especially the left side, and now anything just long is going to go all the way down the hill.  So it's going to be a lot harder, and I think guys might lay up in certain situations where they would have gone for it before.  Better or worse, I don't know, but it's definitely harder.

Q.  Last year 18 played a big role in your victory with the playoff.  Are you disappointed they changed the hole?
WEBB SIMPSON:  No, not disappointed.  I mean, I think‑‑ I had never really played that hole that well in the first place.  The two birdies I made in regulation and the playoff were‑‑ I hit two poor approach shots, so I didn't really have the hole down.  So I'm kind of indifferent.  It's going to take a little more talk from my caddie now on the second shot or third shot because quite frankly the middle left pin, if you have a wedge in your hand and you're downwind, you can't go at the hole.  You can't hold it, you have to go 20 feet right of the hole.  So the scoring average is definitely going up.  You're just probably going to have to be careful with the pins depending on the wind.

Q.  What will it be like being the defending champion?  How did you do earlier in the year doing that, and do you think all eyes will be on you because of that?
WEBB SIMPSON:  My first time was two weeks ago in Greensboro, and it was fine.  I didn't know what to expect, but it didn't really feel any different than having not won.  I'm certainly excited to try to defend.  I want to do that.  I don't feel any added pressure.

Q.  How was your round today, and are you waiting for the course to kind of dry out just a little bit?
WEBB SIMPSON:  It was good.  I mean, I had heard that the area got a lot of rain a couple days ago, so it was a little soft.  But this place, all it needs is a couple days and it will dry out quickly.  I think with today's conditions and the next couple days I think are going to be pretty windy, I think it'll get back to its original condition.  I'm excited for it.  As much golf as we play, at the end of the day, it doesn't matter a whole lot I think for most guys what the conditions are like because you play in so many different conditions all year that you just try to adapt.

Q.  If I could take you back 13 months or so, would you have believed that you would have done what you've done in that stretch, and back then prior to you even winning in Greensboro, were there any doubts that you could be the player that you've become?
WEBB SIMPSON:  No, I never had doubts, and I never had a problem believing.  I mean, I think‑‑ I've struggled a little bit with believing in my full potential, and my wife has helped me with that, with believing in me.  It's one of those things, I don't think I expected to win Wyndham and Deutsche Bank back‑to‑back like that.  But I definitely don't like putting limits on what we can do out here on TOUR.  I think that paid off winning those two events and then the U.S. Open, because as soon as you start saying, I'll take this or I'll take that, you won't get near there.
The sky's the limit, that's kind of what I like to say.

Q.  Just looking back on it, what's allowed you to have that kind of success?  Are there reasons that you can point to now to say, well, prior to this I couldn't have won and because of this now I can?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I think last year a number of things happened.  I got a veteran caddie in Paul Tesori; I began a workout program for the first time in my career; and my swing got better.  You put those three things together, and at the same time my confidence has grown every week.
I think it's kind of like a soup I like to say and there's a lot of ingredients.  It's not an accident.  I think Colin Powell said, "Success is not an accident."  I always think about that because you put in the work, and I dumb it down to you put in the work, you work hard, you do the little things, the boring things, you go to the gym when you don't want to go, and sooner or later it's going to pay off.

Q.  I read recently that you had a full body scan.  Can you talk about what that entailed and why?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Well, one of my sponsors, GE, they have these really cool machines, and they do a lot more than I could probably tell you up here.  But it's the second time I had done it this year.  I did it at Bay Hill and I did it at Barclays.  Basically it'll tell you everything you want to know about the inside of your body, what's going on.  It's so useful for us players, especially for me, because I take the results‑‑ you can see strength, body mass, total everything basically on each side of your body, compare it, and my workout guys take that and they look at the numbers of bone structure, how healthy my bones are, how much muscle mass I have in my right arm versus my left arm, and they can kind of design my program around that.
But there's so many beneficial reasons to get in there and check out your body.  I could go on all day about the number of different things.  But it's cool.  Golf is changing, workouts are becoming normal instead of just a few guys doing it, everybody is doing it now.  Everybody wants to know how they can get better.

Q.  Are other golfers on TOUR doing the same thing?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, both times I went there was a line of guys wanting to get in there.

Q.  And how does it help you on the course?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Well, it helps you more off the course because my workout guys, they will come up with a program based off these numbers, based off the results of this test, and not only that, but the way you eat, you're able to see so many things that affect the way you eat and vice versa.  It's definitely not telling me how to putt or chip, but it's telling me how I need to eat and work out and live life.

Q.  You talked about winning Greensboro and here back‑to‑back.  Did winning this event, this being a playoff event, did it have any greater meaning than the first victory because of the feel or the prestige, and then sort of a second part to that, when you won at Olympic Club this year, did you draw on anything that happened here last year to let you win the Open?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, the feelings of winning here versus Greensboro were so different because Greensboro was my first win and basically my hometown, my friends, family, basically everybody I know was there.  So that was special in that way.  And winning here, everybody wants to win a FedExCup Playoff event.  This is big for us in terms of what it means.  You get a chance for $10 million in Atlanta and a chance to win the FedExCup.  The atmospheres are very different.  A lot of excitement here; Greensboro is kind of like more just a sigh, okay, we got the first win.
But I definitely took from those two tournaments for the U.S. Open.  I don't think I could have won the U.S. Open had I not won here and Greensboro, just to know what to expect on the back nine on Sunday and what all that entails, there's not a price tag for experience.

Q.  How important is it to win the TOUR Championship?  How would that compare to winning a U.S. Open or a major?  I know it's a lot of money, but just the significance of it.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Well, it's always nice to win the last event of the year.  You want to win at any point, but to win the final FedExCup Playoff event, and hopefully you're in the top 5 so you win the whole thing.  But it's so different than winning a major.  Obviously you're playing only against 29 other guys, but the field is going to be great, and it's just a different feeling and a different story, I think.

Q.  Is it on the same level as winning a major?
WEBB SIMPSON:  I don't think so.  Financially maybe, but I mean, the majors you're beating the best 130, 140 players in the world, and it's a major.

Q.  Have you had a chance to take a step back and realize everything that's happened to you both on and off the golf course in the past year or so?
WEBB SIMPSON:  A little bit.  It's crazy, my wife and I talk all the time about how two years ago we were just married and no kids, and now we've got two kids.  So a lot has changed, and I feel very blessed.  I mean, I have a great family, great support team around me.  I know I couldn't do what I do without my wife, without my family.  Traveling now is certainly a lot harder.  We're packing it seems like 30 bags instead of two.  But yeah, it's great.  Life is crazy right now for us, but it's fun.

Q.  Could you talk to me about the par‑3s on the back side, the 11th hole, 230 uphill?  How do you attack that hole, or do you just try to survive that one?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Just try to survive.  Any time you have a hybrid or 5‑wood in your hand, you'll take 3 every time.  If guys tell you otherwise, they're lying.  It's a tough hole.  I mean, today I hit a full hybrid short, and it plugged in the bunker.  So 11 is a tough hole.
And then 16 is exciting.  It's only an 8‑ or 7‑iron, and I think they'll move the tees up to the front right pin.  16 is a great hole.  It's a perfect par‑3.  You can make 2 or you can make 5 pretty easily.
MARK STEVENS:  Thanks a lot, Webb, and good luck defending this week.

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