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June 20, 2013

Webb Simpson


MARK STEVENS:  Webb Simpson, 5‑under today.  If you want to take us through your rounds and the highlights, and we'll have some questions.
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, I played solid.  The back nine was easy.  I had two‑putted for birdie on 13 and 15, and made a nice putt on 17.  My only dropshot was 1 from the middle of the fairway with pitching wedge.  It was kind of a bad bogey, but rebounded with three birdies coming in and great start to the week.

Q.  What was working for you today, and when did you get the scent that you thought you could maybe go low and shoot a good score?
WEBB SIMPSON:  I've played this tournament more than any other tournament besides Arnold Palmer Invitational or Bay Hill.  You know, what I've learned here is you've got to be patient, because there are plenty of birdie holes here, but at the same time the holes aren't necessarily that easy.  They've got some trick spots and pins are tough.
You've got to be careful.  You can't always go to the pins and you've just got to take your pars or take your birdies when you can get them.  So I just did a good job today of staying patient, keeping the ball in front of me, and that's all I really wanted to do.

Q.  You played here last year after you won the Open.  Is this a good tournament to play right after the Open?  Do you feel pretty comfortable out here?
WEBB SIMPSON:  I think so.  You know, last week is so stressful on every level.  Driving to the golf course is stressful, practice rounds are stressful.  So I think this week is nice in the sense that getting around is easy.  The town is a great town; it's not big, so it makes for kind of a laid‑back week until hopefully you get in contention and then the stress comes.  But it is, I mean, I like playing after the Open.

Q.  Easier to play this week than it was last year?
WEBB SIMPSON:  Yeah, a little bit.  There is just more pressure, obviously last year.  A lot of times, that kind of pressure ends up helping you play better.

Q.  What will the year be like for Justin Rose, and if you could give him one piece of advice, what would it be?
WEBB SIMPSON:  I don't think he needs much advice.  He's a great professional.  I think the hardest thing for me is balancing the new opportunities that came, whether it's corporately or tournaments, where to play around the world.  He's already a guy who plays around the world throughout the year so I think he'll do a good job handling that.  I think the other hard thing to do is to manage your expectations.  Just because he won a major, it doesn't mean he's that different of a player.  I think, you know, he's a guy that we all knew had plenty of ability to win a major.  But I didn't feel any different or that much different after I won the U.S. Open as a player.

Q.  Hunter said that he came in today with a lot of confidence because he's played this tournament a lot.  Do you feel that sense that I know I can go out with that confidence?
WEBB SIMPSON:  If you play a course enough, you know where you can miss it, and you know what clubs to hit off the tee and the breaks of the greens.  The more you play courses, you just get more comfortable, no matter how hard the course is, even the U.S. Open I was more comfortable Sunday than I was on Thursday.  So I think it just takes time.  Hunter has won here, so I can definitely see how that happens.

Q.  (No microphone).
WEBB SIMPSON:  I feel like it's similar.  I think when there are a lot of distractions, you just learn to manage your time better and really focus when you do have time to practice and work on your game.  I think it's pretty similar.  Maybe a few less demands right now than I had last year after the Open.  But for the most part, it's pretty similar.

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