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August 14, 2013

Webb Simpson


DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Webb Simpson to the interview room here at the Wyndham Championship.テつ Webb, making your 5th start here where you won in 2011 and you're off to a solid 2013, four top-10 finishes, including a near win in Harbor Town earlier.
With that said, I'll just turn it over to you for some comments on being back here at Sedgefield.
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah.テつ Well, you know, I'm lucky because I get two events in my home state every year, Charlotte and Greensboro.テつ It's always nice to be home.
It always feels like I'm hopefully home when I have my car here.テつ I drove here.テつ Love being here, love being back in Greensboro, love Sedgefield.テつ You know, just blown away with how good the golf course is right now even with the big storms we got in the last couple days and the greens are perfect.
Some of the fastest and most pure greens we'll play all year.テつ So, they're doing it right here and excited for the week.
DOUG MILNE:テつ With that, we'll jump right into some questions.

Q.テつ Webb, when you won it two years ago, you were 18-under, when Sergio won it last year he was 18-under.テつ Just mentioned how much firmer and faster the greens are.
Give us an idea if we're going to see 18-under again this weekend or how much worse scores might be from the eventual champ.
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ The interesting thing they're so fast now there are certain pin placements they can't use that they used in the past.
On 12 and 16, the par 3, we were on the top level and putted it down.テつ Couldn't keep it on the green.
Whoever is putting the pin placements out there this week is going to have a tough job because, you know, you want to make it tough, you want to make it challenging but, at the same time, with the how fast they are, if you get away from them a little bit -- but, you know, I think last year what got the scores a lot lower was how much rain we got and the greens softened up.
The rain did make it softer but they're still releasing a lot more than last year.テつ I don't quite see 18 being out there but you never know with how good guys are playing, you get hot.テつ But, definitely think it's more challenging than it was.

Q.テつ This used to be known as an up and comer.テつ You got your first win here.テつ With the field getting larger and even better, how does that affect things?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ You know, I think this is a tough spot in the sense of some guys are resting for The Playoffs but at the same time it's a great spot because it's the player's last chance to not only move inside the Top 125 but, like Ernie Els, he wanted to improve his position and you know, I love being here.
I think it's an easy week for the players in terms of, you know, you don't have to fight a lot of traffic, everything is pretty close and so stress-wise it's an easy week compared to a lot of weeks in the big cities that we play.
That's why I love coming here, one of the many reasons.テつ Hopefully the field will continue to get better.テつ I think, you know, us players, we talk, so guys are already talking about the greens this week and I think guys that don't play here that are there next week will understand the course is getting better every year.

Q.テつ Webb, how much better are the greens this year compared to last and do you think there's a 59 out there with the way the weather is shaping up?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I don't think there's a 59.テつ I just think they're too fast.テつ There are so many putts that will have be playing defense -- in defense of running it by three, six, seven feet. テつIt's so easy to do.
Even club selections on holes.テつ I mean 12, if they do put a pin front we're going to try to hit a club short of the green and chip up.テつ Accidentally we might hit it on the green but there's a lot of that to think about and there's -- all the greens are health now.
All the fringes have grown in.テつ The ball rolls incredibly well.テつ As a member of Quail Hollow Club, I'm excited to see what those greens are like after playing out here.

Q.テつ Webb, last year obviously you remember us having the delay and the tournament ended up going into Monday because of the amount of rain that we got and the forecast isn't looking good at all for this weekend at all.
How important is it for you guys to get the tournament over and done with on Sunday and try to avoid any weather delays?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ It's really important.テつ You know, I think it's easier to get play done when we're on the weekend because we're in two-somes so we can do a lot more.テつ There's more options.テつ You can go 2s or 3s off both tees.
Nobody wants to play until Monday.テつ I don't think there's anybody out there.テつ Monday is a rest day before we go to New Jersey.テつ Hopefully we can play and you know, it looks like from what I've seen looks like rain and not storms.テつ I'm hopeful that we can get it done.

Q.テつ Webb, you mentioned the small town feel coming here to Greensboro.テつ What's a typical Greensboro gallery like?テつ What are its characteristics, I guess?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I think you have the crowd that understands golf because we're an hour, hour and a half from Pinehurst, so, great courses around.テつ They understand golf.
They know how to properly clap for a golf shot.テつ They're not clapping for a ball that just spins back 30 feet.テつ I was coming off 9 green and so many kids here.テつ You have big cities for North Carolina like Raleigh, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, all in driving distance.テつ There's more kids here than a lot of tournaments.テつ It's nice to see all ages out here and supporting this golf tournament.

Q.テつ The long putter being on the horizon.テつ Have you been dabbling with the short putter a little bit?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Little bit.テつ I haven't had enough time off to practice with anything.テつ I got a lot of time coming up that I won't be playing so I'll be working with it a little bit.
I've tried different putters and, you know, I like what I'm seeing.テつ I just need some time to kind of grow into it and get used to it.

Q.テつ How much of a game changer is it for you?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ It's not really a big game changer.テつ I changed irons in January.テつ Changed driver and 3-wood.テつ I'm already changing irons again.テつ Changing driver shafts.テつ We're changing all the time.
So, although the putting method is different, it doesn't change a whole lot.テつ I'm still reading the greens the same way, still trying to make putts the same way.テつ I think more than anything, just getting used to what, you know media, the fans and the public say about it.テつ Got so much attention there for awhile it's kind of nice that it's dying down and hopefully come '16 there will be no more issues.

Q.テつ I've heard you mention in the past how much you enjoy playing Donald Ross courses.テつ What specifically is it about them that you enjoy so much?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I think just how challenging Donald Ross courses are around the greens.テつ Because I grew up playing a lot of Donald Ross courses.テつ You have to use your imagination incredibly well to get the ball up and down and there's not many straightforward chips or putts and typically the Donald Ross greens if you're right of the hole, the putt is going to break left, if you're left of the hole, it's going to break right.
You kind of know what to expect.テつ I played Pinehurst pretty much every week growing up, played all Donald Ross courses there.テつ I do love Donald Ross and enjoy playing them.

Q.テつ Specifically which courses did you play?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I agree up at Country Club of North Carolina.テつ Played Dogwood and Cargo.テつ Played No. 2 a lot.テつ Played No. 4 a lot.テつ Really I kind of played just tournaments all over down there.

Q.テつ One thing Mark Brazil said, with the tradition of big names coming back and automatically put it on the schedule, you're one, Brandt is one, what encourages you to keep coming and have it as a staple on your schedule?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ We don't play many golf courses anymore that aren't 7500 yards and wide open right in front of you.
I feel like golf course designers, modern day designers who design the big courses, they can all get a lesson from the Donald Ross.テつ Come to Sedgefield, going to a lot of land in Hawaii, going to Hilton Head, these shorter, tighter courses have so much more character and I think that's what I mean so we just don't get a chance the play these courses much and you really got to think your away around Sedgefield.テつ You can hit driver or you can hit 3-iron on a lot of holes.

Q.テつ Webb, you've had, the last couple of tournaments, you've had fantastic rounds followed up by not so fantastic rounds.
How do you assess the swing from round to round and how do you go about finding the balance?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ I'm an optimistic person.テつ I'd rather be shooting the low and highs than not really getting the lows.テつ I know the game is there.テつ We just really analyze why am I not putting four rounds together, why am I not being more consistent?
But, you know, I feel confident that the stuff we're working on, I'm getting better.テつ I think more than anything the mistakes, I'm making more bogies this year, just sloppy mistakes.テつ They're mental mistakes that lead to physical mistakes.
Last week I was 5-over through 8 holes and I didn't really hit a bad shot.テつ The 5th hole I hit it over the green on the second shot but I thought was the right distance, made double and then I had three 3-putts that were all a result of hitting the ball way past the hole.テつ It took me ten holes to get used to the speed.
There's a lot of good the last couple of tournaments, finishing 14th and 25th making as many bogies as I did is a good thing.テつ My hope for this week is that I kind of iron some of those things out last few days and make less bogies.

Q.テつ Webb, what does do it to a PGA golfer when they finally break through and win for a first time?テつ It seems that your career took off a bit, Brandt when he won here.テつ I'm not talking about exemptions but what it does to you up here when you finally know I can win out here?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ It's great.テつ I never doubted -- I don't think the other guys do, either, you never doubt whether or not you can do it but you realize that everybody else does and, you know, I think some players deal with it better than others but I think for me when I won it was such a relief in the sense that I didn't have to talk anymore about winning my first tournament.テつ I did it.テつ It was over.テつ Let's focus on something else.テつ There's going to be another issue that comes up.
So, it was a big relief and I think I enjoy that first win more than the second one just in the sense that there's a lot of expectation, anticipation for it and it finally came and it was a nice feeling.

Q.テつ Then when you win a Major, is that multiplied by ten, can I win a Major?
WEBB SIMPSON:テつ Yeah.テつ The Major stuff is funny because, you know, I wish it wasn't that way.テつ I don't think our careers should be defined by Majors even though that's how it is and it's probably how it always will be.
The reason I think that is because they're so hard to win in the sense there's only four times a year, you know, and the best players in the world are there at those four events a year and so there's so much that has to be right for you to play well at any tournament, whether it's you're rested, your game is good, you know, your caddy and you are on the same page.
All these things have to happen for a win.テつ And so I think that's what makes it feel that much more special having won the U.S. Open but, at the same time certain guys have won so many tournaments and haven't won a Major, I wish for them it wasn't defined by Majors because they're world class players.テつ I guess that's the way it is.
DOUG MILNE:テつ All right, Webb.テつ We hope to see you do well this week.

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