MORE INTERVIEWS: RBC Heritage transcripts archive
JOHN BUSH: We'd like to welcome Webb Simpson to the interview room at the RBC Heritage after 6 under par, 65. He stands at 9 under par through three rounds.
That was great playing out there. Some comments on your round.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it was a good day. I played pretty solid all around. I think the difference today, first couple rounds is I made crucial par putts when I needed to make them. The back nine I had momentum after birdieing 10 and 11. Made great saves on 12 and 13. I was able to birdie 15. 16, 17, 18 are tricky holes. And my goal was to play them at even par and I got three pars on them.
All in all a great day, and it looks like I moved up pretty good on the leaderboard.
JOHN BUSH: 68 was your previous best. Talk about how you improved three shots today and your thoughts on the golf course.
WEBB SIMPSON: I think that's the beauty of this golf course is on paper and even to the eye it seems pretty easy. But greens are so small that it's hard sometimes to get it near the pin, especially with the trees overhanging by the green. So I've always loved coming here; it looks good to my eye. But I never have quite gotten it going like I did today. You would think you'd do it more around here because all the par 5s are reachable. It feels nice to do it now and give myself a chance tomorrow.
Q. Obviously missing the cut last week at Augusta, and then maybe what's the difference between last week and this week?
WEBB SIMPSON: It's all in my swing. We've been working on the same thing all year. Us golfers we never get it perfect, but what we were looking for is something that I could continually work on and I'm kind of explaining it poorly. But what I'm saying is we knew where we wanted to get, we just didn't know how to work on it. Once we found out how to work on, it everything clicked. My body movement was able to get to my left side.
We knew it all along. We've known this all year. It was just a matter of how can we work on it to improve. We tried everything and finally it kind of clicked and gave me some confidence, if that makes sense.
Q. I guess as golfers you guys are ready for anything. But was this kind of a strange third round with the threesomes going off two tees, that kind of thing?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I feel like we've seen so much happen this year with the weather. It wasn't that bad. I thought it played a little slower. We didn't really wait until 13. I think somebody said it's the largest cut since the '70s or something. I knew it would be slow. When we expect something, I think we prepare for it a little bit. So we're not as impatient as we would be otherwise.
Q. Your last one was the U.S. Open, does that seem like a long time ago? I don't think there are actually that many tournaments between now and then, but how does it feel to you as to when your last win was?
WEBB SIMPSON: It feels like a good time ago. But the last ten months or so has gone pretty quick. But I still remember all the feelings I felt there Sunday. In that regard it doesn't seem like that long ago.
Q. How much different was the course today than it was yesterday?
WEBB SIMPSON: It was a lot different because we showed up Tuesday, and the fairways were pretty soft. And yesterday afternoon they were really rolling out. And so were the greens. And today the fairways were soft again. The greens held up beautifully. I know they're kind of protecting against tomorrow with the wind that's coming.
But it was softer today, you could be a little more aggressive. But still they had some good pins. It was tough.
Q. Two different questions: What did you do this past weekend? And secondly going back to your point with the U.S. Open, has it in any way kind of been difficult to kind of get back to that? Not to suggest you played poorly, obviously you played well in stretches, but has it been difficult to recapture that?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, a little bit. It's so hard on the PGA Tour to get in contention, because there's so many good players now. So many new winners. And so when those opportunities come, you hope you play well.
I think this year I just haven't got in contention enough. I've only technically been in contention twice, and that was LA and at the match play. So we grow as golfers when we have experience. I just hadn't gotten a ton of experience in those final couple of groups on Sunday.
I'm still learning. If I look back since the U.S. Open, I wish I would have been in contention more. But all in all I'm improving. That's what I always say. That's all I care about.
Q. What are your thoughts in playing in the Carolinas? Do you feel you have any advantage playing in the Carolinas? Do you put more pride in them?
WEBB SIMPSON: A little bit. I've got friends in the area, so when you feel the crowd rooting hard for you, I think it helps, especially when you're playing well. It helps your momentum. But also it's tough if you don't play well. I had to learn the hard way in Greensboro and Charlotte my first couple of years, missing the cuts there. But once I calmed down and figured out how to handle it, I guess, it made it a lot easier. When you play better, it almost propels you forward even more.
Q. Can you expand on the saves you made on holes 12 and 13.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, 12, I pushed a drive in the right rough and I hit my second shot in the bunker. And I hit a poor bunker shot to about 10, 12 feet under the hole and made that.
On 13 I was in the middle of the fairway, and hit a pitching wedge fat in the bunker. Hit that six feet behind the hole and made that.
Two short holes where I could have made 5s and walked off with 4s, I felt like my biggest moment today.