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August 16 2012

7:42 PM

Simpson feeds off playing partners

Interview: Webb Simpson

Following an opening-round 66, Webb Simpson reflects on his play in the 2012 Wyndham Championship with John Maginnes from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Webb Simpson couldn't have been happier with his draw on Thursday. Ditto for the Atlantic Coast Conference fans at Sedgefield Country Club who came to see the Demon Deacon open his title defense by playing with UNC's Davis Love III and Carl Pettersson of N.C. State.

The trio didn't disappoint, either.

Petterrson posted a 62 that was one shot off the course record he set in winning the tournament in 2008. Simpson fired a 66 and Love came in with a 67 that included a 3-footer for birdie on the group’s final hole.

"It's always good to watch somebody playing well just to get an idea of what it looks like," Simpson said. "But (Carl) played beautifully all day and Davis played well, also. Anytime you got a couple guys playing good with you I think it's a good thing. You kind of feed off each other and make the course seem easier.”

Simpson bogeyed his second hole but made five birdies over the next 16. The reigning U.S. Open champion was steady, hitting  nine fairways and 13 greens in regulation while taking 27 putts. He’s a big fan of the change from Bent to Bermuda on the greens, too.

"I think the rough is thicker," the Charlotte resident said. "I got a lot of bad lies in the rough. The greens are perfect. I mean it's the way the golf course is meant to be played. Quite frankly, it's more enjoyable to play it. I think everybody is really pleased."

Simpson, who will play for Love at the Ryder Cup, said the two didn't talk strategy as much as they did about the uniforms the U.S. Team will wear at Medinah. Both players represent Polo Ralph Lauren on TOUR.

"I love being with Davis," Simpson said. "I have known him for a few years now. He's been great to me. I'm looking forward to being on the team. I tried (the clothes) on at Memorial. I was on the outside looking in then. I liked the clothes so much I had to get on the team."

Simpson was pleased to get a good round under his belt after missing the cut last week at the PGA Championship. He called his 2-footer for birdie at the eighth hole, his 17th, the highlight of the day, and said he was enjoying his first title defense.

"I had great memories there walking on the back nine," Simpson said.

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