What they said: Webb SimpsonJuly 07, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
MODERATOR: Webb Simpson, great round, I think four birdies on the last six holes. Just talk about finishing strong and where that puts you for tomorrow.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it was a similar round to yesterday. I just had to be patient there early, I couldn't get anything to drop on the first six holes. But, you know, this golf course will give you some birdies. If you kind of keep plotting and putting the ball in the fairway, you'll have plenty of wedge opportunities. That's what I did, and fortunately for me I took advantage of those holes coming in. I wasn't greedy, I would have taken two or three, but I got five so it's a great feeling to play another bogey-free round and I'm in great position for tomorrow.
MODERATOR: Last year at this event, you're standing on the 10th tee on the final day at 10-under par. If you shoot even par on the back, you're in the playoff. Since this event last year you have 12 top 10s, more than anybody on Tour. What did you learn here last year?
WEBB SIMPSON: Well, I think the main thing was I hadn't won yet so I realized shortly after the round that I wanted it so bad that it kind of -- I put more pressure on myself than the pressure I was already feeling, and so it kind of locked me up a little bit and I wasn't able to perform like I had been all week. So I think it's good for me to remember that, not only tomorrow but every week. Boston, I was four or five back and played a good round Sunday and got in a playoff, and U.S. Open again I was four back. So I think this game has proven to me if I just kind of let it come, it usually will. And if you try to force it, it won't come.
MODERATOR: Questions for Webb?
Q. Was there a moment over this stretch going back to this point last year that you can kind of pinpoint where things maybe clicked for you, you sort of got it??
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't think there's a particular moment. I mean, I certainly think Greensboro's a break-through for me given that I got the monkey off my back and I proved I could win. But more than anything I kind of pride myself in continuing the process that we're trying to accomplish, and that's just to get better and work on my fundamentals. So that's been kind of in the theme now for a couple years and we stuck with it and that's kind of what I want to keep doing.
Q. Has that been hard to do given the U.S. Open success and obviously all the demands that go with that and continuing to play well and having to say no? I know you've talked to Bubba about getting some advice on that sort of thing. How difficult has that stuff been for you?
WEBB SIMPSON: I just don't read what you guys write. But I got tons of great e-mails and texts from older guys that just gave me really good advice. You know, the best piece of advice I got was from Watson and he said, Winning a major championship is great, but it doesn't really change the way you are as a golfer aside from the experience.
Q. Which Watson??
WEBB SIMPSON: Tom. So I took that to heart and I kind of put it in my mind that I was going to work harder than I did leading up to the U.S. Open. I didn't want to settle or become complacent after winning a major, I wanted to stay hungry. It's easy to do. It's easy to win a big tournament and kind of get a little lazy, so it's been a good motivator for me to work a little harder.
Q. Where's that come from, that tunnel vision that you've got??
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't know. I mean, I think having a great family like I do. You know, I tend to want to give it all I have when I'm at the golf course, and then when I leave I don't want to think about golf at all. And I just remind myself almost daily that golf's just my job, it's not who I am. So I think that helps kind of motivate me for the time that I'm at the course to work hard. But at the end of the day I don't feel as much pressure, I don't think, as I could because of that reminder that it's just my job.
Q. Webb, the biggest story around here over the past 24 hours was Tiger and Phil both missing the cut. Can you talk about how as a player that just doesn't affect your life at all??
WEBB SIMPSON: Are you talking about missing cuts?
Q. No, I'm talking about them specifically missing the cut, how you're just not thinking about it, I assume??
WEBB SIMPSON: Oh, yeah. Yeah, I mean, I think I'm bad luck for Tiger because he missed the cut in Charlotte with me. But yeah, those are two of the best players of all time. Tiger's the best player of all time in my opinion, so when he's not in the field, it's a relief because he's such a great player. I certainly don't want him to miss cuts, but when he's not lurking around on Saturdays and Sundays, it makes it a little easier, I think, for other guys. I mean, I played with him obviously and I think he's playing great golf, he just had a couple distance control problems and I think he'll be around.
Q. (Inaudible.) Are you looking at who the other players are around you or does it not matter?
WEBB SIMPSON: You know, I'll look, I'll see who's around me, but the way I look at it is I've got to go shoot under par tomorrow, and if I don't, somebody's going to play pretty good. I think the golf course is playing in such a way that there's plenty of birdie opportunities. So I will look at it, but it won't really affect the way I play. It's almost -- almost got to imagine that these guys are all going to shoot 4-, 5-under and I've got to stay aggressive.
Q. We saw your 20-foot putt on 18. Talk about that and your putting in general.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I mean, I haven't made a lot of putts outside of 10 feet this week, so that was a good one to get. But I kind of figured something out there on the back nine, I missed a seven-footer for birdie on 11. Inside 10 feet I've been pretty solid, so I think if I can go out and hit it solid again tomorrow and make one or two of those like I did on 18, you know, I'll be in good shape.
Q. (Question regarding wife.)
WEBB SIMPSON: Thanks for asking. She's doing great. She was able to come because we only live three and a half hours from here, so this is her last official tournament. But we're counting down the days, probably three more weeks, two more weeks.
Q. Looking at the leaderboard right now, there's a lot of guys that are still looking for first wins or haven't won in a while. Meanwhile, you're -- now you're the guy that's No. 5 in the world and has a major recently and everything. Wasn't that long ago when you were in the same position they are. Is there a difference playing in this position than there is in their position??
WEBB SIMPSON: I think the only difference is -- I don't know, I hadn't looked at the leaderboard, but I think an advantage that a guy like me would have is that I had a lot of experience the last year close to the lead, so I've got a lot of opportunities to draw from, like this tournament last year. So, you know, I certainly think it's really hard to get your first PGA TOUR win, but, you know, I can't really be thinking that because as soon as I do, I'll let up a little bit and guys will be, you know, storming past me.
MODERATOR: All right, Webb. Good luck tomorrow.
WEBB SIMPSON: Thank you.