RBC Heritage interview: Webb SimpsonApril 21, 2013
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DOUG MILNE: We'd like to welcome Webb Simpson and crew to the interview room here at the RBC Heritage.
Webb, it was a great week overall, hard conditions today. Took some extra holes. Your comments overall on the week.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it was a great week overall. I came in with not too much confidence but I just stayed true to the process of what we've been working on. My wife and I had multiple conversations this week just about my confidence, how I can become more confident as a player.
So thanks for my wife for helping me get back in contention in tournaments. I want to thank the Lord because I've been playing I think lately with more anxiety than normal. So the Lord really helped me to stay calm out there today and tried to execute under pressure. Unfortunately came up a shot short. But hats off to Graeme, he played great today.
Q. Can you elaborate more on what you guys talked about in terms of your confidence in those conversations.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, normally my best attribute is my mind, and my mind, I feel, is what's been holding me back this year. And we were trying to dive into why I don't feel like I'm playing free and with confidence. So every time I play with a good junior player, 14 and under, they don't do anything out of the ordinary, all they see is the shot they're trying to hit. So I just try to play more like a kid, and just drew on past experiences on when I used to play when I was younger.
Q. Can you talk about the difficulty playing in the wind and how it affects your putt, if any, with the belly?
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't think it's any harder. I think it's harder with the guys with the long putter, but it's so tough out there. You can hit a 9‑iron from the middle of the fairway and honestly you could come up 40 feet short pin‑high or 40 feet long, depending on the gust.
My caddie and I called 18 holes today 18 acts, as if we were in a play, just because you really cannot think ahead out there today. It's as hard as we'll ever play. The highest gusts somebody told me was 42 miles an hour; that's borderline to having to call play. My ball moved only a few times. It was tough. Guessing the wind is the hardest thing, as well as putting. Putting is so hard because you've got to play, break, grain, wind.
Q. Did it come from one direction mostly or was it swirling?
WEBB SIMPSON: No, it was actually pretty consistent today. We had a map of the whole layout, so that really helped. It didn't necessarily do what it was calling for, but the map stayed pretty consistent all day.
Q. Take us through 18 both times, the final one and then the playoff?
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, I hit the drive in the regulation, good drive. Hit a 6‑iron about 20 feet. And that putt, it's supposed to break left and right pretty good. The grain is going left to right. The wind is going left to right and my putt never moved.
Going back to the playoff, I didn't hit a bad second shot. I just pushed it a hair, but that's where you got to miss it. In a moment like that I never thought I made a putt more than that birdie putt. It was in. I mean with a foot to go, it was in the left side, and like Graeme, like every other player faced today, a gust came, and it was probably going to roll by about a foot but the gust moved it to whatever it was, seven feet.
And I tell you what, coming back, that was a hard putt, because by the grain and the wind it's supposed to break, but the regulation putt didn't break. So I was kind of stuck with, what do I do? And tried to play it left center. And broke, I don't know if I started it right on line.
Q. I was going to ask you also about your ball having blown, and you had a similar circumstance prior to the rule changes. How thankful are you that they changed the rules on that?
WEBB SIMPSON: I'm thankful. I think I wanted to take a little step further and make the rule cover footprints and spike marks as well. A day like today it's going to be wind, but we'll have weeks where it won't be wind and it can sit on the edge of a heel print or spike mark. And I think that should be the same as the wind.
But today it was helpful.
Q. You know a lot of players say this is one of their favorite weeks on Tour. It's a family week. Can you talk about the week at Sea Pines and Harbour Town.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yes, a great week to us. We only live about four hours away, so we get to drive. I feel like I always play pretty well at the beach or just makes me feel more relaxed. I enjoy going to the beach. It's nice to come down. Seems like most families come to this tournament. I have a lot of friends in the area and Savannah. All in all it feels like a home week, to be honest.
Q. Talk a little bit about how tough it is in general out here on the Tour. You can play well and not win, regardless of the wind conditions.
WEBB SIMPSON: Yeah, it's getting harder and harder with I think there's way more guys now in the fields every week that can win rather than so many first‑time winners. That shows our Tour is getting more competitive and more competitive. You look at a lot of European players like Graeme, they're coming over and having full status. It's becoming more competitive. And it's that much harder to win when you get in contention.
Q. Have you felt the need to play like the U.S. Open champion? Have you felt a little bit of extra something?
WEBB SIMPSON: I don't think so. I understand how some guys it puts pressure on them, but I try never to do that to myself. One of my friends, Eric Metaxas said when he wrote his big book Bonhoeffer he didn't feel like he was a better writer, but all of a sudden he's world famous. So I kind of felt that way at the U.S. Open that I won a Major, but it didn't change me that much as a player. Next week at Travelers I wasn't that much better.
Q. What did you hit into 18 both times?
WEBB SIMPSON: 6‑iron.
DOUG MILNE: Webb, we appreciate your time, as always.