Webb Simpson gutted out a 1-over 73 on Sunday at the Players Championship to cruise to a four-shot victory after beginning the day seven ahead.
This is his first PGA Tour win since 2013, and also marks his initial victory since the passing of his beloved father, who lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease, in November.
Here’s what Simpson had to say after his dominant win:
On what this win means after a five-year drought:
“It means everything to me. I feel like it’s my first win, I feel so similar to how I felt in Greensboro (Wyndham Championship) back in 2011. To win a major championship and a few other (PGA) Tour events and then go over four years without a win, I never doubted myself but at the same time, that’s a long time. We train hard and practice hard to try to win, and so there’s been some tough moments along the way … but to come here against this field and put up some good numbers the first three days and do what I needed to do today to get it done, I’m so happy.”
On why the middle of final round was so important:
“I felt like that middle part of the round was big. After I bogeyed 10, there was a little wait on 11, and making a birdie on 11 I think was probably the biggest hole for me of the day. It got me back to even par for the day, and I felt really good about our play on 12, 13, 14. I just kind of managed in that middle part of the round in a way that I was just playing smart.”
On when he felt secure on Sunday:
“To birdie 16 was great, but you don’t feel relaxed until your ball finds land on 17. So once that happened, I felt pretty good about it.”
On what he was thinking about in struggles in recent years:
“You get used to playing at a level that you know you’re capable of. And then you go a year, two years playing below that capability and it starts to get at you. And I actually think it’s easier to work hard when you’re playing well, so it made working hard and staying positive and present that much harder. This game’s so funny, you see it all the time, guys struggle for three, four, five, six months and then they go and win. … So I think I just kept telling myself that if I throw in the towel and if I give up, I’ll never be successful, but if I stay at it, who knows, and I’m glad I did.”
On his late dad’s role in his golfing development:
“My dad got me started in the game. He was a two-time-a-week golfer and he was great early on. … What I loved about my dad is that he had his normal Saturday or Sunday game, but once I got to be about 11, I started playing with him, I would be his partner.
“He coached me less on technique and things like that and more on how to approach the game and how to respect the game, character. I remember a time when I told him he should move his ball in this good lie and he took that opportunity to tell me that the ball would be closer to the hole and that’d be bending the rules a little bit. … He just wanted me to be always kind on the golf course and good to play with for other guys. I still think about all those things to this day.”