U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson Visits WATC

Antalya, Turkey (7 October) – Somewhere along the way in his golf career, Webb Simpson learned he should give back to the game.

After all, he was notified about his golf scholarship at Wake Forest University by one of the game’s greatest champions and mentors: Arnold Palmer.

“To receive that scholarship from Arnold Palmer, because of what he represents, was a great honor,” said Simpson, the 2012 U.S. Open champion. “But my dad was the happiest because it saved him $200 grand.”

2012 WATC - Webb Simpson, Chris Williams, Steven Fox and Justin Thomas

Webb Simpson, 2012 U.S. Open champion poses with the victorious USA team (l to r): Chris Williams, Steven Fox and Justin Thomas. (Steve Gibbons/IGF)

Simpson, one of eight players who will compete at the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final Oct. 9–12 at Antalya Golf Club, arrived early in Turkey to “come out hang out with you guys and to watch a little golf. Along the way I had a lot of people serve as mentors for me so I wanted to share a little of my experience with you.”

Simpson will compete against Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan and Justin Rose.

During his visit, he stopped to pose for photos and chat with the gold-medal-winning USA team of Steven Fox, Justin Thomas and Chris Williams, as well as captain Jim Vernon.

Simpson was chosen for the 2006 USA World Amateur Team in South Africa but broke his hand right before his trip and could not compete.

“I was really disappointed because I think it is one of the greatest honors in golf to make your national team as an amateur,” Simpson said.

He got in a little practice at Antalya, also the site of the 2012 World Amateur Team Championship, and visited with players, delegates, officials, volunteers and championship staff. He also engaged journalists during a wide-ranging 30-minute question-and-answer session in the media center.

Simpson talked, among other subjects, about the beginnings of his career, his practice routines, his preparations for major championships, his first win on the PGA Tour, the 2012 Ryder Cup, and, of course, his victory at the 2012 U.S. Open Championship at The Olympic Club in San Francisco in June.

“A major championship requires more skill, more thought and more strategy than a tour event,” he said.

His polite answers and recollections were well received by the audience. Probably because they were provided by a truly humble gentleman champion.

Story written by Pete Kowalski, WATC Media Officer

Copyright © 2012 International Golf Federation. All rights reserved.

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