For Webb Simpson, a sort of homecoming at Ocean Course for PGA Championship
KIAWAH ISLAND – Webb Simpson has fond memories of Charleston – like the time he pranked a local TV reporter on April Fool’s Day during the Azalea Amateur at Country Club of Charleston.
“A lot has happened since then,” Simpson said today at the PGA Championship at the Ocean Course.
No kidding. Simpson, a Wake Forest graduate and Charlotte resident, won the U.S. Open this year and just returned from a month off after the birth of his second child.
A younger Simpson won the Azalea title twice, in 2004 and 2007.
“My favorite shot I’ve ever hit in my golf career was at the Azalea Am in ‘07,” he said.
But his favorite memory is of how he and a fellow player, Chris Kirk, fooled people that week.
“The final round, we were paired together and it was April Fool’s,” he said. “So I put on all his Georgia gear and my caddie wore Georgia gear, and he had his caddie were all in Wake Forest gear.
“The news reporter in the playoff was commentating, and he referred to me as Chris Kirk. It was a fun day.”
The golf world is keenly aware of who Webb Simpson is now after his performance at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco last month. Simpson, who celebrates his 32nd birthday today, won his first major title and $1.4 million.
He’s played only twice since then and is still knocking off some rust. But returning to the Lowcountry and the Ocean Course, where he first played when he was 12 years old, should help.
“Any time I can play golf near the beach, I love it,” he said. “I grew up close to the beach, and when you go to the beach, it just puts me in a relaxed mode.”
Get more PGA coverage at postandcourier.com/pga.