December 13, 2017
Monday, April 2, 2012

Simpson to seal Augusta love affair with Masters debut

Webb Simpson plays a shot.
Webb Simpson plays a shot.
Webb Simpson plays a shot.

Fourteen years after playing Augusta National for the first time as a wide-eyed kid, Webb Simpson is back at the venue this week feeling the same excitement as he prepares to make his Masters debut.

When the US world number 10 sets off in Thursday's opening round, he will be competing in only his fourth major championship and he expects to feel a flutter of nerves on the first tee.

"My first major was last year, in the US Open at Congressional," Simpson told reporters after playing a practice round at a sun-splashed Augusta National on Monday.

"I was very nervous and it took a few holes to calm down. But once you hit a good, solid drive or a good, solid iron shot, your nerves dwindle a little. I'm sure I'll feel it on the first hole on Thursday."

Asked what had learned from last year's US Open about the pressures of competing in a major, Simpson replied: "The tough thing for me that week was I didn't really know what to expect.

"Having played in that one and the British (Open) and PGA (Championship) since then, I started to get a good feel for the amount of people ... the cameras, media and those things that are just exponentially greater than a normal Tour event.

"For me to improve, it's all about experience. It took me a while to win (on Tour). I kept getting into contention but I couldn't really get over the hump of winning. The more I can play, the more comfortable I feel."



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