Webb Simpson, 26, is making his Masters Tournament debut this year. A Raleigh, N.C., native and former Wake Forest golfer, Simpson is in his fourth year on the PGA Tour and has won two tournaments. He agreed to share his thoughts on his first Masters through Tournament week with Masters.com’s John Steinbreder:
This is the plan for my Masters Week. I am driving down from Charlotte, N.C., the Sunday before the Tournament starts, and my wife and I are renting a house right next to Augusta Country Club. That’s where we’ll be staying all week, with our little boy James, who is just over a year old. Other members of my family have rented another house of their own, and so has my wife’s family.
I do not have any Practice Rounds scheduled at this point. But I do plan on playing nine holes every day. My hope is to get a veteran player or two to go out with me, so they can teach me about that course, because I know there is so much to learn there. Experience is a key to doing well at Augusta, and fortunately my caddie, Paul Tesori, has worked 10 Masters over the years. I am sure he can help me quite a bit, but I would like to get some input from some players, too.
You need to be strong in all aspects of the game to succeed at Augusta, but I think the short game is the most important. You have to chip and putt well to do well. You can miss it on that course and still be OK, and I think it is important to realize that as well. You don’t want to play scared, but you want to err more on the side of safety than not.What are my favorite golf holes at Augusta National? Well, No. 13 is about as perfect a par 5 as there is. Like all great par 5s, it has a real risk-reward tradeoff, off the tee and also from the fairway. You can make a 3 or a 6 there real quick.
I also love the 16th hole. It is such a great par 3.
I cannot wait for the Masters to start, and I am really going to try and enjoy myself the early part of the week. It will be especially fun sharing it all with my family. But come Thursday, when the Tournament begins, I am going to try and get into my routine. I know not many first-timers have gone on to win. But I will be there trying to do exactly that.