Simpson banking on home comforts at Quail Hollow

Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:06pm EDT
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(Reuters) - Former U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson is banking on home advantage at this week's $6.9 million Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina to help him reverse a run of poor form in his last six PGA Tour starts.

The 28-year-old American, who lives about a mile away from the clubhouse at Quail Hollow Club, made a barn-storming start to the 2013-14 season with four successive top-10s, including a victory at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

However, Simpson has mainly struggled over the past three months, and has missed two cuts in his last six appearances on the U.S. circuit with a best strokeplay finish of joint 47th.

"I've got to tell myself all the time, it's a game where you go in waves," Simpson, whose best finish at Quail Hollow was in 2012 when he placed fourth, said while preparing for Thursday's opening round. "Jimmy Walker's super hot right now. He's playing incredible golf. Maybe the best of anybody in the world."

Fellow American Walker has won a season-high three times on the 2013-14 PGA Tour.

"Then you take a guy like Tiger Woods who has been the best player forever, and he even goes through the low slumps," Simpson told reporters.

"So all that to say, I'm not too worried. I never get too down. It gets frustrating, but it's nice to be able to play every week. What we do is we get opportunities every week to start playing good again."

Simpson, who clinched his fourth PGA Tour title at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October by a commanding six shots, knows every inch of Quail Hollow where he spends a lot of time practising when he is back at home.

"I know different wind directions, pin placements," said the American, whose world ranking has slipped to 29th from a career-high fifth following his U.S. Open triumph in 2012.   Continued...

U.S. golfer Webb Simpson reacts after hitting his tee shot on the fourth hole during the first round of the Masters golf tournament at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia April 10, 2014.  REUTERS/Mike Blake