GLENEAGLES Scotland (Reuters) - Webb Simpson is so desperate to avenge the U.S. Ryder Cup capitulation two years ago that he was pleading for a pick from Tom Watson at 4:30am on the day the captain named his selections.
The former U.S. Open champion said on Thursday that he felt he needed to plead his case for a wildcard because of the amount of options Watson had for the biennial match against holders Europe.
“He called me at 4:30 in the morning and he knew I wasn’t sleeping because I had texted him,” Simpson told reporters.
“I basically expressed everything I could to let him know how bad I wanted to be on the team.
“I tried to acknowledge it was a tough decision for him. Chris Kirk had just won, Billy Horschel had been playing good golf and Bill Haas had not missed a cut all year.
“I wouldn’t have been surprised if he had picked the other guys. But I made my final plea. I told him, I want revenge for what happened in 2012 and I really, really want to be on that team,” added the 29-year-old Simpson.
“I was relieved. I love this format and I’d do anything to be on the team.”
Simpson, who won the U.S. Open in 2012, said he was so thrilled to be back in the side for his second Ryder Cup experience that he could not return to his hotel bed in Denver.
“I did not go back to sleep,” he said. “I called my wife who was at home in Charlotte and she celebrated for the both of us, she was super excited.
“She had asked me the night before if I thought I was going to be a pick and I told her it was about as close as it can be,” said Simpson.
“I called (fellow wildcard) Keegan Bradley once I got the pick. I think I woke him up and he was pretty excited as well so we started talking about this week and what it’s going to be like.”
While many of his U.S. team mates have decided this week to play down the idea that this is a redemption trip after squandering a 10-4 lead in 2012, Simpson was full of revenge talk.
“Medinah is still there. I think about it and I want another shot,” he said.
“I started really thinking about it this summer. Not so much for what happened but that I want to be on this team, to try to kind of get back in the moment where we could perform better on Sunday.
“I try not to hide anything I’m feeling. I remember that feeling on Sunday afternoon. It was more a shock than anything because, I really mean this, we were all playing such good golf and were so confident.”
Simpson said Medinah would remain in his mind throughout the three days of competition at Gleneagles as the U.S. tried to end a dreadful run of two wins in nine editions of the team event.
“I can’t play this week without thinking about the way it felt to lose,” he added. “I don’t want a repeat of what happened at Medinah.
“Every time Medinah comes up I see them celebrating on the Sunday and I just want that so badly for our team.”
Editing by Ed Osmond