Webb Simpson hopes to find comfort at home at Wells Fargo Championship

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Webb Simpson is playing a home game this week.

Or is he?

Yes, the world No. 9 lives by the seventh tee at Quail Hollow, home to this week’s Wells Fargo Championship. And he is a member at Quail Hollow. Yet Simpson said the course he’ll tackle starting Thursday is almost foreign to him.

“I think people assume like if it’s your home course, you should play well. I think what people don’t realize is the golf course I’m going to play this week is very different than the course I played most of the year,” Simpson said Tuesday.

For instance, during practice rounds last week, he hit four tee shots on most every hole because his sight lines will be different considering the course will play much firmer and faster than the other 51 weeks of the year.

“I relearn the course a little bit every year,” Simpson said. “I think I have a tiny advantage. I think guys do such a great job in their prep work here Tuesday, Wednesday to get ready that there’s not really such thing as local knowledge.

“And especially I don’t play here a ton. This is my home track, but it’s not like I’m busting 100 rounds a year. I’m probably playing once a month. There’s expectation that I should play well because it’s my home course, but it’s hard. It’s a hard golf course. I’ve still got to go out and hit the shots, make the putts.”

In 10 starts at Quail Hollow, Simpson has just two top 10s – a tie for second in 2015 and a fourth-place finish in 2012. He’s missed the cut four times.

“I haven’t had great results here,” Simpson said. “The one year I finished second, Rory (McIlroy) went nuts on the weekend, kicked everybody’s tail. I would love more opportunities to win. I don’t think it’s really anything I’m doing wrong; it’s just I’ve got to give myself chances to win on Sunday that I haven’t really done in the past few years.”

He could say the same about his season, too. While he has five top 10s in 13 starts – his most recent coming at the RBC Heritage, where he finished in a tie for ninth in his most recent start – he hasn’t been overly pleased with his play since winning his seventh PGA Tour title in last year’s RBC Heritage.

But the winner of the 2012 U.S. Open and 2018 Players Championship said he felt he turned the corner in the Masters last month, where he tied for 12th.

“I feel like it’s been a bit up and down since last fall, but I feel like we had a little turn at Augusta on the weekend,” he said. “Changed a little something in my golf swing and hit it great for four days at RBC Heritage.

“Confidence‑wise, I’m more confident than I’ve been all season, but still looking to have a couple higher finishes, have a few more chances to win Sunday. I think I’ve only had one or two chances this year to win and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I think made last year so special is I had plenty of chances to win Sunday, and eventually you’re going to get it done.”

He’d love nothing more than to get it done here.

“This is kind of the one tournament for me that I want to win more than any other maybe besides the other majors,” he said. “I love being here for the obvious reasons. It was Sunday night and I was getting in my bed and I’m like, man, it’s nice to not be staring at a suitcase across the room, leaving this week to get on an airplane. So I look forward to this week every year.

“I’ve had two weeks off, so I feel like I’ve got a lot of good work done around here. The golf course hadn’t been too crowded. I love competing here. It’s hard, it’s a hard golf course. Super challenging all week, but super nice to have support from Charlotte, friends and family. I’m looking forward to Thursday getting it going.”