For seven-time PGA Tour winner Webb Simpson, it was easy to pick the highlight of his first round 67 at the RSM Classic: his ace on the 219-yard par-3 3rd hole at Sea Island Golf Club’s Plantation Course.
“It was a great moment, a great memory,” Simpson said after his round.
It seems like it’s been a while since the 37-year-old PGA Tour veteran, once a top-10 staple and winner of the 2012 US Open, hasn’t been in the mix. Although Simpson has earned more than $44 million during his 340-event career on the circuit, it’s been a year since he posted his last top 10 finish, which, as it happens, was at that same tournament l ‘last year.
But things are looking up. Simpson is currently tied for 6th place, three strokes behind leader Cole Hammer. After his round, Simpson spoke about the recent struggles he’s faced on the course and the drastic change he’s made in an effort to improve.
“I didn’t have that much confidence last year. It’s hard to build confidence out of nothing,” he said. “I was working on my game and I wasn’t quite recovering from it, but I feel like the last five or six weeks since I’ve been home, my training sessions are different and they’re remember what it was like and the shots I was hitting, the way I was hitting the golf ball. So I’m optimistic.”
Another factor that makes Simpson optimistic about the state of his game is the work he’s been doing with new swing coach Cameron McCormick.
“I now have three lessons from Cameron McCormick and I feel like what he’s trying to get me to do is get me into positions I’ve had before,” he said. declared. “I think I’m going to blame myself for a couple of years there, I tried to hit the ball so much farther that I picked up a number of bad habits that were hard to see because it happens gradually over time. over time. But Cameron, he put out a bunch of swings from 2011 and 2020 and showed those similarities, so we’re just trying to bring it back to where it was.”
Prior to working with McCormick, Simpson was a longtime student of Butch Harmon. But given the distance between them – with Harmon rarely far from his base in Las Vegas and Simpson’s home in North Carolina, the logistics of pursuing a successful relationship became too difficult.
“I had a great run with Butch, I loved working with Butch,” Simpson said. “You know, my best year on the Tour winning the Vardon trophy was with Butch. He got to a point where he’s in Vegas and it was so hard to join him, you know, for just one lesson and to back to Charlotte. So I just started thinking. On top of that, I want to work with a guy that I’ll see more of on the road. You know, Butch doesn’t travel. I’ve known Cameron for a number of years here, but I just remember seeing him on the road a lot. So I thought, man, it would be a good start to have a guy like that who was very successful.”
McCormick’s most prominent student is Jordan Spieth, whom McCormick has coached since Spieth’s junior days.
“I didn’t know much about [McCormick]and the way he teaches,” Simpson said. “It was kind of like, hey, can you come to Charlotte? We had a day together the week before the CJ Cup or two weeks before the CJ Cup. Yeah, just nice. Like I said, he will travel a lot with Jordan [Spieth] and Tom and a few other guys, so it’s good for me to think I’ve got a guy here if I need him.”
Simpson resumes his quest for an eighth career Tour victory with his second round at the RSM Classic on Friday alongside Justin Rose and Zach Johnson at 10:30 a.m. ET. See the full list of Round 2 tee times here.