By now, most of the golfers worldwide have read USGA executive director Mike Davis’ comments about how to contend for the 115th United States Open championship at Chambers Bay.
Here is Davis’ bold warning from U.S. Open media day earlier this month: “The idea of coming in and playing two practice rounds and having your caddie just walk it and using your yardage book, that person's done. (He) will not win the U.S. Open.”
So 2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson was asked to respond to Davis’ message Wednesday the day before the start of the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“I heard what he said,” Simpson said. “You know, we’ll play for second (place).”
That is not to say Simpson is taking the national open lightly. He echoed a reality concerning players who are East Coast-based, or coming over from Europe.
“I can’t get out there,” Simpson said. “It’s not exactly easy to get there from the East Coast.”
Since his U.S. Open triumph at The Olympic Course in Daly City, California, Simpson finished tied for 32nd his defense of his crown at Merion Golf Club East Course in 2013, and tied for 45th in his home state at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina last season.
Simpson, a Wake Forest University product, said what also makes it difficult to see Chambers Bay in advance is that he likes playing the tune-up FedEx St. Jude Classic the week before - an event many of the top players skip to prepare for the year’s second major.
“I would rather play in that tournament that go see (Chambers Bay),” Simpson said.
“It’s just a (U.S. Open) week that I’m really going to be serious about Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - almost making those days more important than the tournament, and just see what happens.”