It’s not every day that Webb Simpson looks down at her phone to see a call from Tiger Woods.
But it happened last Tuesday at the Trolley Stop, a local hot dog joint in Wilmington, North Carolina, when Simpson was with his family. As Simpson tried to order, the phone rang.
“My kids kept opening the door and it drove the owner crazy, so I freaked out, it’s my turn to order, my phone rings, I look down and it’s a tiger,” Simpson said. “I told Tiger I had to call back, I had to order my hot dogs. So, order my hot dogs, then go out, call back, and yeah, he mentioned that I was — you know, living in Charlotte, my Quail Hollow home, he thought it would bring a lot to the team.”
Woods was referring to next month’s Presidents Cup at Quail Hollow in Charlotte, North Carolina. Quail Hollow is Simpson’s home course, so the Presidents Cup has been on his mind for some time.
However, Tiger’s call-up comes amid speculation over whether Simpson should be named assistant captain.
“(The call) meant a lot, but honestly, I got off the phone and said, ‘I don’t know if this is official or not,'” Simpson said. “I don’t know if he’s rooting for me to be a helper or if I’m a helper. So I just waited, and I saw Zach[Johnson]on Wednesday, or I guess yeah, the next day in Detroit and Zach and I laughed about it. I said, Davis (Love III) still hasn’t called me, so I don’t know. And then Davis probably gave me a shout the next night.
On Tuesday, Love, the U.S. Presidents Cup captain, announced Simpson and Steve Stricker as the 2021 U.S. Ryder Cup captains. They serve as assistant captains at Quail Hollow. Johnson and Fred are the other two assistants.
The selection is special for Simpson, who has played in three Presidents Cups (2011, 2013 and 2019).
“It’s not that I’m afraid I’m not going to be a part of it, it’s fine if I don’t make the team and Davis goes in a different direction, but it’s going to be hard to see, the Presidents Cup happening there and somehow he shouldn’t be a part of it,” Simpson said. “So I’m really excited to have the opportunity to be a part of it.”
Simpson is in action this week at the Wyndham Championship at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, North Carolina. He has five straight top-10 finishes.
He realizes there is still time to improve as a player, but being cast in this role is something he dreams of.
“I would give anything to be a part of this because, as Jim Furyk told me in Melbourne in 2011, when you’re done with your golf career, you really look back and remember your victories and your team’s events,” Simpson said.
“That is my biggest dream and goal. There are still a few things I want to accomplish as a player, but just watching these captains take on that role over the last few years and you can tell it means a lot to the players to represent our country. So I definitely want to do that. “