Friends, former coaches share in Simpson's success

Posted June 18, 2012

— When Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open Sunday, the cheers could be heard erupting in Raleigh. The local product and Broughton High School grad joined the ranks of Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus with the one-stroke victory and the people who impacted his development in Raleigh could not be more proud.

"I am not his biological dad, but I do have that attachment to him,” said Simpson’s former golf coach Ted Kiegiel. “It would be like you watching your child doing that. And on father's day - he could not have given me a better present." PGA Triangle golfers PGA golfers with Triangle ties

Kiegiel coached Simpson from the time he was a young boy. He said he spoke to Simpson right after winning his first major championship and third overall tournament on the PGA Tour.

"He was just ecstatic,” Kiegiel said. “At that time, he was just letting it all sink in and really just appreciate all of what just happened."

Even Gov. Bev Perdue is celebrating Simpson's victory. In a statement she said, “Today we celebrate our very own, Webb Simpson, for winning the U.S. Open on Sunday. This is a tremendous accomplishment and a big step forward in an already-impressive golf career. Webb is a North Carolinian through-and-through… North Carolina is truly proud of his accomplishment and all of his success. Webb has a bright future ahead of him, and I look forward to supporting his journey in golf.” PGA Leaderboard

Simpson's college coach at Wake Forest, Jerry Haas, also offered praise for the major accomplishment.

“I’m very proud of him,” Haas said. “He handled himself beautifully. He had that look on the back side there that he was going to win."

Simpson grew up playing at the Carolina Country Club in Raleigh. Kiegiel said he recognized Simpson's natural talent from the time he started playing on this course at nine years old.

"He definitely practiced a lot and played a lot,” Kiegiel said. “It would be common for him to play 36 holes a day. Whether it was hot or cold, he would be out there working on his game."

Simpson sat beside his wife watching the final moments of the tournament as Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell tried to catch him on the leaderboard. The couple lives in Charlotte with their 15-month-old son and are expecting their second child right around the time of the British Open.

"It will be a tough one to miss if it comes down to it," Simpson said.

You can listen to the full interview with Wake Forest head golf coach Jerry Haas talking about U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson on Mark and Mike on 620 The Buzz at 8 a.m. Tuesday morning.


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  • VT1994Hokie Jun 19, 2012

    After reading some of these, it's obvious that some have never played this GREAT game.

  • Honesty first Jun 19, 2012

    Thanks for correctly my thoughts. I guess they made a mistake when they handed Webb that large silver trophy and a check for $1.4 million. Who did win the US Open this year then.

  • VT1994Hokie Jun 19, 2012

    View quoted thread

    Lucky? This guy is for real. I'll be that he does win again this year.

  • tasncsu Jun 19, 2012

    Congratulations Webb. I only hope you don't visit this web site and see the immature comments left by a few clueless individuals.

  • mac240 Jun 18, 2012

    Another guy gets lucky and wins, I doubt he'll win again this year!

  • joeyjnc Jun 18, 2012

    He didn't win the US OPEN, it was given to him. I know people don't like Tiger so much right now, but golf is so boring without him winning.

  • justincaseur2 Jun 18, 2012

    Any feat should be celebrated but I've never understood the appeal of golf. It's not that hard to hit a small ball that's been engineered for maximum flight with a club that's been over-engineered for performance on a course where there are no obstructions to stand in your way, even less hard to do it if you are young and fit.

    I'm best in my class at Golf...I have one driver and several that I've been using for years. I can knock them off trees using angles like one would do in Pool on the 3 hole course in the woods behind my house.

    Seriously, why the prestige? It's not a game of great skill. It doesn't take much athletic ability. Many golfers even shoot better when they are drunk than when they are sober which makes it a bar hall game, not a serious sport.

  • VT1994Hokie Jun 18, 2012

    Webb is just so gracious when he wins, or simply does well. He's a great man and Champion. He has a solid support system, and you can tell that he and his wife are really close. Fun to watch him interview.

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