U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson has until Friday to commit to next week’s AT&T National, but it appears he will not be in the field. Speaking before the Travelers Championship Wednesday in Cromwell, Conn., Simpson said he was looking forward to an “off week” following the Travelers to return home and watch a tape of his victory.
Simpson has played in the AT&T National each year since earning his PGA Tour card. He tied for 35th at Congressional in 2009, then had T41 and T8 finishes the last two years at Arnonimink. He played well at the U.S. Open last year at Congressional, firing a third-round 66 on his way to a tie for 14th.
After winning a major, many players back out if committed to a tournament the following week. Simpson did not do so in large part, he said, because he felt indebted to the Travelers, which granted him a sponsor’s exemption in 2008, shortly after his graduation from Wake Forest. Simpson has played in the tournament each year since and said he will probably continue to do so throughout his career.
Another factor figuring in Simpson’s decision not to play the AT&T National is his pregnant wife, Dowd, who is expecting the couple’s second child in late July. Simpson said he is likely to miss to British Open, July 19-22.