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Webb Simpson seeking payback for his Medinah misery

By Andy Hampson

Webb Simpson is motivated by revenge as he seeks to justify the controversial Ryder Cup selection he admits he had to plead for.

United States captain Tom Watson was criticised for overlooking form players such as Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel when he named Simpson as one of his three picks for Gleneagles.

There was a feeling that Simpson was picked purely on the basis of his past performances, notably those at the 2012 Ryder Cup and his US Open victory earlier that year.

And Simpson has now revealed that he personally spoke to Watson in the early hours of the day he announced his selections to state his case for inclusion.

Chief among his arguments was his desire to help the team atone for the heartbreaking loss they suffered on the final day at Medinah two years ago.

Simpson said: "He called me at 4.30am, and he knew I wasn't sleeping because I had texted him.

"I basically expressed everything I could to let him know how badly I wanted to be on the team.

"I tried to acknowledge that it was a tough decision for him. Chris Kirk had just won, Billy Horschel has been playing good golf and Bill Haas had not missed a cut all year.

"I knew it was a tough decision, and in terms of percentages, I wouldn't have been surprised if he had picked one of the other guys.

"It was kind of one of those things where I knew on paper, he had a few really good choices.

"But I made my final plea, I told him, 'I want revenge for what happened in 2012 and I really, really want to be on that team'.

"He picked me. I think the emotions were relief and excitement."

Simpson, who formed a strong partnership with Bubba Watson at Medinah, knows the pressure is now on him to repay his captain's faith as the action gets under way in Scotland today.

He said: "I definitely feel like I want to do my part. He believed in me. I've got to win him points."

Simpson was stung by the final day of the last contest, as the Europeans fought back from 10-6 down for a remarkable victory.

Most of the Americans who were involved have this week played down the revenge aspect, but Simpson seems in tune with Watson's push for "redemption".

Simpson said: "Every time Medinah comes up I see them celebrating – and I just want that so badly for our team."

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