HONOLULU — On the morning of June 6, a day that will forever live in infamy on the PGA Tour, Webb Simpson was in Toronto at an RBC outing when a couple of the Tour’s independent directors phoned to let him know about the framework agreement that was about to be announced by Tour commissioner Jay Monahan and Yasir Al-Rumayyan of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
“I said, ‘I’m so confused, I have so many questions but I have to go because I’m doing a clinic,’” Simpson recalled on Friday after shooting even-par 70 at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
It’s fair to say that Simpson is still a little bit confused on how the pending deal is going to shake out despite being one of the six player directors serving on the Tour’s board of directors. But Simpson, a seven-time winner during his career, including the 2012 U.S. Open, is always thoughtful when answering questions and generous with his time and proved to be the most willing player director of late to speak candidly on the record.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Simpson touched on greed in golf, why legacy should still matter and his concern that more sponsors could take their money and run to other sponsorship opportunities. [This conversation has been edited for clarity.]