U.S. Open golf champion Webb Simpson said he didn't think he could win golf tournaments without God's help, according to an article in today's Christian Post. The article quoted Simpson from an interview he and wife Dowd did with the television show 100 Huntley Street.
"Sometimes people roll their eyes when I try to share my faith with them," the 27-year old champion said. "And I can understand that. If I didn't believe I might react the same way."
He further said he couldn't imagine anything greater in life than living in the knowledge of receving God's love. And his relationship with God encompasses every aspect of his life, including the golf.
"In the last round of the U.S. Open I could tell where I stood in the tourney. I was walking down the fairway and saw Dowd was looking down and texting real fast. When I'm doing well in a tournament people start texting me like crazy. I didn't watch the scorebaoard. I knew I was in the hunt because the crowd starting gathering and the way Dowd was answering texts," he said, smiling at his sister-in-law Tanner Keith who was interviewing him and Dowd for 100 Huntley Street.
Simpson did go on to win the 2012 U.S. Open that day, one of the most prestigious tourneys in golf.
When asked if she was concerned about Webb winning a bunch of money if he won the Open, Dowd said, "No. I know where Webb is spiritually. The Lord is bigger than our expectations."
Webb said he felt extremely calm and at peace during the tournament.
Except for one brief moment the morning of the last day.
"I had asked Dowd to make me coffee. De-caff, you know, because I don't want to get nervous from the coffee. I got in the shower and when I got out and drank the coffee she made for me I felt the effects pretty quickly."
Dowd laughed at the recollection, saying, "Yeah, in the moment I forgot to make it de-caff."
They both laughed at the most stressful moment of that climactic day.
Webb admitted it was difficult to attend church regularly on the golf tour, saying, "Since we're usually playing on Sundays it is difficult to attend regularly now. I get with a group of believers on the tour. We have fellowship time on Tuesday nights."
Frequently, Dowd travels with her husband on the tour, but she is not always able to.
"What do you do about accountability in your relationship when you are traveling alone?" Tanner asked him.
"I have believer friends who will come with me. I do get down when I'm alone sometimes. Have real good friends who will travel to where I am and keep me company," the champion said.
When asked how he reacted to having already won five tournaments on the tour at the age of 27, he replied, "If I was single I would have a bigger ego. Dowd keeps me grounded. Any good comes from the Lord."
Maybe the most stressful season in their relationship was before they were married and attending college.
"I wore both hats in college. I could express my religious beliefs, but my lifestyle didn't always reflect those beliefs. Webb was on a pedestal. I lost touch with my personal relationship with Jesus," said his blonde-haired wife.
She said one of the best times in her life was to take a year off from her relationship with Webb.
"I had replaced God with Webb," she explained.
Webb said he cried the day she came to his house in Salem and said she was breaking up with him. And the break-up was with no thought of re-uniting at a later date.
Tanner said she remembered Webb coming to her during that time and vowing he would continue to pursue her sister despite the breakup no longer how long it took. But it was difficult because during the break up they were not to have contact.
Webb said he was lonely. He knew it would be hard when Dowd walked away from his house on that day of emotional upheaval.
"God was with me. I prayed," Webb explained.
"The Lord by his grace brought us back together after a year apart," Dowd said as she and her husband sat in chairs in front of a country club golf course during the interview.
The golf champion said in summation of his beliefs, "Five years into my faith journey I wonder, how could anyone not want God's love?"
The show is hosted by April Hernandez and Eric Metaxas.
Webb Simpson majored in religion at Wake Forest University.
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