Two days removed from a rules violation that resulted in a one-stroke penalty that played a major role in denying him his first PGA Tour victory, Webb Simpson is trying to look forward.
But with USGA officials admitting on Monday that golf officials are considering revising the rule that cost Simpson, the issue won't quickly go away.
"Somebody told me they had already been thinking about making a change to it. I don't know what's going on but I'd obviously be on the petition list," Simpson said Tuesday after playing a practice round at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Simpson had a one-stroke lead on the 15th hole in the final round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans when his ball moved on the green as he prepared to tap in a short putt. Simpson's putter didn't touch the ball but under the rules, a player is penalized if he is deemed to have addressed the ball and it moves.
Tom O'Toole, vice president of the U.S. Golf Association, said at a press conference on Monday rules officials from the USGA and the Royal & Ancient in Scotland, the game's two ruling bodies, have been considering a change to that rule for months.
If it's clear that the ball moved due to wind or gravity, not because of the player, there would be no penalty if the new rule is adopted. O'Toole said the rule could be amended in the coming months.
It won't change the effect on Simpson, who lost the tournament to his friend Bubba Watson on the second playoff hole. Simpson said he has tried not to dwell on what happened.
"I'm a big believer that God has a plan for me and before I teed off he knew every shot I was going to take. Knowing that gave me great peace," said Simpson, a Raleigh native who lives in Charlotte.
"It still stung but I knew it was already written. I've always tried to have the mindset that whatever happens, try to learn something from it, even if it's a bad thing. If you learn something from it, it's going to help you in the future. We'll take that and see how it can make me better."
Simpson knew immediately a violation had occurred and called a tour rules official over. He tried to focus on what he needed to do to win rather than think about what had happened.
"It happened so late that I didn't have time to dwell on it. I had three holes left and I was tied for the lead and I had to put it behind me," Simpson said.
"I didn't think about it much coming in. I knew I was probably going to have to make a birdie or two to win. It was one of those things you try to forget about as easily and as quickly as you can."
It was the third time Simpson has had a chance to win in recent months. He was tied for the lead late in the final round in Las Vegas last fall before finishing tied for fourth, bogeyed the last hole at the Transitions Championship in March to finish second by one stroke and lost in a sudden-death playoff at New Orleans.
"Las Vegas in the fall was my first time in contention on Sunday, and I learned a lot then. I took that and felt more comfortable in Tampa and the same thing at New Orleans, I felt more comfortable than in Tampa," Simpson said.
"It was a good feeling to be in the hunt and feel more comfortable and feel I was making good swings and good shots under the pressure."