PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – No golfer has ever won back to back championships at The Players.
Webb Simpson has the chance to do just that in less than 30 days as the 2018 champion returned to TPC Sawgrass to take part in the annual 17th hole Charity Challenge as well as media day on Monday morning.
Simpson started his morning lending a hand to each of the 15 golfers participating in the charity challenge, hitting one shot into the island green at the 17th hole that can count for their charity. After that, Simpson continued the tradition of the previous years winner at The Players donating a club that they used in the victory. Simpson donated his 54 degree wedge that he holed out for an eagle on the 11th hole during the 2nd round last year.
"It still has some sand on it from trying to replicate that shot again this morning," Simpson said.
Following that short ceremony, Simpson was presented a first look and taste of his signature sandwich that will be served during the week of The Players in the clubhouse. The BBQ brisket sandwich comes with crispy onions on a potato bun.
During the reveal, Simpson was seated next to the brand-new trophy that will be presented to the winner this year, replacing the crystal that had been used since 1982.
"It is really cool," said Simpson. "To partner with Tiffany, a great sponsor of the Tour and have it dipped in gold, it looks really cool. So, I think they did a great job. It certainly makes guys want it that much more."
When it comes to wanting it more, golfers will try to use any advantage they have to hold up the trophy on Sunday and according to Simpson, the 19 golfers that have played this tournament in March have that advantage. But Simpson says that not playing the course in the new conditions could be to his benefit.
"What is going to help me is that it is a different golf course, different time of the year, different weather, so it is not the exact same as where I won. "I think that is actually a good thing. It is almost like I have to pay attention more, almost re-learning some of the shots and how the ball is going to react. I think that is going to help me stay focused."
Simpson and the rest of the best field in golf will begin the 2019 Players Championship from March 14th to the 17th.