So, you’ve hit a shank.
You’ve worked through your pre-swing checklist, gotten your thoughts in order and swung your swing — and the result was horrifying. A low-liner in the other direction. A screwup. A botch. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Webb Simpson knows how you feel. In fact, he’s had it worse than you. He’s blasted a shank on one of the biggest stages in golf — the Ryder Cup — and he’s then had to face a rousing from one of the greatest golfers ever for his efforts.
On this week’s episode of GOLF’s Subpar, Simpson told hosts Colt Knost and Drew Stoltz the story of his shank — and Tiger’s subsequent troll job — at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
“Another embarrassing [shank] was 8th hole at the Ryder Cup on Sunday at Medinah,” Simpson recalled. “Hit an 8-iron and shanked it over there.”
Of all the times to shank in competition, the Ryder Cup is one of the better ones. Match play is forgiving in that sense — lose the hole and move on with your afternoon. But of course, that supposes you won’t see Tiger Woods in the aftermath of your shank.
“My first thought was, Tiger is our anchor position, and I just hit it towards the fourth tee and he’s probably about there,” Simpson said. “I will never hear the end of this, if he sees me walking over to where he is.”
Or, for that matter, that Tiger won’t see you.
“We lose the Ryder Cup, and that night after the award ceremony, Tiger kind of motions for me to come here,” Simpson said. Simpson walked over to Woods, which is when the two golfers started talking about the wind. “In my mind, I’m like ‘why is he talking about this right now?'” Simpson remembers.
Here’s how he remembers the interaction.
Tiger Woods: Hey, man, it was a tough day.
Webb Simpson: Yeah.
TW: Wind was all over the place, wasn’t it?
WS: Yeah it was.
TW: Where did you have have the wind on No. 2, the par-3?
WS: Out of the west.
TW: Where did you guys have it No. 8? We had it straight left-to-right. When I got there it was blowing 20 or 30 mph.
Knowing Simpson’s shank on No. 8, Woods flashed a knowing grin. He wasn’t talking about the wind. He was trolling Simpson.
“I heard about it,” Woods laughed. “I heard about it.”
Simpson, to his credit, was able to laugh off the interaction. That’s the sort of mindset required of a major champion, we suppose.
To hear the rest of his Subpar interview, including his unexpected money games with Phil Mickelson, and his memory of the famous U.S. Open ‘bird man’ incident, check out the full video below.