It was funny to everybody - Simpson recalls 2014 first-tee woe

The first shot of the 2014 Ryder Cup was one to forget for Webb Simpson, but he saw the funny side when discussing the topic four years on.

Webb Simpson laughs during a news conference at Le Golf National   -  Getty Images

Webb Simpson joked that he will be looking to tee off on the even holes in any foursomes matches this week, following his embarrassing opening shot at the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Simpson hit the first shot of the competition at Gleneagles four years ago, but made a nervy start, his skied three-wood only travelling around 200 yards.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the topic came up immediately when Simpson addressed the media on Wednesday ahead of the 2018 competition at Le Golf National.

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"It was funny to everybody, but that was a shot I had in my bag all year. It was like the fifth time I had done it. I was losing my concentration a little bit and I teed it up a little too high, and I had done it a few other times that year. Usually, it goes straight down, that one went straight up. At least, it hit the fairway," he said with a smile.

"But yeah, we're more nervous here than any other tournament, and it's not the fans. It's a good thing. You want to play well for your teammates, for your captain, for the assistant captains and your partner, and so, it's a good kind of pressure."

"Everybody that made both teams can deal with pressure. But, the first tee, that environment is fun, and [you are] probably a little more nervous there than the second hole or third hole. That's why, you might see me teeing off on the evens [in alternate-shot matches this week]."

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The first tee at Le Golf National promises to offer a daunting test for all 24 players, thanks to a giant grandstand that will contain almost 7,000 spectators.

Elaborating on his dreadful start in 2014, Simpson added: "The funniest, most embarrassing part of it was the camera crews and probably a lot of you guys went ahead to where we normally drive it, so the camera crew and everybody was coming back."

"I will say, Justin Rose might not admit it, but he had a three-wood out, and I looked over and he switched to driver because the driver's so much bigger. So, maybe my shot affected him, I don't know."