RALEIGH -- Friends and coaches from the hometown of U.S. Open Champion Webb Simpson said they are thrilled to see him win his first masters.
The Raleigh native once played golf at Broughton High School and Wake Forest University and now lives in Charlotte with his wife and son.
Maggie Simons said she is proud her longtime friend and teammate at Wake Forest won the U.S. Open.
"The fact that he ended up on top, it's the best, awesome," said Simons. "We always knew that he would be incredibly successful on the tour level, but how he's done it so, so quickly and just now winning his first major, I still can't believe it."
Simons, who introduced Simpson to his wife, said she knows how proud her best friend is of her husband.
"It makes it all the more special for me, cause I know she's experiencing so much joy right now with him,” said Simons.
Simpson began winning championships at Broughton High, where he led the golf team to three state championships. Simpson was inducted into Broughton's Hall of Fame in 2009 and remains the high school's only four-time, all-American athlete in any sport.
"Certainly Webb serves as a great role model for young athletes and young golfers around the country and certainly in this area," said Coach Jack Spain, Broughton High School's athletic director.
Simpson's high school golf coach, Phil Ratliff, said he could tell there was something special when he first spotted the golfer.
"While his leadership on the team was not necessarily overt, you could sense it, and the other players really looked up to him," said Ratliff.
Ratliff said he believes Simpson's first major title breaks down barriers.
"He's probably thinking to himself, 'Why can't I go ahead and win the Masters and the PGA, why not?'," said Ratliff.
With this win under his belt, Simons said she expects Simpson will turn his focus to welcoming his second child into his family.
"If he didn't have golf in his life one day, he still has a wonderful life and would be very happy," said Simons.
Gov. Bev Perdue issued a statement Monday congratulating the golfer:
“Today we celebrate our very own, Webb Simpson, for winning the U.S. Open on Sunday. This is a tremendous accomplishment and a big step forward in an already-impressive golf career. Webb is a North Carolinian through-and-through: He was born and raised in Raleigh, became an Arnold Palmer Scholar at Wake Forest University, and now lives in Charlotte. North Carolina is truly proud of his accomplishment and all of his success. Webb has a bright future ahead of him, and I look forward to supporting his journey in golf.”
Watch more reaction from Webb Simpson's U.S. Open win
News 14: Hometown friends, coaches thrilled over Simpson's U.S. Open win
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