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US Open winner has Wilmington ties

READ MORE: US Open winner has Wilmington ties

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) --- One week ago North Carolina native Webb Simpson won the US Open. One thing you may not know is the golfer developed his love for the game in the Port City.

Simpson spent many weekends and summers in his youth at the Country Club of Landfall.

"When he was like 10 years old, I used to get a call from the superintendent and he'd say, 'That kid is out here playing again,'" said Drew Pierson, the former Landfall Director of Golf. "It was 5 o'clock in the morning, 5:30 and I'd say, 'Well he's not hurting anybody just let him play' you know. So that's what he did."

Pierson spent time with Simpson from 1993-1998, giving him golf lessons.

Pierson says he even made him his first set of custom clubs after Simpson outgrew his junior golf set.

"My wife and I were playing and he came up behind us at Nicklaus (a golf course at Landfall) and so he joined us on 15," said Pierson. "We played 15,16,17,18 and then we played 1 and 2, and he birdied four of the six holes, as an 11-year-old and he's playing from the men's tees."

Simpson moved on to play at Wake Forest and then won multiple tournaments on tour in 2011.

No career win was more special than last week at the Olympic Club.

Those who knew him as a young man in Wilmington still support the North Carolinian.

"I just think it's great. I think he's a real credit to the sport and the players," said Pierson.

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