US Open 2012 review: Simpson wins in San Francisco
American Webb Simpson delighted the home nation’s crowd following his US Open triumph, at the Olympic Club, San Francisco, on Sunday.
Simpson had fought his way up the leaderboard on the final day from a position of three over par to finish with a final round of 68, one over for the whole tournament, and just one shot ahead of rivals Graham McDowell and Michael Thompson.
David Toms, John Peterson, Jason Dufner and Padraig Harrington finished a further shot back, whilst Ernie Els finished at four over par. World number three, Lee Westwood saw his challenge for the crown slip when a lost ball at the fifth meant he conceded two shots to the leaders, whilst Tiger Woods had a miserable day, shooting a round of three over, to finish tied 21st.
However, the crowd had a new hero to congratulate, with Simpson now moving up to fifth in the world rankings, after securing his first major championship after turning pro just four years ago. He becomes the 15th different major winner in a row, whilst he is also the ninth consecutive first time winner of a prominent tournament. His triumph may be a surprise to some, but after being narrowly pipped by Luke Donald in last year’s US money list title, the talent of the 26-year-old is evident and he could be around for a long time.
In particular, his short game was tremendous, helping him card four birdies in five holes between holes six and ten on the final day, which led the charge up the leaderboard, whilst down went the likes of Westwood and Jim Furyk, who saw their efforts fall short.
In his interview Simpson said: “I’ve never felt nerves like I felt today. I had to hit my legs because I couldn’t feel them. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I ever did in my life.”
For a course so harsh for scoring, to card just one double bogey over the four days and to end the tournament off the back of two 68’s is a feat in itself, however it proved good enough for Simpson to lift the famous trophy and win the prestigious event.