Sunday, June 17, 2012

US Open Recap

Simpson and his caddie after saving par on 18 (Getty Images)
Well the US Open didn't end the way most people were thinking it would after Friday.  Tiger Woods was not the victor.  By Sunday afternoon he wasn't even in the conversation.  He had an excellent first two days and it was down hill from there.  Although it was interesting to see him play with Jim Furyk on Saturday, whose caddie just happens to be Woods' from his early days on tour.  He started Sunday shooting 6 over during the first six holes of the Open.  It could not have been a worse start for Tiger.  He managed to get back to plus 7 in a tie for 21st.  I think he is back but that is a conversation for another day.

This day is about Webb Simpson.  He was plus 5 going into the weekend and he wasn't on most people's radar.  I know he wasn't on mine.  Before the Open started, Andy North on ESPN predicted that the winner of the Open would be at plus 1 and that's exactly what it took.  Simpson fired back to back 68's over the weekend to finish plus 1.  Then it became a waiting game. He was in the clubhouse and there was still plenty of golf left out on the course.  When Simpson failed to birdie hole 17, no one was sure that his score would hold.  Furyk had to play par golf with a birdie at 17 and it would be over.  But things never seem to go the way they are supposed to.  Furyk hit what was most likely one of the worst drives he has hit on tour and it caused him to bogey the par five 16th.  Meaning he had to have a birdie on 17 or 18 to try and force an 18 hole playoff.  That didn't happen and it ended up being Graeme McDowell who tried to make things interesting.  He birdied 17 and had a chance on 18 to tie it.  He made it close but he needed his putt to go about a foot farther right to tie with Simpson.  So Webb Simpson became the winner of the US Open while sitting in the clubhouse watching the action unfold with his wife.  On a side note, Simpson attended Wake Forest and went there on the Arnold Palmer scholarship.  Olympic just happens to be the course where Palmer blew a lead in 1966 and ended up losing the Open championship.

Whether you want to say Furyk lost the Open or Webb won it, doesn't really matter to me.  This was a great tournament to watch.  It had plenty of story lines and what a course.  It included a 520 yard par 4 that happened to be hole number one and it included the toughest scoring par 5 in over 25 years.  You even had a 17 year old amateur within four strokes of the lead on Sunday.  He didn't even win the California high school championship, yet he was playing with some of the best players in the world come Sunday and he held his own.  His name is Beau Hossler and I have a feeling we will be hearing that name again.  One of his favorite perks was the free dry cleaning you got in the clubhouse, not to mention the Lexus that every player got to drive over the week.  He even got to play with Phil Mickelson on one of the practice days, and he just happened to beat him.

Well whatever your favorite headline of the week is there are plenty of them out there.  You can take your pick.  But it was another excellent US Open and it came down to the last hole on Sunday.  Just the way everyone wanted it to.

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