Simpson surprises to win US Open

Webb Simpson shot a final round 68 to claim the US Open title at the Olympic Club on Sunday.

Webb Simpson shot a final round 68 to claim the US Open title at the Olympic Club on Sunday.

Playing in only his fifth Major, the 26-year-old was in joint eighth overnight but his total of one-over-par proved enough to see off the challenge of Graeme McDowell by one stroke.

While more fancied competitors the likes of McDowell (73), 54-hour leader Jim Furyk (74), Lee Westwood (73) and Tiger Woods (73) faltered, Simpson carded four birdies and two bogeys on his way to a two-under final round and a total of 281.

Simpson looked out of it early in the day when he bogeyed two of the first five holes, but recovered to four of the next five,

Conversely, Furyk did not manage a birdie all day but despite bogeys on 13 and 16, a birdie at the 18th would have been enough to see him force a play-off.

McDowell too need a birdie at the last to take the tournament into extra time, but neither man could do so, with Furyk twice finding a bunker on his way to a bogey, while McDowell was able to find the green but not the birdie he required.

Simpson becomes the third American Major winner on the trot, following in the footsteps of Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson and extends the run of different Major winners to 15.

“I’ve never felt nerves like I felt today,” said the Jack Nicklaus Medal-winner. “I had to hit my legs because I couldn’t feel them.”

For McDowell the disappointment was there for all to see, with his second US Open title very much there for his taking.

“It was grind and a slog, but I’ll be back,” said the 32-year-old.
“The pin on the 18th was brutal – it was tough to get it within 10 feet – but I’m proud of myself. I didn’t have my A-game.
“I did a lot right, but this course does not allow you to get into a rhythm and it was a struggle.”