Simpson Wins 2012 U.S. Open
San Francisco – Webb Simpson, 26, of Charlotte, N.C., claimed the 2012 U.S. Open on Sunday at The Olympic Club, shooting a final-round 68 to beat Michael Thompson and Graeme McDowell by one stroke.
Simpson, playing in just his second U.S. Open (T-14 in 2011), finished with a 72-hole total of 1-over 281 on the 7,170-yard Lake Course. It also is Simpson’s first major championship and third professional victory. He won twice on the PGA Tour in 2011.
He also became the second player with that surname to win a U.S. Open at Olympic. Scott Simpson (no relation) won in 1987 by edging 1982 champion Tom Watson by a stroke.
Simpson is the fifth consecutive former Walker Cup competitor to win the U.S. Open, joining Tiger Woods (2008), Lucas Glover (2009), McDowell (2010) and Rory McIlroy. McDowell and McIlroy played for Great Britain and Ireland.
He played the final 13 holes in four under par, including three consecutive birdies from No. 6.
“It was just a cool day,” Simpson told NBC after his round. “I had peace [of mind] all day. I knew it was a tough golf course. I had to go out and do as well as I could. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I've ever done in my life. It helped me stay calm and get in with 2‑under .”
Furyk, the 2003 champion, and McDowell began the final round with a share of the 54-hole lead at 1-under 209, four strokes ahead of Simpson. But McDowell carded a 73 and Furyk struggled to a 74.
Furyk wound up two strokes back at 3-over 213 with David Toms, Padraig Harrington, Jason Dufner, John Peterson.
Two-time champion Ernie Els finished solo ninth at 214 after a final-round 72.
Both Furyk and McDowell had a chance to tie Simpson at the 72nd hole. Furyk knocked his approach into a left greenside bunker and made a bogey. McDowell’s 24-foot birdie try drifted to the left.
A stunned Simpson waited a moment before finally celebrating with his wife, Dowd.
Furyk held the lead most of the day until making a costly bogey at the par-5 16th hole, where he pull-hooked his drive into heavy rough. The poor tee shot led to a 6. Ironically, it was the same hole that cost Payne Stewart the title here in 1998. He bogeyed the hole to lose by one stroke to Lee Janzen.
More story to come.