Simpson seals surprise US Open win
04:01, 18 Jun 2012
American Webb Simpson burst out of the pack to become the surprise winner of the United States Open in misty San Francisco today.
The 26-year-old was joint eighth with a round to go, but after shooting a two-under-par 68 for a one-over total he had to wait to see if it was good enough.
Jim Furyk looked the biggest danger at that point, but it turned out to be Graeme McDowell.
Simpson, playing only his fifth major and trying to become the ninth successive first-time winner in them, had become joint leader when compatriot Furyk bogeyed the short 13th.
He then led in front on his own when Furyk snap-hooked his drive down the long 16th and ran up a bogey six.
McDowell, joint leader at the start of the day, was two behind at that point, but when the 2010 champion sank a 10-foot putt at the long 17th he and Furyk both needed to birdie the 335-yard last to tie.
Both found the semi-rough off the tee, but while McDowell hit his second shot to 20 feet Furyk buried his in the sand to the left.
When the 2003 winner sent his play-off attempt off the green and into another bunker it was all down to McDowell, but he sent it wide.
Simpson also became the 15th different winner in a row in the majors and the third successive American after Keegan Bradley - he was in his first major - and Bubba Watson.
With a disappointing 73 McDowell shared second place with American qualifier Michael Thompson, while Furyk's bogey for 74 - he did not have a birdie all day - dropped him to joint fourth with Ireland's three-major winner Padraig Harrington and 2001 USPGA champion David Toms.
Harrington matched Simpson's 68, but bogeyed the last after his approach was pulled into a bunker and found a plugged lie.
He could not keep his third shot on the green like Furyk and also bogeyed. As it turned out he had also needed a birdie.
Twice winner Ernie Els would have forced a play-off if he had played the last three in one under.
Instead a putt up the bank on the 16th came back to his feet and he had another bogey on the last to drop to ninth place.
One further back on five over was England's Lee Westwood, who will also reflect on a ball getting stuck up a tree at the fifth.
He was in third place three behind at the time, but double-bogeyed it and never got back in the hunt.
Westwood, in his 57th attempt to win a major, almost made albatross on the 17th, but it was too little too late and he became another to bogey the last.
As for Tiger Woods, he finished joint 21st after being joint halfway leader with Furyk and Toms.
A dreadful Saturday 75 with conditions at their easiest was followed by a 73, his hopes over once he had four bogeys and a double bogey in the first six holes.