Continuing the theme of underdogs at U.S. Opens held at San Francisco’s Olympic Club, Webb Simpson came from behind to snatch the title on Sunday from major champions Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell.
Simpson carded a final round 68 to prevail by one shot over McDowell and Michael Thompson. It was the third PGA Tour victory for the 26-year-old North Carolina native.
Much of the talk heading into the weekend was focused on the big names that were high on the leaderboard, from Furyk and McDowell to the ever-present Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood. Woods would falter badly on Saturday, taking himself out of contention and Westwood would do the same on Sunday.
Furyk, who won the Open in 2003 at Olympia Fields, looked in control for most of the final round, but stumbled down the stretch, suffering a pair of bogeys late in the round. McDowell was looking to continue the streak of winners from Northern Ireland, which he started two years ago at Pebble Beach. But his birdie putt to tie Simpson went astray on 18 and those outside the golf world were introduced to a new champion.
While he may seem like a no-name, Simpson has had plenty of success since turning pro in 2008, with his breakthrough coming in 2011, when he won twice and finished second in the Fed Ex Cup standings, earning over $6.3 million.
But perhaps the real winner was the course itself as the Olympic Club proved once again to be every bit as challenging as advertised, with not a single player breaking par. A great week for Bay Area golf fans.
Photo Credit: Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons