The United States Golf Association plans each year for the U.S. Open to be the purest test of golf. The 112th U.S. Open, held at San Francisco’s Olympic Club was, indeed, just that and, maybe, (too much) more.
Now, don’t get ahead of me. The Olympic Club is a wonderful golf course. The layout itself is challenging, but did the USGA need to make it that tough? The champion was 28-year-old Webb Simpson, who was ranked 208th when the 2011 PGA tour began, but had a great year by finishing second on the money list, thereby moving him up to 10th.
He shot 68 on each of the last two rounds, with the final round being on Father’s Day. His wife, Dowd, expecting their second child in July, walked all four rounds (72 holes and 281 golf shots) with her champ. When Simpson finished, others were still on the course, with both Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell having a chance to best that 281.
The Simpsons (no, not those TV guys) sat in the Olympic Club clubhouse and while waiting for Furyk and McDowell to finish, watched a video of their 16-month-old son, James, who was back home in Charlotte, N.C., taking his first steps. A relaxing diversion.
From the 16th tee through the 18th green, Furyk and McDowell weren’t up to the challenge. But the World Golf Ranking’s No. 1 player, Luke Donald, missed the cut, as did the No. 2 player, Rory McIlroy. And Phil Mickelson, often an Open runner-up, finished 65th — 26 over par. Tiger Woods, ranked fourth, finished 25th — 7 over par. The 2012 Masters champion, Bubba Watson, missed the cut with the comment, “It (the course) beat me up.” Does the U.S. Open course have to do that?
Of the top 11 ranked golfers, only Simpson, McDowell and Jason Dufner finished in the top 10 at this U.S. Open.
And what lies ahead now for Simpson? The British Open?
Nope — Dowd is due to give birth to their second child about that time, so Webb will be staying home. Looks like golf finished a distant second to his family.
Will you treat your family with a No. 1 priority?