Taking a last look at what happened – and didn’t happen – at the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club:
Simpson’s string of six straight one-putt greens midway through the final round proved to be the point of separation.
Now the Americans have won three straight majors – Keegan Bradley, Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson – and Matt Kuchar won The Players Championship. No wonder U.S. captain Davis Love III was smiling Sunday afternoon.
Still, he handled it beautifully. Climbing the huge staircase from the 18th green to the clubhouse Sunday after another disappointment, Westwood turned to his manager, Chubby Chandler, who was struggling up the steps behind him and said, “Pretend I’m wearing a short skirt.”
Pro golfers are creatures of habit and Furyk admitted he was flustered when he reached the par-5 16th hole and found the tee had been moved up 95 yards from where it had played earlier in the tournament. He wasn’t prepared for that and said he couldn’t get comfortable with the shot he wanted to hit. He wound up snap-hooking his tee shot into trouble, the beginning of his end.
Donald seemed to try too hard and suddenly there are questions about McIlroy’s focus. While both were huge disappointments, there’s no reason for panic in either camp.
When he needed it most, Woods couldn’t hit fairways and couldn’t make putts. He became just another guy trying to win and failing.
Credit to Webb Simpson for his quick reaction – “Enjoy the jail cell, pal,” – and to USGA executive director Mike Davis, who went middle linebacker on the guy.