Monday, June 18, 2012
Webb Simpson: The comeback kid
By ESPN Stats & Information
Webb Simpson quietly played his way to a U.S. Open title.
He never had sole possession of the lead while he was on the course this week. He was never under par at any point during the tournament.
It wasn’t until after Simpson entered the clubhouse at 1-over par that he finally took the lead.
Simpson entered the weekend tied for 29th place, the worst 36-hole position ever by an eventual U.S. Open champion. It’s the 2nd-worst 36-hole position in history by a major champion. Only David Duval made a bigger comeback after being tied for 35th place entering the weekend at the 2001 Open Championship.
It’s Simpson first major title. He had never even finished in the top 10 in any of his four previous major appearances.
He's the first golfer to win in just his second U.S. Open start since Jerry Pate in 1976.
Simpson is the first to win the U.S. Open over par since Angel Cabrera in 2007, who won at 5-over at Oakmont, and the fifth since 1975.
The obscurity of Simpson winning the U.S. Open should not be a surprise, as it’s been a trend in majors lately. He’s the 15th different winner in the last 15 majors. He’s the 9th-straight first-time major winner, the longest streak in history.
HOW DID WEBB SIMPSON WIN THE U.S. OPEN?
After entering the weekend at 5-over, Simpson shot consecutive 68s. He’s just the second U.S. Open winner in the last 15 years to put together a pair of rounds in the 60s over the weekend (Rory McIlroy did it last year).
Simpson played holes 1-6 at even par during the final two rounds, while every other player in the field was over par on those 12 holes.
Simpson was able to scramble for par 60 percent of the time.
WHAT HAPPENED TO TIGER WOODS?
Tiger entered the weekend tied for the lead at 1-under but shot a 75 on Saturday and a 73 on Sunday.
Woods was 8-over on the weekend, his second-worst weekend in a major (to par) as a professional. Only the 2004 U.S. Open was worse, when he shot 9-over in the final two rounds.
He had just one birdie during a 30-hole stretch from Friday to Sunday. After having a combined five bogeys on Thursday and Friday, Woods had six bogeys in the third round alone and five more bogeys (including a double-bogey) in the final round.
Woods was 11-over on his first 24 holes of the weekend. He made just 1-of-12 birdie putts on these holes and was only able to scramble for par twice in 12 missed greens in regulation.
After shooting even-par on holes 1-6 Thursday and Friday, he shot 9-over on those six holes over the weekend (seven bogeys, one double-bogey, no birdies). On those holes, Woods hit 3-of-12 greens in regulation and was only able to scramble for par once, including 0-for-5 Sunday.
Tiger made birdie or better 20 percent of the time after hitting the green in regulation during the U.S. Open, his lowest percentage in any tournament since the 2007 U.S. Open.