How high can Simpson's stock rise?

And what can Tiger take away from his T-21 finish?

Updated: June 18, 2012, 3:34 AM ET
ESPN.com

So after winning the 112th U.S. Open, Webb Simpson becomes the 15th different major winner in as many of golf's grandest tournaments. Where does that place him in the game's elite? And what are the future expectations surrounding him?

Our experts tackle those topics and more in our latest edition of U.S. Open Four-Ball.


1. Does Webb Simpson's U.S. Open win make him one of golf's elite?


Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Absolutely. It confirms what we saw from him at the end of 2011. A solid game with not many holes in it. He's not one of the longer hitter on the PGA Tour but has a very good iron game and when he has to get up and down, in most cases he does.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Simpson was already an elite player after two wins and 12 top-10s in 2011. Now a major shows that he's more than just another guy who had a good year.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Not necessarily. He moved to fifth in the world rankings, has three PGA Tour victories and has played on a Presidents Cup team. But as we've seen of late, major winners are not exactly following up with great frequency. Simpson is the 15th straight different major winner. Win a bit more and perhaps he becomes an elite player.

Gene Wojciechowski, ESPN.com senior national columnist: Golf's elite. That might be a bit of a stretch. But I love the way he's trending.


2. What are the expectations of Webb Simpson moving forward?


Michael Collins: I don't know that I expect him to contend at the Open Championship or the PGA Championship, but I do believe he will win at least once more on the PGA Tour this year. And now, even with the extra expectations on him, I think he has the head on his shoulders and the game to contend at least five times a year if not more.

Farrell Evans: The first tournament of the rest of his career will be next week at the Travelers outside Hartford. With his every move now heavily scrutinized, Simpson will feel the pressure to prove that he's not a one-hit wonder. His next couple of years will tell how well he has adjusted to the new acclaim.

Bob Harig: Just like all major champions -- build on the victory. Use it as a springboard to more greatness. Confidence should come from winning a major. But it doesn't always happen.

Gene Wojciechowski: To build on this. He's only 26 and he has a game to die for.


3. Which top-10 finisher was the biggest surprise?


Michael Collins: Casey Wittenberg. He's a Nationwide Tour player that after a disastrous stint on the PGA Tour seemed to be fading into oblivion. But even with one win on the Nationwide Tour this year, I don't know that anyone saw him having a top-10 finish at the U.S. Open this year at such a brutally hard course. Oh yeah, and he played with Tiger Woods on Sunday and shot even par.

Farrell Evans: John Peterson. The former NCAA champion from LSU made a costly double-bogey on 16. If he makes at least par there and then birdies 17, he gets to 1 over par and in a playoff.

Bob Harig: Casey Wittenberg. Many probably didn't even know he was in the field. He played the final round with Tiger Woods and beat him by 3 shots. His even-par 70 kept him at 5-over par and he earned a 10th-place tie -- which means he'll be back in the U.S. Open next year.

Gene Wojciechowski: Probably John Peterson's T4. Gutsy performance.


4. What can Tiger Woods take away from his T-21 finish?


Michael Collins: Tiger can walk away with the knowledge that his major championship game isn't quite there yet. As we all know, winning on the PGA Tour is not like winning a major, but I think he's trending in the right direction. As I said earlier this year, I see Tiger's next major victory coming at Augusta, and I do think it'll be in 2013 … as long as the Mayans weren't right!

Farrell Evans: Nothing. He took a step backward this week. Tiger is a 14-time major winner with two wins on the season. He was too inconsistent.

Bob Harig: Aside from the disappointment that should come when you held a share of the lead into the front nine Saturday, Woods can feel good that he continued to hit a lot of quality shots -- just as he did at the Memorial. He had some poor stretches at Olympic, but also was undone by putting and some poor chipping. He seems to be gaining more and more confidence with the full swing and there is plenty of golf coming up for him to test it.

Gene Wojciechowski: Two good rounds. Two crummy rounds. A push.