Monday, June 18, 2012

Webb Simpson and the US Open trophy come home

   Webb Simpson, his wife Dowd and their new U.S. Open trophy took the red-eye home from San Francisco Sunday evening, jetting cross-country into a North Carolina morning new in so many ways.
   Simpson's gritty, impressive victory at The Olympic Club recast him as a professional golfer. There are good players. There are winners. And there are major champions.
   It was just the fifth major championship Simpson had played and while he believed he had the game to win a major, Simpson admitted he wasn't sure it would happen so soon.
   And here it is.
   Simpson joked that he had even more admiration for Tiger Woods, being able to win 14 times in golf's biggest tests. Simpson didn't want any more of the U.S. Open or Olympic.
   "I really didn't want a playoff," he said.
   It wasn't necessary when Graeme McDowell's last chance birdie putt missed on the 72nd hole.
   Simpson and Dowd watched the end on television in the locker room. When they weren't watching golf, they were watching videos on their phone of their son, James, who is just learning to walk.
   This was their first trip without their one-year old son and perhaps their last together until after Dowd gives birth to their second child, due Aug. 3.
    Two weeks ago, Simpson spent four days in Pinehurst, playing golf with his buddies, taking the nervous edge off his pre-Open preparations. He had missed consecutive cuts after his disappointment of not winning the Wells Fargo Championship at home, fixed a flaw in his swing and felt good flying west.
   Simpson felt even better flying home.