The 112th U.S. Open lived up to its billing this year. The golf course was perfect and Old Man Par was not going to allow the greatest players in the world beat him. It did not start out that way though. Michael Thompson, the runner-up at the US Am just a few years prior, was seeking revenge. He did, in round one by opening with a great round of 66. The real tell of his round and continuing on this tear was his putts in the first round. He took only 22 putts. That means he hit the ball 44 times. This type of play would be impossible to maintain. Day two proved that par would be a good score. Thompson followed his 66 with a 75; one over for 36 holes and a new leader was anointed on day two.
Former number one, Tiger Woods had moved into the lead. The airways and every sports talk show were abuzz. Tiger is the US Open champion for 2012. There was only one problem, there were still 36 holes to go. Was this the win that would get Tiger one step closer to history? Not this Open. Tiger would get beat by Old Man Par on Saturday. That left Jim Furyk and G Mac (Graeme McDowell) in the lead after 54 holes at one under par.
Sunday rolled in like the Marine Layer that is famous at the Olympic Club. Four previous US Opens at Olympic ended with some one other than the 54 hole leaders winning. This year would be no different. Furyk and G Mac battled back and forth and once again a major tournament was going to be lost…not won.
With three holes to play, Furyk had the tournament in his hands until the USGA reared their head and threw the field a curve ball. They moved the tee at sixteen up 100 yards to 570 yards from what the hole played earlier in the week. Furyk snap hooks it into the woods and complained it was not right for the USGA to play that shorter tee. Furyk was done. Now it is G Mac’s tournament to win. McDowell plays 2-iron, 2-iron, wedge into sixteen. If Furyk would have played defense, he would not have blown the Open.
By this time, the slow play of Furyk, which was acknowledged by the USGA, a guy by the name of Webb Simpson was just taking what the golf course gave him. Simpson birdied 4 of 5 holes in the middle of the round and parred in. Webb Simpson played solid and beat Old Man Par with a final round 68 and sat in the clubhouse with his wife and watched as the leaders faltered…and falter they did. Webb Simpson never led the tournament on the golf course the final day of the US Open and, coming from 4 shots back, claimed the 112th US Open. This made Olympic a perfect 5 for 5 in ‘come from behind’ victories. It was a great US Webb Open. Can he claim the British Open, too? Stay tuned.
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Greg is the General Manager at the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia, in Peoria, AZ. Visit him and play the only 5-Star rated golf course by Golf Digest – Best Places. Call Greg at 623.328.5100 for a starting time.