19 Jun 2012
Webb Simpson broke through for his first major win. Photo: USGA
By Luke Elvy for Golf Australia Twitter: @elvisgolf
Nine Australians came to Olympic Club in San Francisco but it was American Webb Simpson who conquered, claiming his first major title.
The 26 year-old came from three shots behind Jim Furyk & Graeme McDowell on the final day, carding a 2 under 68 to post +1 (281) total.
In the end it was good enough for a one-shot victory over 2010 US Open Champion McDowell & first round leader Michael Thompson, while Furyk faded into a five-way share of fourth.
Australia’s hopes rested with John Senden who began the day 4 shots off the pace and at one stage he looked like emulating Geoff Ogilvy’s 2006 US Open win when he birdied the drivable par 4 7th to be outright third just three behind. But the big Queenslander rued a wayward driver on the back nine & drifted into a tie for 10th at 5 over par.
It’s Senden’s best US Open finish & second best result in a major having finished 4th in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in 2007 but small consolation given he had a legitimate chance to win.
It means its now six years since Australia has won a major & Ogilvy’s victory at Winged Foot remains our only major title in the past 17 years, not a proud record given South Africa & Ireland have won 7 & 6 respectively in that time.
For that drought to end, Australia will look to Adam Scott who has proven he’s more consistent in the big ones finishing T15th at Olympic Club. The world no.17 was left thinking “if only” after shooting three consecutive even par 70’s after opening with a 76. He ultimately finished five shots behind Simpson.
One major positive was the performance of Alastair Presnell. The 33 year-old Victorian can be well pleased with his major debut, having tied 29th & after 27 holes he was just a shot off the lead. Hopefully he’ll take the confidence gained from this week back to the Nationwide Tour where he’ll aim to secure his PGA Tour card by finishing inside the all important Top 25 at years end. He’s currently 25th on the money list.
For the rest of the Australian contingent it will be head down and more fine tuning ahead of the Open Championship next month at Royal Lytham & St Annes.
Luke Elvy is a freelance columnist for GolfAustralia.org.au His views do not necessarily represent the views of Golf Australia.