As many a golf fan will already know, Webb Simpson outlasted Messrs McDowell, Furyk and Toms to win by one at this year’s US Open which was played at the thoroughly demanding Olympic Club in San Fransisco, California. The young American with a tonne of talent had a stellar season last year, winning twice and narrowly missing out on the US PGA Tour money list title to a rampaging Luke Donald but this win has placed him well and truly in the golfing spotlight. Here are ten things you may not know about the winner of the second major championship of 2012.
1 – Simpson was born James Frederick Webb Simpson. For reasons unbeknown to us he actually chose to go by the name Webb!
2 – Simpson graduated from Wake Forest University in 2008 with a degree in Religion which probably came in handy when he was praying to the golfing gods while coming down the stretch at the US Open.
3 – Simpson has not always enjoyed such fortune at the Olympic Club. He lost to Michael Thompson in the first round of the 2007 US Amateur at Olympic Club. Thompson would eventually lose in the final and recently tied for 2nd in the US Open.
4 – After winning the 2nd major championship of the year it seems Webb may end up missing the 3rd. The Open Championship, played this year at Royal Lytham &St Anne’s in Southport, looks as if it will clash with the expected birth of Simpson’s 2nd child.
5 – Despite having a poor driving accuracy ranking and a mediocre greens in regulation percentage, Simpson is ranked number 1 this season (2012) for average birdies per round.
6 – Simpson’s father offered Dowd Simpson – Webb’s current wife – $100 to take Webb out on a date. She didn’t take the money but turned up at Webb’s dorm room at Wake Forest and the rest, as they say, is history.
7 – As you may expect from a God fearing Christian, Webb Simpson is an honest chap. In the 2011 Zurich Classic, Simpson called a one shot penalty on himself after his ball moved on the green. He had reportedly grounded his putter 4 inches behind the ball when it moved and the penalty erased the 1 shot lead he had been holding over Bubba Watson who would eventually win the two man play off against Webb.
8 – Back in his amateur days Simpson won the Southern Amateur, a tournament previously won by the likes of Bobby Jones, Ben Crenshaw and Justin Leonard.
9 – Webb was on the winning 2007 Walker Cup team, a team that included the likes of Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson and Kyle Stanley, but can’t really claim much credit for the USA’s victory at Royal County Down having only won half a point from his three matches. He lost both singles matches against European Tour winner, David Horsey.
10 – Webb attended Wake Forest University, as did other successful professional golfers including the likes of Arnold Palmer, Darren Clarke, Bill and Jay Haas, Scott Hoch, Curtis Strange and Lanny Wadkins.