Date: June 18, 2012
Author: Omnisport

Simpson clinches US Open

American Webb Simpson has won his maiden major championship with a one-stroke victory at the US Open on Sunday (local time). The world No.14, who has two career titles to his name and was playing in just his second US Open, carded consecutive two-under-par rounds of 68 on the weekend to edge compatriot Michael Thompson and Northern Irishman Graeme McDowell by a shot. Simpson clawed his way back from five over at the halfway mark of the tournament and made his winning surge with four birdies in a five-hole stretch from the sixth hole to the 10th. But he still had to endure a nervous wait with Furyk and McDowell both missing birdie putts to force a play-off. Simpson&aposs win makes him the ninth straight first-time winner of a major tournament and 15th in a row by a different player. Overnight leader and 2003 champion Jim Furyk opened with five pars to take a two-stroke lead but bogeyed the sixth, 13th and 16th to finish in equal fourth after a four-over-par 74. McDowell started the day tied for the lead with Furyk but shot four bogeys on the front nine before a late birdie on the 17th to finish at two over with Thompson. Thompson was the biggest mover with his three-under 67 shooting him into contention, but he signed his card after birdies at the 11th and 16th well before Furyk and McDowell battled on. Furyk was joined in equal fourth by American David Toms, three-time major winner Padraig Harrington, and Americans Jason Dufner and John Peterson. Toms and Harrington carded two-under 68s to close while Peterson blew his chance with a double bogey at the 16th to finish with a final-round 70 along with Dufner. South Africa&aposs Ernie Els jumped up the leaderboard to two-over through eight holes after an eagle at the par-four seventh but mixed four bogeys with a birdie in his last 11 holes to slip down to four over with a 72. World No.4 and three-time champion Tiger Woods&apos last round unravelled early as he dropped five shots in the first six holes before eventually finishing with a three-over 73 and seven-over-par overall. John Senden was the best of the Australians at five over and a tie for tenth but blew his chance to win the tournament with four bogeys in his last 11 holes. He was joined by Americans Casey Wittenberg and Kevin Chappell, South African Retief Goosen and world number three Lee Westwood at five over. Senden&aposs third round two-under 68 put him in contention going into the last round but he carded a final round two-over 72, ruling him out. Fellow Australians Adam Scott shot a third consecutive even-par 70 to finish in a tie for 15th at six over while Alistair Presnell was at nine over. World No.19 Jason Day was well down in 60th place after a 76 and 73 to finish his tournament.