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In


1913,


when


a


20-year-old amateur, Francis Ouimet, became the first native-born American to win the Open, golf’s popularity soared in the United States. The game received another boost when Bobby Jones, one of America’s greatest sports heroes, won four Opens from 1923 to 1930. Byron Nelson won the 1938 U.S. Open and his boyhood friend Ben Hogan won his first Open in 1948. Hogan


would come to


define the classic “Open” player—mentally tough,


deadly accurate and a masterful technician. Hogan went on to win four Opens, including the 1953 Open at Oakland Hills Country Club, which had been renovated for the Open by Robert Trent Jones. In one of the game’s cruelest ironies, Sam Snead, who famously said that anytime he left America he “felt like I was camping out,” never won his nation’s championship. He finished second four times. He referred to the Open as “the beautiful girl that got away.” Following Hogan, Cary Middlecoff won two Opens, as did Billy Casper, arguably the most underrated great player in history. Arnold Palmer staged one of the greatest rallies in history to win the 1960 Open at Cherry Hills Country Club in Denver, edging Hogan and a 20-year old amateur, Jack


PLAYER


FINAL STANDINGS POS 1


2 Webb Simpson


Michael Thompson Graeme McDowell David Toms


Padraig Harrington John Peterson Jason Dufner Jim Furyk Ernie Els


Casey Wittenberg Retief Goosen Kevin Chappell John Senden Lee Westwood


www.pgatour.com 1


T2 T2 T4 T4 T4 T4 T4 9


T10 T10 T10 T10 T10


72 66 69 69 74 71 72 70 75 71 75 74 72 73


73 75 72 70 70 70 71 69 69 77 70 71 73 72


20


Entering 2013, a player in his 20s has won six of the last eight major championships (Webb


Simpson, Keegan Bradley, Rory McIlroy, Charl


Schwartzel, Martin Kaymer and Louis Oosthuizen). Bubba Watson (age 33


at the 2012 Masters) and Darren Clarke (age 42 at


2011 British Open) are the exceptions.


Nicklaus. Palmer would go on to finish second four times, losing in playoffs in 1962, `63 and `66.


Nicklaus, like Hogan, seemed to rise to the top of his game at the Open, winning four Opens and finishing second four times as well. Other


multiple winners


of the Open included Tiger Woods (three including in 2008 when he played with an injured leg), Lee Trevino (two), Andy North (two), Hale Irwin (three), Curtis Strange (two), Payne


Stewart (two), Ernie Els (two) and Lee Janzen (two).


REMEMBER THIS? There’s a certain poetic justice to Webb Simpson’s victory at last summer’s U.S. Open at The Olympic Club. Olympic was the club where, in 1966, Palmer squandered a seven-stroke lead in the final round and then lost the following day’s playoff to Casper. Simpson went to Wake Forest on an Arnold Palmer Scholarship. “Arnold has been so good to me,” Simpson said. “Just the other day, I read that story [about the `66 Open] and thought about it. He’s meant so much to me and Wake Forest. Hopefully, I can get a little back for him and make him smile.”


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Simpson made four birdies in mid-round and then saved


par from the greenside


rough on No. 18 to edge former Open champion Graeme McDowell and Michael Thompson by a stroke.


While McDowell was disappointed by his


play, he wasn’t any more chagrined than another former Open champion, Jim Furyk. McDowell was done in largely by his start, where he made four bogeys on the first nine, and his poor driving, while Furyk finished poorly. Furyk hit a killer hook off the tee on No. 16, a par 5, and then hit his approach into a bunker on 18 and made a bogey for a 74—a round where he failed to make a single birdie. “I was tied for the lead, sitting on the 16th tee,” he said. “I’ve got wedges in my hand on reachable par 5s, and I’m on the way in and one birdie wins the golf tournament. I’m definitely frustrated.” For Simpson, the victory left him with a feeling of joy—and relief. “It was a cool day,” Simpson said. “I had


a peace all day. I knew it was a tough golf course. I probably prayed more the last three holes than I ever did in my life.” ■


3


68 74 68 76 71 72 70 70 68 67 69 68 68 67


4


68 67 73 68 68 70 70 74 72 70 71 72 72 73


TOTAL SCORE


281 282 282 283 283 283 283 283 284 285 285 285 285 285


FEDEXCUP POINTS


CHARITY LINK


The United States Golf Association awarded $5.1 million to support the development of 230 golf programs through its “For the Good of the Game” Grants Initiative during the 2008 calendar year. These funds aided in the effort to open opportunities through the game of golf to more than 230,000 youths and individuals with disabilities. The USGA has allocated $63 million over the 12-year existence of this unique initiative, making the game more affordable and accessible to underserved populations. USGA funding helps these programs pay for professional instruction, access to golf courses and practice ranges, equipment, transportation, alternative golf facilities and other essential aspects of the game.


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2013 107


How Was It Won? Webb Simpson didn’t excel in any one category at the U.S. Open, but he was solid where it counted. Take a look: ■ He tied for 13th in Driving Accuracy (55.4 percent). ■ He tied for 16th in Greens in Regulation (58.3 percent). ■ He tied for 18th in Total Putts (114).


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