Webb Simpson became just the third American winner of the U.S. Open since 2004, joining 2008 champion Tiger Woods and 2009 winner Lucas Glover. "I was kind of hoping for my first win on the PGA TOUR last year. To think my second would come two weeks later I didn't," said the U.S. Open Champ. "If I was honest with you I believed in myself I could win a Major, but maybe not so soon." It was his second career U.S. Open start and only his fifth major that he has participated it. "If I see Keegan Bradley win a Major, I respect his game a ton, but I feel like, Keegan Bradley won one, I want to go win one. I just gained all the respect for the guys who have won multiple Majors, because it's so hard to do. The level of pressure is so much greater than a regular event."
Simpson's U.S. Open stats were:
Driving Distance 278.88 yards 53rd in the field Driving Accuracy 31 of 56 (55.4%) T13 Greens in Regulation 42 of 72 (58.3%) T16 Total Putts 114 (1.58 average) T18 Sand Saves 5/12 (41.7%) T37 LIGHTNING IN A BOTTLE?
Simpson became both the ninth consecutive first-time major championship winner and the 15th different major winner in as many majors. He played his final 36 holes at a combined 4-under par and was the only player in the field to post his final two rounds in the 60's. In comparison to Simpson's 68.00 weekend stroke average, the field average was 72.45 and was a combined +353 over par in the final 2 rounds! In 2011, Simpson ranked fourth on TOUR with a final round scoring average of 69.13. However, entering the US Open last week, he ranked 137th as his final round scoring average had ballooned to 72.40.
ANOTHER IMPRESSIVE PERFORMANCE!
Sweden's Fredrik Jacobson was in contention for the U.S. Open last week and he also happens to be this week's defending champion. At the 2011 Travelers Championship, he had only ONE bogey (10th hole in the final round) on his way to victory. Entering the week, Jacobson hit 60% of his fairways from the tee ranking 99th on TOUR for driving accuracy. However, he found the last 29 consecutive fairways of the tournament (starting on 9th hole of second round). His success can easily be attributed to his short game, especially putting around the greens at TPC River Highlands. For the week, he led the field in both scrambling (19 of 20: 95% – 1st) and strokes gained – putting (2.47 strokes gained / round – 1st).
WHO TO KEEP AN EYE ON
Hunter Mahan has finished inside the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standing in each of the first five seasons of its existence. Mahan is one of just three players to have accomplished this feat on the PGA TOUR (Phil Mickelson & Steve Stricker). He currently ranks second in the standings on the strength of 2 victories, 3 top tens and 8 top twenty-five finishes in his 13 starts this season. The 2007 Travelers Championship winner is making his 11th career start in Hartford this week. In his previous 10 starts he has 1 win, 2 runners-up and 5 top twenty-five finishes.
Padraig Harrington has regained his form in recent weeks on the PGA TOUR carding 3 consecutive top 15 finishes in his last 3 starts on TOUR including a career best T-4th finish at last week's U.S. Open Championship. Harrington is making his fourth career start at the Travelers Championship this week. In his previous 3 starts, he has 1 top five (2010) finish.
Zach Johnson currently ranks fourth in the FedEx Cup standings on the strength of 1 win, 2 runner-up finishes and 7 top twenty-five finishes in his 15 starts on TOUR this season. At this point last year, Zach Johnson was 47th in the FedEx Cup standings with 2 top 10 finishes in his first 14 starts on TOUR.