Here are the first few paragraphs of my Monday column after the grand finale of the U.S. Open:


Congratulations to Webb Simpson for winning the 112th U.S. Open Golf and Masochism Tournament played at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.

He started Sunday four shots back but he shot a splendid 68 and passed the leader, Jim Furyk, who did not shoot a single birdie on Sunday. Simpson showed poise and guts, considering he’s only 26.

In case you never heard of Simpson before this Open — and, come on, many of you never ever heard of him — this we know. He is ranked 14th in the world. He tied for 44th in the Masters. He has won three PGA tournaments and one major — the 2012 Open. He lives in North Carolina and he attended Wake Forest and on the back nine he was so nervous he couldn’t feel his legs and he’s married to a pretty blonde named Dowd and he’s a good kisser.

To read the entire column, click here.

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  1. Tommy CostaRica

    Right on Lowell! As Stan would say, “I said in yesterday’s post”. The course looks down right shabby, brown greens and rough like a bad hair day! And you’re right on with that little diddly about the miniature golf course; it’s like one of those ant hill miniature golf greens where the ball keeps rolling down the hill and back into a little trap door. Picture next year’s Open with miniature wind mill over the cups!

    June 18th, 2012 5:58 am

  2. Dennis

    I agree with you for this Open. However, Tiger Woods has won it 3 times, Els has won it twice and Rory won last year, etc. My point is that big hitters aren’t always punished. The thing I noticed about this Open is it seemed like no one could read a putt. I am not sure if that can be blamed on the USGA. My guess is that Lake Merced played a very big role in the outcome. I have never seen so many missed putts.

    June 18th, 2012 7:27 am

  3. Streetglide

    Couldn’t disagree more. In your view, the current Saints would always win the Super Bowl, Montana and that crew would have been also-rans and Germany would have squashed the Brits in WW II.
    There are plenty of tourneys that reward the big swing. But once in a while it is nice to see a course that rewards touch instead of smash; I like that. Semi-colon…

    June 18th, 2012 7:39 am

  4. Stan

    I had the pee wee golf feeling too. Balls that came within a yard of the hole on a middling drive…rolling backwards 20 feet. So whats the point of being accurate?-your penalized.
    I’m not much of a golfer..but that final round where a 17 year old was whipping Tiger Woods..dud is right.

    June 18th, 2012 8:58 am

  5. Dave T

    I will refer to my post on the Woods was terrible column. The very late afternoon start greatly affected the conditions and how the course played over the weekend, especially for the leaders. Almost to the point where as a viewer it was unwatchable. I don’t want to players just bomb it off the tee and get rewarded for it, but I do want to see good play rewarded. I want to see when shots hit the green they stay there and not bounce like hitting concrete. And I really don’t want to see a chip hit the fringe and bouce sideways like hitting a clump of grass on the local soccer field at the end of a long hot summer. The players and viewers deserve better than that. A winning score of 3 to 5 under par would have been fine. It would have shown the best player to have been the one who earned it who was better than par. The 1 over win shows no player was better than average. And that is why this Open was a dud.

    June 18th, 2012 9:49 am

  6. Dennis

    Actually Stan, the 17 year old did not whip Tiger Woods. Not on the last day (+6 to +3) nor for the tournament (+9 to +7). But I will admit that it did look that way. TV needed a story and they had hoped the kid would be it. He wasn’t even the low amatuer.

    June 18th, 2012 9:53 am

  7. glenellen

    So Alex Smith is a Prius ?
    And you own a Prius ?
    Oh no, you own a Lexus. You are a star !

    June 18th, 2012 11:10 am

  8. Bray

    Not a lot of golfers here obviously. It was exactly what a US Open is supposed to be. Has any of you watched a US Open before? By the comments and article one could derive this was the first time any of the posters, minus Streetglide and Dennis watched a US Open.

    The course looked beautiful IMO, you can’t keep ALL the grass green on a NorCal course that is frequented by fog and keep it hard and fast without double cutting and using less water {good for ALL}.

    It’s great to see these guys have to actually think their way around a golf course instead of ‘pound and recover’. They get the overwatered straight, perfect conditions, mundane new school course every other week.

    June 18th, 2012 11:12 am

  9. CohnZohn

    glenellen, I wish I owned a Lexus. In my dreams.

    June 18th, 2012 11:17 am

  10. Tiburon Dave

    Thank goodness it’s over…

    For all the kvetching about rough, slope, conditions & pin locations…

    Don’t all these guys play the same course?

    June 18th, 2012 11:20 am

  11. KauaiRobert

    Oh! what a tangled Webb we weave…

    June 18th, 2012 11:27 am

  12. Stan

    I curse society..why is it older middle aged are thrown this padlock around us that the only cool cars for us ..have to cost a fortune.? I don’t get that. I’m glad I see people around my age in Mini Coopers or Mazda hatchbacks. Yet,we are rejected from Scions,and certain colors-by,by, red.
    Expensive = cool cars? Cool for the dealers.

    June 18th, 2012 1:14 pm

  13. B-Rad

    This tournament was noteworthy for me because, for the first time in my
    life, I actually watched some of it on TV.
    True, I only watched because a family member was serving as a marshall
    on one hole and I hoped to catch a glimpse of him.
    True, I gave up after 5 minutes because that was my attention span limit
    for this event.

    That said, this event produced nearly $170 million in additional income
    for San Francisco. Way to go golf fans who supported this event!!
    (Compare that with an average total additional income for the 8 regular
    home NFL games to the local economy of $120-$140 million.
    Or compare it with the average financial impact of a Super Bowl to the
    local economy of $350-$400 million.)

    June 18th, 2012 1:31 pm

  14. KauaiRobert

    Good points B-Rad.
    I also appreciate some of what the game of golf has to offer…even though watching it rivals a trip to the dentist.

    June 18th, 2012 2:06 pm

  15. Stan

    And a Stan salute to the Bird Man…we got to save them forests.

    June 18th, 2012 2:08 pm

  16. Tommy CostaRica

    Weeeehew! Roger Clemons & Barry Bonds NOT GUILTY! The feds need to stay out of sports!

    June 18th, 2012 2:40 pm

  17. Dave T

    Bray, for the record, I both watch a lot of golf and play the game (hcp 10.4 at one point, now a 13.7) so please add that to your factors when taking into account my comments. I have played many many Nor Cal courses (as well as courses in PA, NV, AZ, OR, FL, DE, OH, NY, HI, MA, MD, NJ, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica for kicks) and while I will agree you can’t keep it perfectly green and lush looking, you can cut the greens and roll them twice in a day. Or don’t play so late in the day, because as you know, if you mow and roll in the wee morning hours, by the time 5-7 p.m. rolls around the greens are vastly different than at 10 am or even 3 pm. Grain and growth are most prevelant in those evening hours. That is what I mean by the course being so different than the previous rounds.

    Look, I love the game. I love the challenge. But the USGA was the winner. Graeme McDowell told us as much when he said on Friday that the USGA would dictate the event and the winning score. How right was he? Late tee times on the weekend and tees moved all around to change the course. Yes, all players play the same course, same pin placement. But as I said those changes vastly changed the speed and breaks on the putts. And as a fan of the game and the test of golf, it was hard to watch, really hard to watch. Here is hoping the R and A does a better job (which in my opinion they regularly do) with The Open Championship in a few weeks.

    June 18th, 2012 3:40 pm

  18. Bray

    Points well taken Dave T. I though they should have started the tee times earlier on the weekend, after the cut, but as usual TV dictated that the ‘finish’ be in primetime.

    At least the greens are now bent grass, which doesn’t grow or ‘bud’ nearly as quick as does poa annua. I think the doglegs presented more of a problem than the rough or ‘funny’ bounces, which happen everywhere, but even more so when conditions are hard and fast and you’re playing on the side of a hill. PGA players don’t lie doglegs, they cried until Poppy was off of the ATT rotation, because it was TOO HARD!!!

    It did lose some drama due to the last few groups feeling the pressure and falling back. It is much more exciting to see someone make a putt\great shot to WIN rather than having the ‘winner’ sitting and waiting. It was somewhat anti-climatic, because of that.

    June 18th, 2012 4:02 pm

  19. Dennis

    Bray and Dave T, I thought it would have been much more exciting if someone could make a putt. The course didn’t hurt them as much as the greens did. I could see from my TV, hell even my wife could see, that McDowell was going to miss the final putt because he was lined up wrong. Those greens ruined Tiger’s weekend and in the end certainly Furyk’s and McDowell’s. If they could have putted any of them could have won. Tiger couldn’t get up and down from the sand, so he had a little more going against him. But none of that can be blamed on the USGA

    June 18th, 2012 5:06 pm

  20. Dave T

    Dennis, agreed about the putting, but Johnny Miller noted that the USGA dictated the speed change inthe greens witht he watering, and lack of cutting and mowing. that change of speed really messed with Tiger and he said as much.

    Bray, we are on the same page, but I do not recall the Opens at Pebble or Torrey Pines finishing that late, so I am not buying the prime time deal. Start the leaders so they finish their round at 930 pm in prime at the latest. So hopefully, you have your most drama over the last 6 holes or so in primetime. As I recollect, that is what they did with Pebble. And for heavens sake, if you want to do tht, cut and roll the greens later in the day. Not too much to ask.

    Bounces are bounces, but when you get them going sideways because the grass has gotten clumpy…kinda silly in my book. I am looking forward to the Open and PGA. I think we will see more of the top players rise up there. And for the record I think Webb Simpson will be a top player for a long time, don’t get me wrong. I just think the course was “overdone” by the USGA and their need to “restore order” after last years score.

    June 18th, 2012 6:17 pm

  21. John

    You got it wrong….bummer.

    Let’s try it like this. You say that the open encourages the “middle-of-the-road golfer, the play-it-safe golfer.” I’m assuming that covers Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan who both won this tournament 4 times. Oh, and let’s throw in middle of road golfers like Gary Player, Tiger Woods and Gene Saracen. Let’s not forget Bobby Jones. And of course, we must include that legendary “play it safe golfer,” Arnold Palmer.

    Yep. Ya’ got it wrong. I have a writer friend who tells me that there’s a difference between having a position and having an opinion. This time you simply have an opinion, which makes you no different than anyone else, except that you also have a column.

    Ben Hogan won the 1950 Open barely a year after his near fatal car accident. His iconic one iron to the 18th green to force an 18 hole playoff is regarded as one of the most dramatic in golf history. Ben Hogan was a Ferrari.

    He was also playing at Merion.

    June 18th, 2012 6:31 pm

  22. chris

    the Olympic Club course is the Candlestick Park of golf courses…….just miserable. Still……. this U.S. Open wasn’t a total dud….Bird Man saved it from being that in the last few seconds.

    June 18th, 2012 7:27 pm

  23. Tommy CostaRica

    Right on Dennis & Dave T you guys know your golf tech. When you look at the history of the US Open, it hasn’t always been that way. It was simply the USGA’s setup of this last weekend’s US Open in particular; they went a little overboard on it and made our beloved Olympic course looking shabby.

    June 19th, 2012 6:07 am

  24. Hacksaw

    Lowell, your column was fun to read. I think this tourney was a dud for a couple of other reasons too. It didn’t have much drama towards the end. When two guys are battling head to head it is more exciting, even if they are not household names. Simpson finished first and would not find out he won until later. That’s boring. Golf is the only major sport where you can finish competing and not know if you’ve won. Second, there is a lot of parity in golf right now. Most recent majors dating back a few years are by guys winning their first. A sport needs a few dominant guys to keep it interesting. It isn’t just about Woods not being the same. No one else is really standing out. Even McElroy, who set scoring records last year, hasn’t done much this year and didn’t make the US Open cut. When you’re hearing a new name each tournament and you look at the leaderboard and don’t recognize most of the names, that is boring.

    June 19th, 2012 9:53 pm

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