US stars fight back but Europe still top

Sam Torrance
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WELL done to Webb Simpson for winning his first Major title, although I was disappointed to see Graeme McDowell muster a great effort and go so close only to miss out on a second US Open victory in three years.

Simpson played beautifully and 68 was a great score for his final round. The 26-year-old is very impressive and, having seen him once or twice before, I like his swing, which is gentle and reminds me a little of his compatriot Jason Dufner.

The finale of the tournament was a little anticlimactic, however, as with Simpson winning a few groups from the end, it meant we would have to go without a dramatic finale.

Also, I was disappointed for Lee Westwood, who had a horrid start when he lost his ball up a tree at the fifth and ended up four shots behind Simpson. And I was disappointed for Jim Furyk, such a great player who led overnight with McDowell but just folded because of the severity of the Olympic Club course.

Tiger Woods flattered to deceive again, having been magnificent in the first two rounds his level dropped to ordinary for the last two as he dropped out of contention to end his wait for another Major. Phil Mickelson, who I expected to be in contention, was no good.

McDowell was brilliant, in particular his wonderful putt for par at 17 that gave him a chance going up the last, where he played two good shots but just mis-read the green.

Simpson’s win is a third Major in a row for America in this Ryder Cup year, although I wouldn’t place undue emphasis on that.

You’re always going to expect a strong team from America and, while Jose Maria Olazabal will be watching closely, there is nothing he can do about them. Europeans are still the top three in the world – nothing’s changed there.

Finally, congratulations to young Scottish golfer Carly Booth, whose year has been a wonderful story. The teenager, who comes from a family of golfers, won a three-way play-off to claim her second title in six weeks at the Deutsche Bank Ladies Swiss Open.
Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator.