PGA Tour Confidential: Webb Simpson wins the U.S. Open by one shot

Beau Hossler, 2012 U.S. Open
Kohjiro Kinno / SI
Beau Hossler shot a 76 on Sunday and finished in a tie for 29th place.

THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT
Gorant: One of the best stories of the week was Beau Hossler, the 17-year high school student who contended for most of the week. In the end he was beat out for low amateur by (potential) future Texas teammate Jordan Spieth. What do we think about the future for these two, and which player do you like better long term?

Herre: Hard to say. They're both so young. Ask me again in five years.

Godich: I'll take Spieth, based on the 69-70 he shot on the weekend and what he showed at the Nelson a couple of years back. I'll also take the Texas Longhorns in next year's NCAA tournament.

Dusek: Clearly Hossler and Spieth both have a lot of talent and a growing reservoir of positive experiences to draw from, but I think projecting how well a 17-year-old will do is impossible, and in some ways unfair. Both had great weeks, and they will have more to come. Hell, Paula Creamer said she'd go to the prom with Hossler. Right now, it's all good.

Lipsey: Their futures seem very bright, but if you look at the pool of uber-talented teens over time, there are a lot more Ty Tryon road-kill stories than successes.

Hack: I'm going with Spieth because I've spent time with him and he reminds me of the other jocks I've covered over the years, regardless of the sport. Uber confident.

Wei: They're way too young to predict their futures. Tons of college stars are branded "can't miss" guys and then, 5 to 10 years later, they're still grinding it out on the mini tours.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Take your pick: Spieth or Hossler?

CANTLAY GOING PRO?
Gorant: Golf Channel is reporting that UCLA sophomore Patrick Cantlay has a press conference scheduled Tuesday at the Traveler's, and that he'll likely announce he's turning pro (and signing with Steinberg). Good move?

Morfit: What's the hurry? Given how many old guys are in the mix these days, it seems like another few years beating up on college kids at UCLA would have been fun.

Godich: Not surprised. Apparently the UCLA experience isn't everything Shipnuck and Hack claim it is.

Hack: Nah, he just happened to mature a little faster than we did. He's ready. Hopefully, Patrick donates some of his winnings back to our athletic program. I'm tired of losing to USC in football.

Lipsey: For golf, it's a good move. He's ready. For life, it's horrible. Trophies and money can't make up for the amazing experience of two years as a student at a place like UCLA.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Steiny's an ass. Asses make good agents. Good move.
Dusek: Time will tell, but it's probably a very lucrative move. He'll get plenty of sponsors' exemptions and chances to play, and we've seen that he's got game. John Peterson should also be getting a few exemptions coming his way. When I talked with him on Tuesday he didn't know what his schedule was going to be after Olympic. I'd be surprised if he isn't a busy guy over the rest of the summer.

Godich: Peterson should get exemptions just for sticking his putter head cover in his pants pocket. How great was that?

Lipsey: By far, the coolest Tour habit of the year.

Gorant: That and the hole-in-one celebration. The first golfer who can actually high-five without looking like a dork.

Dusek: And he sounds like John Wayne when he talks. When he answers the phone it's, "Yell-ow."

Wei: A year ago, the kid was adamant that he was going to finish all four years in college. I wonder how much the death of Q-school as we know it affected his decision.

Van Sickle: He's gotta turn pro this year to avoid having to possibly spend a year in indentured servitude on the Nationwide Tour. Good move.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Is Cantlay doing the right thing by turning pro?

ANOTHER BELLY CHAMP
Gorant: Simpson is now the second player to win a major with a belly putter, and the first to win an Open. Which is closer, a belly ban or the day when everyone uses one?

Godich: Long putters are here to stay. At least I hope they are.

Hack: Long putters are here to stay, which is a shame.

Herre: That horse is out of the barn. Anchored putters have been around for, what, 25-30 years? There's no going back, no matter what Sandy Tatum thinks.

Dusek: We're going to see waves of young players trying long putters, and some will use them and make it to the PGA Tour. We'll also see the sale of long putters continue to increase. We will NOT see a long-putter ban.

Van Sickle: Not a good time to ban a club that people like, especially when people are already leaving the game in droves.

Lipsey: The USGA is too late now to ban what has become part of the "fabric" of the game.

Hanger: Last season, everyone was debating the bellies, and talking about Keegan Bradley being the first to win a major with one. That seems like ages ago, and Webb's using one barely seems worth mentioning. No question they're here to stay.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What's closer: a belly-putter ban, or everyone using one?

THE 16TH HOLE
Gorant: I think we all agree the course and setup were generally great. Before the final round, Mike Davis moved up the tees on 16 to tempt players to go for it in two. The players had never practiced the hole at that length, and some seemed to be uncertain how to play it. Very few of them went for it. Was it a miscalculation on the setup?

Lipsey: Tour pros hate surprises, which is a great reason to surprise them.

Godich: This is just another way that Davis makes the players think their way around the golf course. These guys played a lot of shots this week that they never practiced. It was a risk-reward move. I have no problem with that.

Herre: I love how Davis threw them a curve on Sunday. I bet if you polled the players, they'd take 16 at 570 and no practice over 670 and six days of practice.

Dusek: The 16th was a big math problem for the guys this week. I'm not buying that by lopping off 100 yards the USGA made a mistake. Hit a great tee shot, and you could go for it in two. Or, you could lay up to your favorite wedge distance with a shorter club. It's the U.S. Open. Be ready.

Wei: Because of the angle, the players had to hit almost a snap hook. It was a little weird to do that on the 70th hole when no one was prepared.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Was the Sunday setup at the 16th hole fair?

 

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