Each Thursday, the Boston Globe hands out its weekly golf award, goes inside the numbers, and looks at the week ahead on the tours:
Player of the week: Webb Simpson. Beau Hossler almost got the nod here, but winning your first major championship, coming from six shots back in the final round of a US Open - where shots are hard to make up - outshines even a 17-year-old who sparkled for the first three days. Simpson was tied for 29th after two rounds, and wasn’t on the first page of the leaderboard for the first three hours of Sunday’s broadcast. But he made four final-round birdies, no bogeys over his final 13 holes, and gave everyone in front of him the opportunity to make mistakes. Since it’s the US Open, as often happens, they obliged.
Total driving: Hossler can always say he led the US Open by himself midway through the second round. The kid with a mouth full of metal (his braces come off next week) might have succumbed to nerves while shooting a Sunday 76, but he’ll get a pass. He’ll be praised, in fact, for his spirited run. Pressure? He felt it, but it wasn’t the most pressure he’s ever been under. “That third driving test was brutal,’’ the 17-year-old Californian said. “I failed it twice. I got [robbed] on the first one, messed up on the second one. If you miss the third one, I want to say you can’t do it for another three or six months. So I was kind of nervous for that. But obviously I was nervous out there on the course the entire time.’’
By the numbers: Perhaps the most surprising aspect of Simpson’s victory is that he lingered in the middle of the field in almost every important statistical category. Here were the stat leaders in a few key areas, and where Simpson ranked:
Fairways hit: Francesco Molinari (39 of 56). Simpson: 31 of 56, tied for 13th).
Greens in regulation: Jason Dufner (50 of 72). Simpson: 42 of 72, tied for 16th.
Number of putts: Michael Thompson (107). Simpson: 114, tied for 18th.
Sand saves: David Toms (11 of 14, 79 percent). Simpson: 5 of 12, 42 percent, tied for 37th.
Birdies: Thompson (16). Simpson: 13, tied for third.
Tweet of the week: “I fear that Mike Davis will go from the golden boy to a complete disaster with the back nine setup. Tricked up & could lead to Shinnecock.’’ - Joe Ogilvie (@ogilviej), after shooting a final-round 79 to finish last among those who made the cut at the US Open. Ogilvie later said the pin position on No. 18 could lead “to the most tragic finish in championship golf.’’ Once play had finished, though, Ogilvie tweeted, “Apparently I was wrong regarding back nine . . . thank you fog and Mike Davis retains his title of best setup man in the business.’’
This week’s schedules:
PGA: Travelers Championship, Cromwell, Conn. Purse: $6 million (winner’s share $1.080 million). Defending champion: Fredrik Jacobson. Number of top-10 players in field: Four (Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan). TV: Thursday/Friday 3-6 p.m. (Golf Channel), Saturday/Sunday 3-6 p.m. (Ch. 4).
Champions: Montreal Championship, Sainte-Julie, Quebec, Canada. Purse: $1.8 million (winner’s share $270,000). Defending champion: John Cook. TV: Friday 6:30-8:30 p.m., Saturday 6:30-9:30 p.m., Sunday 7-9:30 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).
LPGA:Manulife Financial LPGA Classic, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Purse: $1.3 million (winner’s share $190,000). Defending champion: Inaugural event. TV: Thursday/Friday 12:30-2:30 p.m., Saturday/Sunday 3-6 p.m. (all on Golf Channel).
European: BMW International Open, Cologne, Germany. Purse: 2 million euros. Defending champion: Pablo Larrazabal. TV: Thursday/Friday 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.-noon, Sunday 7-11 a.m. (all on Golf Channel).
Nationwide: Wichita Open, Wichita, Kan. Purse: $$600,000 (winner’s share $108,000). Defending champion: Matthew Goggin.