Americans on a major roll

Webb Simpson poses with the U.S. Open Championship Trophy following 2012 U.S. Open golf tournament...

Webb Simpson poses with the U.S. Open Championship Trophy following 2012 U.S. Open golf tournament on the Lake Course at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, California June 17, 2012. (REUTERS)

KIRK PENTON, QMI AGENCY

, Last Updated: 3:53 PM ET

SAN FRANCISCO - It was a wild four days at the U.S. Open in the City by the Bay, and now let's look back at Webb Simpson's unlikely victory, Tiger Woods' tumble from top spot and why there are so many naked dudes around here.

U-S-A! U-S-A!

Americans have won three majors in a row. The previous time that happened was five years ago, when Zach Johnson won the 2007 Masters after Woods took the British Open and PGA Championship the previous summer.

It's also the first time since 2002 an American has won each of the year's first two majors -- Woods took both.

The trio of current American champions is relatively young, too. Simpson and Keegan Bradley are only 26, while Bubba Watson is 33. Simpson shot 68-68 on the weekend on the uncompromising Olympic course. Impressive only begins to describe that feat, and he beat a lot of major winners to rocket up to fifth in the world ranking.

Is U.S. golf back on the map? It's sure starting to trend that way, just in time for the Ryder Cup later this year.

POOR TIGER

Woods was primed and ready to win his 15th major but he showed he's not quite there yet.

Give him time. Once he gets his short game back up to snuff, there's no reason he won't be winning majors again soon.

And as a kind gesture to those who are sick of reading about Woods, we'll move on.

SERIOUSLY?

Jim Furyk should have won his second major but he bogeyed two of his last three holes Sunday. The turning point was a terrible tee shot on the par-5 16th that led to a bogey.

The hole was the longest in U.S. Open history at 670 yards, but it was only 569 on Sunday. Furyk got there and shockingly didn't know what to do.

"There's no way when we play our practice rounds you're going to hit a shot from a tee a hundred yards up unless someone tells you," Furyk said.

"But the rest of the field had that same shot to hit (Sunday), and I'm pretty sure no one hit as s----- a shot as I did. I did the worst job of handling it, and I have no one to blame but myself. I should have hit a different shot off the tee and, if anything, you need to miss that fairway to the right, never to the left. So it makes mine twice as bad."

The amount of time these guys spend getting ready for tournaments, isn't examining every possible tee shot part of the preparation?

BEATEN BUBBA

Bubba Watson may have come into the tournament as the Masters champion, but it was clear before he even hit a shot that he wouldn't come close to contending.

His pre-tournament comments about how tough the course was made it obvious he was mentally beaten. Not exactly behaviour befitting a champion.

Watson missed the cut, which came as a surprise to exactly no one.

TAKEDOWN OF THE WEEK

It was performed by none other than USGA executive director Mike Davis. He grabbed a lunatic in a Union Jack tuque who trotted on to the 18th green and squawked like a chicken during Bob Costas' televised interview with Simpson.

Davis, who set up the course and was responsible for making Olympic as tough as it was all week, doesn't like people messing with his golf tournament.

YOUNG GUNS

Even though it was the 112th U.S. Open, this year's tournament will be remembered for its youth.

Andy Zhang, 14, is believed to be the youngest competitor in the event's history, while 17-year-old Beau Hossler was actually leading the tournament at one point in the second round. Both wear braces.

Hossler has qualified to play in the U.S. Open two years in a row. Once might have been a fluke. Twice shows the kid has serious potential.

UH-OH, CANADA?

We're in a lull when it comes to Canadian talent on the PGA Tour. A generation ago Dan Halldorson, Richard Zokol and Dave Barr were representing the flag. After that it was Mike Weir and Stephen Ames, who is still putting up the good fight but is two years from the Champions Tour.

It's time for David Hearn, Graham DeLaet and the other younger Canadian guns to establish themselves and start playing in majors consistently.

TREE TROUBLE

Olympic's fairways are ridiculously tilted and its greens are lightning quick, but the cypress trees might just be the meanest part of the course.

They ate no fewer than three golf balls last week, including Phil Mickelson's first shot of the tournament. Y.E. Yang also put one in a tree on the 11th hole during the first round, and then Lee Westwood suffered the same fate Sunday on the fifth.

So trees aren't 90% air after all, huh?

COME AGAIN?

The tweet of the week came from Jason Dufner.

"OK, just saw four guys buck-naked on the corner of market St. and 17th in San Fran?? What that all about?" wrote Dufner, who tied for fourth to continue his excellent 2012 season.

Apparently, it's perfectly fine to be naked in San Francisco. They don't want to take away anyone's freedom, so people are allowed to go without clothes if they prefer.

Don't mind if I do!

kirk.penton@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/PentonKirk


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