PGA Tour’s Webb Simpson thrilled, qualifies for U.S. Open after outstanding back nine

Webb Simpson was among seven to qualify for the 2024 U.S. Open out of the Durham, N.C. qualifier location. He survived Golf’s Longest Day to make his 13th straight U.S. Open appearance.

The 2012 U.S. Open winner shot a 67-69 to post a 4-under total. He tied with Chesson Hadley to secure a spot. Zac Blair was the low medalist at this qualifying location at 9-under.

“This was special for me because I love Pinehusrt,” Simpson said to NBC Sports after he qualified. “I love No. 2. I wanted to be here. I was able to get it done today, barely!”

Simpson last played final qualifying was 2011 to make his very first start in the US. Open. He qualified through a playoff in Columbus, Ohio.

Despite being a veteran, qualifying this season reminded him how difficult it is.

“I think kind of getting mentally up for it,” he said. “You got to really prepare in the practice round. You have to go out in 36 holes and try to limit your mistakes.”

The 38-year-old had made just one start in the majors in the past two seasons, at last year’s PGA Championship, when he missed the cut. It will be the first time since 2022 that he will make a start in the U.S. Open.

“Not that I took it for granted being in the majors close to 10 years — it’s hard to get in majors. I’ve learned that it’s hard and not fun from the outside looking in. So Im thankful to be back in that field.”

This year’s U.S. Open is at Pinehurst. It is the venue’s first time hosting this USGA tournament since 2014. Simpson finished T45, while Martin Kaymer went on to win by eight shots. His best finish at a U.S. Open since his win in 2012 came three years ago when he was T8 in 2021 at Torrey Pines Golf Course.

The former Wake Forest golfer feels like this qualifier is a good sign.

“It’s a golf course that I feel like I can play really well, and my game is getting better, so there’s a lot of things trending in the right direction for me,” Simpson said. “I’m just thankful that this validated what I’m doing.”

Simpson and his family own a second home in the area where he grew up playing a lot. This week at Pinehurst will feel like a hometown event for the PGA Tour veteran.

Savannah Leigh Richardson is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. For more golf coverage, be sure to follow us @_PlayingThrough on all major social platforms. You can also follow her on Twitter @SportsGirlSL and Instagram @savannah_leigh_sports.

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