Webb Simpson transitioned from his anchored putter long ago, figuring it best to move on before the USGA-mandated ban on the putter goes into effect in January.
And to rid himself of any temptation to go back to the long, belly putter he employed during his 2012 U.S. Open victory at Olympic Club in San Francisco — among other PGA Tour feats — he snapped the thing over his knee during the offseason, a revelation he shared with reporters earlier this year at the Sony Open in Honolulu.
The broken putter, though permanently retired, sits atop his trophy case.
“It won the U.S. Open,” he said after his Saturday round at Chambers Bay, “so it’s staying with me.”
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Even if its memory is fading. Unless the upcoming ban is reversed — and there isn’t likely to be much movement to do so — Simpson’s belly putter will remain the last used by a U.S. Open champion. But he said no wistful thoughts entered his mind at Chambers this week, nor did it occur to him that this will be the final U.S. Open at which an anchored putter will be permitted.
Adam Scott, the 2013 Masters champion, is the most notable player using a belly putter at this week’s Open.
“I’m not sad,” Simpson said. “I think it’s one of those things (that) everybody’s going to be glad when people aren’t talking about it anymore, so it’s one of those things. I hadn’t really thought about it in a while, actually. I hadn’t thought about it in a few months.”
Simpson shot a 1-over 71 Saturday at Chambers Bay, his best score of the week, and stands at 6-over for the championship.
And even though he was 11 shots back of co-leaders Patrick Reed and Jordan Spieth before their rounds began, Simpson seems to be having a good time at Chambers this week — and someone seems to be having a good time with him.
Each day that Simpson has walked into the players’ locker room, his name placard has featured a different play on “Webb.”
Webbron James. Spud Webb. Charlotte’s Webb. Floyd Maywebber (his personal favorite). World Wide Webb.
“Somebody from the USGA is doing it,” Simpson said. “I don’t know exactly who. But I didn’t know it was coming, and every day it’s been different. It’s been really cool to see them have some fun with it.”
"Charlotte's Webb" got off to a slow start today but I feel that me and my next alias will get it going tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/Cb1orHNUZG— Webb Simpson (@webbsimpson1) June 19, 2015