SAN FRANCISCO -- Winning his first major title will take "some time" to sink in, Webb Simpson admitted after back-to-back 68s over the weekend led to a one-shot win at the U.S. Open.
Simpson, playing in only his fifth major, looked to be out of the running when he bogeyed two of the first five holes in the final round, but he bounced back with four birdies over the next five. He then parred in, saving par with a superb up-and-down from thick rough at 18, and looked on as overnight leaders Graeme McDowell and Jim Furyk failed to match his 1-over total.
"I think every day my game got a little better," said Simpson, the ninth consecutive first-time major champion. "The first few days I putted well and hung in there, and I hit it really well on Saturday and that made me get excited for today.
"This is only my second U.S. Open and so I told myself not to get too excited, don't try to win," he explained. "I had to go out there and try to make pars, and that's what I did. And luckily I made some putts and got a couple under out of it."
The victory also boosted Simpson up to No. 5 in the world rankings, his highest position ever. He had entered last week ranked 14th.
The four spots ahead of Simpson stayed the same, with Luke Donald still on top, followed by Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood, with Tiger Woods holding onto fourth place.
To make way for Simpson, Bubba Watson dropped a spot to sixth and Matt Kuchar dropped a spot to seventh place. Jason Dufner advanced from ninth up to eighth place, while Justin Rose slipped from seventh down to ninth. Rounding out the top 10 was Hunter Mahan, who fell two spots from eighth place.
The second 10 includes No. 11 Graeme McDowell (up from 21st with his tie for second at Olympic), No. 12 Steve Stricker (down from 11th), No. 13 Martin Kaymer (down from 12th), No. 14 Dustin Johnson (down from 13th), No. 15 Phil Mickelson (down from 14th), No. 16 Charl Schwartzel (down from 15th), No. 17 Adam Scott 4.67, No. 18 Zach Johnson, No. 19 Rickie Fowler (up from 20th) and No. 20 Louis Oosthuizen (down from 16th).
Also making big moves this week were U.S. Open co-runner-up Michael Thompson, who rose to 52nd from his previous perch at No. 107, and Darren Fichardt of South Africa, who won the Saint-Omer Open in France and rose from his previous spot at No. 307 all the way up to 179th.
"I was so nervous all day, but especially there at the end. Even when I was done, I was nervous," Simpson admitted. "I believed in myself I could win a major, but maybe not so soon. And I just gained all the respect for the guys who have won multiple majors, because it's so hard to do."