That hasn't put him on many short lists to repeat.
"All I care about is getting better, and all I care about is the process," Simpson said. "There hasn't been a day that went by that I haven't thought about winning the U.S. Open, being the U.S. Open champion. Being announced as 'the U.S. Open champion' hasn't gotten old. I don't want that to change."
History isn't on his side, either. No player has won back-to-back U.S. Opens since Curtis Strange in 1989.
"It doesn't surprise me. The biggest factor is the courses change every year," Simpson said. "Merion is a totally different type golf course than Olympic."
What Simpson does have going for him is familiarity with Merion.
Simpson first visited Merion with his father in 2004. He sat in the clubhouse with a longtime member, who regaled him about Ben Hogan and the history of the club.
He returned a year later to play the U.S. Amateur. Simpson bowed out in the second round to Anthony Kim. But it was enough to leave a vivid impression.
"I instantly fell in love with this golf course," Simpson said. "I love history. I love to learn about past events."
There's one piece of history, though, that Simpson wouldn't mind skipping if he gets to another trophy presentation on Sunday.
"I don't think we'll be seeing [Bird Man] this week," Simpson said.
Webb's Tee Times
Thursday at 1:36 p.m.
Friday at 8:06 a.m.
With Steven Fox (amateur) and
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