HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – Nothing can top the first time Webb Simpson won on Father's Day, a U.S. Open title eight years ago at Olympic Club and hearing his father's laughter on the phone to share the joy.
Harbour Town was special in its own right.
Dressed in his Sunday yellow shirt — his late father's favorite color — Simpson emerged from a crowd of contenders with five birdies in a six-hole stretch on the back nine for a 7-under 64 to win the RBC Heritage by one shot over Abraham Ancer and set the tournament scoring record.
“Crazy day,” Simpson said.
A three-hour storm delay nearly kept it from finishing. Nine players were still in the mix with an hour to go. Simpson was two shots behind and had only two birdies on his card when he dropped in a 10-footer at No. 12 and off he went.
“I think it’s a good thing that guys were making birdies because they kind of forced me to be a little more aggressive and know that pars weren’t going to cut it,” said Simpson, who finished at 22-under 264 to break by two shots the tournament record Brian Gay set in 2009.
Father's Day has been the final round of the U.S. Open every year since 1976, but it was moved to September in this most unusual year because of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months. The RBC Heritage filled the spot on the schedule and Simpson, now a father of five, became a winner for the second time this year.
“I won The Players on Mother's Day after my dad passed away, and that was really special. That was an emotional win," Simpson said. "U.S. Open on Father's Day, I’ll never forget calling my dad after on the way to the press conference, and when he picked up the phone, he just was laughing. That’s kind of what he did when he was happy, he would just laugh. So I’m going to miss that laugh today for sure.