U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson confirms he’s skipping British Open

Jonathan Wall
June 21, 2012

Coming off the biggest win of his career at the U.S. Open, one would think Webb Simpson would be looking forward to making the Transatlantic flight to Royal Lytham & St Annes for the British Open.

However, unlike the rest of the golfers in the field, he's making other plans. Yep, Webb Simpson is skipping the British Open. But he has a pretty good excuse: His wife, Dowd, is due to give birth to their second child in late July.

The British Open runs July 19-22, so he'd be cutting it really close if he decided to risk it for the chance to become only the seventh golfer in the history of the sport to win both Opens in the same calendar year.

At the end of the day, Simpson said it came down to what's more important, and that's obviously the birth of his second child. You can't blame the guy for putting his family before his career.

"I'm a guy who loves my family, and we're probably only going to have a couple more babies, so I have the rest of my life to play in the British Open," Simpson said on Wednesday at the Travelers Championship. "I don't want to miss the birth of the second child.  So it's an easy decision."

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Simpson may be the first golfer to pass on the next major following a win, but he's certainly not the only guy who's dealt with this dilemma prior to a major championship.

Phil Mickelson is the first golfer who comes to mind. Prior to the start of the 1999 U.S. Open, Mickelson told the media that he'd leave the course for the birth of his child, even if he was leading the tournament, the moment his beeper went off. Of course, the beeper never made a peep and Mickelson finished second to Payne Stewart, who rolled in a 15-footer on the final hole to win by a shot.

Jason Day had the same situation at last week's U.S. Open. With his wife, Ellie, four weeks from her due date, the Aussie said he'd pull a "Mickelson" and leave Olympic Club if his wife went into labor early.

As Simpson noted during Wednesday's press conference, he'll have plenty of chances in the future to play in the British Open. The birth of your child is an experience you can't put a price on. It's safe to say Webb made the right call.

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