U.S. Open champ Simpson coming to Chicago

U.S. Open champ Simpson coming to Chicago
Webb Simpson acknowledges the crowd after finishing at the 18th hole en route to winning the 112th U.S. Open at San Francisco's Olympic Club on June 17. (Getty Photo)

The British Open galleries won’t get to see

Webb Simpson

. But nearly 80 Chicagoans will.


U.S. Open

champion is headed to Olympia Fields Country Club on July 9 to take part in a walking clinic and “closest to the pin” competition with Chase Sapphire card members. They’ll walk some holes with Simpson, who will talk about technique and strategy. And if they hit it inside him on a par-3, they win prizes.

Will Simpson try to stuff it tight?

“Depends on the group,” he said Wednesday in a phone interview with the Tribune. “If it’s a group where the guys are talking a little junk, I’ll try to hit it close. If it’s sweet, older ladies and they want a picture with me, I’ll hit it in the bunker for them.”

Simpson, 26, will pass on the British Open because wife Dowd is due with their second child -- the gender will be a surprise -- in late July.

“People seem to be respecting the decision and are happy for me,” he said.

But Simpson will be in the clear to play in the Sept. 28-30

Ryder Cup

at Medinah. His victory at the Olympic Club rocketed him to third in points for Team USA, with the top eight automatically qualifying.

“It’s not official yet, but it’s looking pretty good (for a spot),” Simpson said. “I’m so excited for that. I’ve never played Medinah but I’ve seen so much of it on TV from the (1999 and 2006) PGA Championships.”

Twitter @TeddyGreenstein