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U.S. Open 2012 Golf: Webb Simpson Means Ratings Spike For NBC, Makes Up For Belmont Stakes

I'll Have Another's exit from the Belmont Stakes was bad news for NBC earlier this month, but Webb Simpson proved to be exactly the antidote the slumping network needed for its sports coverage—ratings for the 2012 U.S. Open were up significantly from last year, according to a report from Bloomberg News, and Webb Simpson's strong performance down the stretch probably had a lot to do with it.

Simpson probably wasn't quite the draw a Tiger Woods resurgence would have been, but after Tiger's disappointing finish over the weekend, he was the next best thing—neither an established name nor a total unknown, an up-and-comer who could become more famous and more bankable as the years go on. Simpson's big 2011 season meant he had all the golf-star bona fides except a major; now that he has that you can bet that he'll have a ton of TV time devoted to him over the next several majors.

For more on the U.S. Open champion and the rest of the action on the PGA Tour, check out SB Nation's dedicated golf hub, where Webb Simpson's strong performance was no surprise at all.