US Open: McIlroy, Simpson happy to be here

U.S. Open - Preview Day 2
Rory McIlroy stops to sign an autograph Tuesday for fans at Merion.

Yo, Adrian!

While Phil Mickelson is at his daughter’s graduation and Tiger Woods and his entourage are hanging out close to the course, Rory McIlroy was considering a different way to get his juices flowing here.

“I was half-thinking of going to the steps in the city, the [Art Museum] Rocky steps and run up those,” said the 2011 Open champ, who added he was looking forward to last night’s Champions Dinner for previous Open winners. “That’s just because of where we are. These can be long weeks. The ground’s heavy and it’s going to be a tough walk out there. So you want to conserve as much energy as you can between rounds.”

McIlroy also mentioned he’d be watching the NBA Finals, prompting a question about how he would compare golf’s top three — himself, Adam Scott and Woods — with Miami’s trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.

“In Game One, it was a twosome, because Bosh wasn’t doing much,” he quipped, “but I guess those guys have the luxury of playing off one another, while we’re out here doing our own thing. It’s nice to pair the top three players in the world. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”

 

Simpson looking for two in a row
Defending Open champion Webb Simpson knows the odds are against him to become the first player since Curtis Strange in 1989 to win two in a row, but he’s eager to try.

“There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by I haven’t thought about winning the U.S. Open,” said the 27-year-old Simpson. “Being announced as U.S. Open champion on the first tee hasn’t gotten old. But I look forward to it this week in so many ways, trying to defend my title.”

And he knows it won’t be easy at Merion.

“Merion is so different. We all know it’s short, but it’s still as hard as other courses.”

Simpson currently stands 18th in the rankings. He’s set to tee off at 1:36 p.m. Thursday


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