PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. — Gary Woodland, a school basketball participant turned skilled golfer, gained the 119th United States Open at Pebble Seashore on Sunday. Woodland, who got here into the event zero for 30 in golf’s 4 largest occasions, held off three main winners — Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose and Adam Scott — who’ve spent a mixed 37 weeks on the prime of the boys’s world rankings.
Woodland completed 13 beneath par, beating Koepka by three strokes.
Koepka, the two-time defending champion and world No. 1, was making an attempt to develop into the primary since William Anderson in 1905 to win three consecutive U.S. Opens. The 29-year-old Koepka had gained 4 of his earlier eight majors, together with the P.G.A. Championship final month. He started the day 4 strokes behind Woodland, the 54-hole pacesetter, and performed the primary 11 holes in 4 beneath par — aided by eight one-putt greens, to drag to a single stroke off the lead.
However Woodland, who performed basketball at Division II Washburn earlier than transferring to Kansas for golf, by no means flinched. He stated he discovered find out how to management his adrenaline, comprise his feelings and play inside himself whereas paired with Tiger Woods within the ultimate spherical of final yr’s P.G.A. Championship. Woods ended up ending second to Koepka that day, 4 strokes forward of Woodland, whose tie for sixth was his finest exhibiting in a serious till Sunday.
Woodland, a local Kansan, confessed Saturday that he by no means stood over the ball on follow greens as a teenager pretending he was placing to win his nationwide championship.
“I don’t know if I spent any time on a placing inexperienced after I was a child,” he stated with amusing. “I used to be too busy hitting driver.”
Woodland, who had three PGA Tour victories in his first 10 years as a professional, was often known as one of many recreation’s longest hitters. Over the previous 5 seasons, he has ranked seventh to 13th on the tour in driving distance. However the important thing to his success this week was his play on the greens, the place he ranked among the many leaders in fewest putts per gap.
“I’ve a brief recreation now I can depend on,” Woodland stated. “I don’t should concentrate on ball placing.”
Woodland watched golf educational movies as a toddler and began hitting balls on the vary beside his father, Dan, who had additionally been a multisport highschool star. In these days, Gary Woodland was not a lot older than his personal son, Jaxson, who will flip 2 this week. Woodland’s spouse, Gabby, is anticipating twin daughters in August, so Father’s Day took on an entire new which means for the household even earlier than Woodland secured the most important win of his profession. “It’s particular,” he stated.