The U.S. Open is under wraps, and for the first time in his career, Gary Woodland has won a major tournament.
Woodland, a Kansas University alum and former basketball player at Washburn, is 35 years old. He had appeared in 30 prior majors, finishing top-10 in only two of them. The U.S. Open, which took place this year at Pebble Beach, changed all that.
Woodland’s Wonderful Friday
While one day never wins you a major, Woodland took control of his own destiny by shooting a 65 on Friday. It was the lowest round of anyone in the tournament that day, and Woodland did not shoot a single bogie in the process.
WHAT A WAY TO FINISH!
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 17, 2019
From there, Woodland would go on to post consecutive days of 69 on Saturday and Sunday. He sank a gorgeous, long putt to ice away a minus-13 on the weekend, one that would ultimately win him his first major.
Koepka’s Late Rally
Woodland’s competition came from Brooks Koepka, which is no surprise. He won last year’s U.S. Open and has won two consecutive PGA Championships. He is still the world’s number one ranked golfer, and his performance at Pebble Beach proves why.
Koepka was consistent with a capital “C,” posting 69’s on Thursday and Friday and 68’s on Saturday and Sunday.
Sunday began with Koepka distinctly behind, but an incredible front nine helped him to narrow the gap significantly. The back nine of the course was playing too hard and he was unable to make any more strokes and narrow the gap. He finished three strokes ahead of the rest of the field, but three behind Woodland, comfortably in second place, taking home a nice $1.35 million.
Other Open Highlights
Woodland and Koepka weren’t the only stories of the weekend. One of the many highlights saw Henrik Stenson lay down to take a selfie he’d hit with a shanked shot.
Stenson: "I hit a semi-shank and hit a guy in the head. He's flat on the floor when I get to him – taking selfies of himself. He says, "Can I take a picture with you?" So next thing I'm on the ground as well, taking selfies with him and his girlfriend." 🤣
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) June 16, 2019
Also, a shoutout is due to Joe Buck on commentary. He may want to avoid Twitter, because some fans are still criticizing him, but his command of the game was noticeably improved. It was a big weekend for FOX and a big weekend for the new champion.
Happy Father’s Day
For Woodland, the family party is just beginning. His wife is expecting twins, about seven months pregnant. It’s a beautiful story of redemption for the two, having lost one of a set of twins in the past.
Awesome breakthrough U.S. Open win by Gary Woodland! Especially on Father's Day with his wife expecting twins in August after losing 1 twin in 2017.
— Jim Corbett (@ByJimCorbett) June 17, 2019
It was an amazing time to break through, and Woodland’s career is just getting started.