Published: Tue, June 18, 2019
Sport | By Ruben Hill

Woodland holds nerve to stay top at US Open

Woodland holds nerve to stay top at US Open

Woodland, 35, made just four bogeys all week to win the 119th U.S. Open by three shots over defending champion Brooks Koepka.

Woodland carded a final round of 69 at Pebble Beach to finish 13 under par and three shots clear of Koepka, who had threatened to become just the second player to win three straight US Opens and claim an unbelievable fifth major victory in his last nine starts. Trailing by two, Brooks hit his approach to the par five 18th to the rough at the back of the green and was an odds-on chance to make at least a birdie, whilst Woodland looked hard-pressed to make par after his tee-shot on 17 left him a lot of work to do but Koepka took three to get down from the back of the green and under the utmost pressure, Woodland produced this gem to seal the deal. He finished 10-under par 274.

Woodland, a Topeka native and University of Kansas graduate, finished in style Sunday.

Thanks to the PGA Tour's condensed schedule this year, things really pick up after the British Open, with the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational in Memphis immediately following it and then the three FedEx Cup playoff events to end August.

"I am very happy for my fellow Kansan and his family", Watson said in a statement to The Star on Monday.

"I was just trying to get it over that hump", Woodland said. I remember the first time I beat him in golf I was 13, and I don't think I beat him in basketball until I was 14 or 15. "After they thought he might win, I'm sure the television networks were hoping that he didn't".

The Woodlands are expecting twins again as Gabby is due in August.

"I'm thinking, 'He played that as a par-3, '" Self recalled during Monday's media availability at Allen Fieldhouse.

Woodland's 3-wood from 263 yards on the par-5 14th set him up for a birdie that gave him a two-shot cushion.

His line in the majors this year: One win, two second-place finishes.

"I've worked hard my whole life", Woodland said.

Woodland tied the U.S. Open record at Pebble Beach with a score of 65 on Friday after Justin Rose broke the record the day before.

Koepka made a strong push with four birdies on the front nine and one on the back nine to trail Woodland by two strokes into the final three holes.

Self has since texted with Woodland following the win, which came with a first-place prize of $2.25 million. Woodland invited her to play the par-3 16th, and Amy hit into a bunker, blasted onto the green and made the par putt, all the while saying, "You got this".

But a bogey at the eighth, his first in 34 holes, combined with a Rose birdie cut the advantage to two. "Just because I got off to a bad start doesn't mean it's over".

Tiger Woods could have packed it in on Sunday after beginning the day out of contention and then proceeding to bogey four of his first six holes.

"I wish I would have known because I would have turned it around a little earlier than that", Woods said of the reason for the change of fortunes. I was more nervous afterwards than I was at all today.

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