35-year-old Gary Woodland won himself his very first major championship title in his 31st career attempt at Pebble Beach Golf Links in California. His previous best of T-6 at a major came last year at the PGA Championship.
Woodland’s win at Pebble Open earned him $2.25 million and moved him up to career-high 12th in the world.
“I never let myself get ahead. Once that went in, it all came out of me. It’s special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach,” Woodland said after winning.
Woodland, with an overall tally of 13-under par, converted a 54-hole lead for the first time in eight attempts with a solid back-nine, highlighted by a final hole birdie.
Woodland who was being chased by Brooks Kopeka, the major machine, who successfully defended his PGA Championship title in May and was looking to make a three-peat of his US Open title, which for him could not happen and fell short of three-strokes from the eventual winner.
Woodland, a college basketball athlete attended Washburn University on a basketball scholarship, but left after his freshman year to attend the University of Kansas on a golf scholarship. He studied Sociology while at KU. Woodland had a successful collegiate golf career, winning four tournaments before turning professional in 2007 and moved to PGA TOUR after finishing T-11 at the Q-School in 2008, good enough to earn him a full card. Woodland now has a total of four wins on the PGA TOUR.
Woodland’s signature moment came at 17 – the same hole where Jack Nicklaus set up a tap-in birdie with a stinging one-iron in 1972 and Tom Watson chipped in 10 years later to deny Nicklaus a fifth US Open title.
Woodland’s final-round 69 made him only the fifth player to hit four rounds in 60s at the US Open.