Published: Wed, June 19, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Pebble Beach doors open again to duffers after U.S. Open

Pebble Beach doors open again to duffers after U.S. Open

Gary Woodland will forever be a U.S. Open champion thanks to his three-shot victory at Pebble Beach on Sunday.

Koepka came into the day trailing by four but made an all-world par save - first from the gallery, then from the thick grass in a barranca fronting the second green - and followed that with three straight birdies that pushed him to 11 under, only one shot behind Woodland. But he pulled out his wedge and almost holed his chip off the fringe.

Clinging to a one-shot lead with more pressure than he has ever felt, Woodland seized control by going for the green on the par-5 14th hole with a 3-wood from 263 yards, narrowly clearing a cavernous bunker and setting up a simple up-and-down for a two-shot lead.

Jack Nicklaus tweeted that the pitch "took a lot of guts". 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".

Woodland said he and swing coach Pete Cowen had worked on the shot earlier in the week. Had Brooks traded odds-on I'd have levelled things off nicely but it didn't quite happen unfortunately.

Matt Wallace was my sole selection at [44.0] when he won the BMW International Open past year and I was also on board Bubba Watson at the Travelers Championship at [34.0] before the get-go too. As a freshman Woodland attended Washburn University on a basketball scholarship, only to have a change of heart during one game in particular when he realised he was not going to cut it.

He could however be starting the day level top after Woodland chipped in for an unlikely par on the 12th and holed from 40 feet for another on the 14th, but Rose maintained his focus to birdie both holes.

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"I've just always believed in myself", said Woodland. "I'm becoming a more complete player".

The 2010 victor at Pebble Beach managed no birdies on the front nine as went to the turn in 38 after a dropped shot on five was followed by a double bogey at the ninth. Considering his late start to an exclusive sports relationship with golf, Woodland thinks he's just getting started. It pushed him to 13-under 271 - beating by one shot the score Tiger Woods posted during his 15-shot victory at Pebble in the 2000 U.S. Open.

Gary Woodland celebrates after winning the 2019 US Open. But Woodland's four rounds in 60s, while not being as dominant as a 15-shot win, was no less impressive. If you're within three on the back nine, anything can happen. Seventeen birdies against four bogeys was how the log book read. He closed with six straight pars, barely missing a birdie putt on the final hole that would have closed the gap to one stroke at the time.

"He deserves it", Koepka said. He birdied four of his first five holes and went from -7 to -11 very quickly.

Pebble Beach-based Youth On Course (YOC) has developed a programme to make the game accessible to children aged 6 to 18 by offering $5 rounds, including at some of the of world's most prestigious courses.

Others who finished near the top of the leaderboard included Justin Rose in a four-way tie for third, as well as Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen in a tie for seventh place.

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