Gary Woodland Holds Off Brooks Koepka to Win His First Major Championship at U.S. Open

Gary Woodland held off one pursuer after another – including major championship extraordinaire Brooks Koepka and 2013 U.S. Open champion and playing partner Justin Rose – to win the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on Sunday.

In winning his first major championship, Woodland, 35, who previously was 0-for-7 when holding 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour, never fell out of first place on a cool, overcast Father’s Day and punctuated his victory with a 30-foot birdie on the 72nd hole.

Starting the day with a one-shot lead, Woodland was caught at the top when Rose birdied the first but then regained the lead by himself with birdies on the second and third holes. From there, he never relinquished the lead and held off the intimidating presence of Koepka to win by three shots.

Woodland shot 2-under-par 69 to finish at 13 under.

His signature shot came on the uphill par-5 14th when he reached the green in two with his second shot from 249 yards, the ball hit with his 3-wood clearing by a cavernous bunker protecting the front of the green by just one yard. The shot led to a birdie and upped his lead to two shots.

There was another highlight that stood out, too. On the par-3 17th, Woodland’s tee shot wound up 90 feet from the hole on the hourglass green. He chipped off the fringe to a foot to save par and maintain his two-shot lead.

Then he canned the 30-footer on the last.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Steve DiMeglio