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Woodland wins first major at U.S. Open

by Kyle Ziemnick
Posted 6/17/19, 11:39 am

Gary Woodland earned his first major golf championship at the U.S. Open Sunday, holding off two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka to win at Pebble Beach by three strokes. Woodland finished at 13-under-par, breaking Tiger Woods’ U.S. Open course record at the famed Northern California course. Koepka, who had won three of the past five majors, pulled within a shot of the lead on Sunday’s back nine, but Woodland remained steady, birdieing the 14th hole and sinking a 30-foot putt for birdie on 18 to close out his victory in style. Koepka had to settle for becoming the first player to shoot in the 60s during all four rounds of a U.S Open without winning.

Woodland’s win on Father’s Day held special significance for him and his family. His wife, Gabby, was pregnant in 2017 with twins, but one child tragically died in utero. The other twin, a son named Jaxson, was born prematurely and has overcome several medical challenges. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without my dad and the way he treated me and the way he was hard on me,” Woodland said. “And that’s something that I look forward to doing with my son.” The Woodlands are now expecting another set of twins.

Woodland, 35, had won only three other times on the PGA Tour and had just two top-10 finishes in major championships before Sunday’s breakthrough win.

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Kyle Ziemnick

Kyle is a graduate of the World Journalism Institute.

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