Woodland fends off Koepka to claim U.S. Open


PEBBLE BEACH, CA. (Reuters) – Gary Woodland held his nerve to claim his first main with a three-shot victory on the U.S. Open on Sunday, bringing Brooks Koepka’s two-year reign to an finish.

June 16, 2019; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Gary Woodland kisses with the championship trophy after successful the 2019 U.S. Open golf event at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

Woodland had not managed a top-10 end in his first 27 majors earlier than final yr’s PGA Championship, the place he tied for sixth, however he dealt with the ultimate spherical with the composure of somebody who had been enjoying for golf’s largest prizes his complete profession.

Ending his spherical in type with a birdie on the final, Woodland carded a two-under 69 to maintain Koepka from changing into the primary man in additional than a century to sweep three straight U.S. Opens.

“Just glad it was over,” smiled Woodland. “I didn’t let myself get forward in any respect right now.

“Didn’t ever let myself suppose the event was over.

“So I simply stayed in it.”

World primary Koepka went down preventing, ending with a three-under 68 to go away him three wanting Woodland’s successful complete of 13-under 271.

Justin Rose started the day one shot again of Woodland however the Englishman crumbled on the again 9 with three bogeys for a three-over 74 and a tie for third at seven-under with Xander Schauffele, Chez Reavie and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

It was a outstanding show of willpower and guts by the 35-year-old Woodland, who seven occasions earlier than had held a 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour occasion and 7 occasions couldn’t shut the deal.

As Woodland made the flip with a two-shot lead, faint cracks in his composure started to present as Koepka trimmed the benefit to one with a birdie at 11.

With stress constructing with every shot, Woodland stored his cool and picked up his first birdie of the again 9 on the par 5 14th to reclaim a two-stroke benefit and switch the U.S. Open right into a two horse race.

Rose, who noticed the red-hot putter that had come to his rescue so typically in the course of the week immediately flip chilly, had his bid for a second U.S. Open title significantly wounded with back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13 after which killed off utterly with one other at 15 that dropped him 5 off the tempo with three to play.

Down to the closing two holes and a relentless Koepka had one final alternative to put strain on Woodland with a birdie on the 18th that will have left his opponent clinging to a one-shot lead coming dwelling.

But Koepka watched his nine-foot putt slip by the cup, settling for a par to give Woodland some respiration room.

“I hit a good putt, it just dove right across the front,” stated Koepka. “Sometimes there’s simply nothing you are able to do.

“I believed it will be good to put some strain on him, one shot going into the final gap.

“Nothing I might do. I gave it my all. I give it my all each time and generally it’s not meant to be.”

A maiden main now inside his grasp, a relaxed Woodland capped off his spherical in spectacular type, rolling in a 30-foot birdie on the final to set off a standing ovation and chants of “Gary, Gary”.

Slideshow (9 Images)

Tiger Woods, a three-time U.S. Open winner, had ended the third spherical 11 pictures again of the chief however nonetheless gave himself an opportunity of successful a 16th main on Sunday.

Those slim hopes disappeared rapidly when he bogeyed 4 of his opening 5 holes.

Woods hit again with six birdies, together with one on the 18th, for a two-under spherical, his lowest last spherical at a U.S. Open in a decade however nonetheless 11 again of winner.

Editing by Peter Rutherford

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