Woodland wins first major to deny Koepka’s triple

American Gary Woodland has won the 2019 US Open Championship at Pebble Beach Golf Links with a three stroke win over two-time defending champion and world No.1 Brooks Koepka.

The victory secures the 35-year-old’s first major career title and denied Koepka the chance to tie Scotland’s Willie Anderson as the only man to secure three US Open victories in a row.

Woodland finished 13-under par for the championship, finishing in style with a 69 to secure the victory.

By carding a 2-under-par 69, Woodland became the fourth player to claim the US Open title with four sub-70 rounds. He’s also the second Open winner at Pebble Beach to post a double-digit under-par score (13-under), joining Tiger Woods (12-under), who won the 2000 championship by a record 15 strokes.

WITB: Gary Woodland

  • Titleist Pro V1 Ball
  • Ping G410 Plus Driver (7º)
  • Ping G410 LST 3W (13.6º)
  • Wilson Staff Model Blades (3-PW)
  • Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52º, 58º), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (64º)
  • Scotty Cameron Newport Prototype Putter

Entering Sunday’s final round Woodland was 0-for-7 when holding a 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour, and he had never finished better than a tie for 23rd in eight previous US Opens.

“I didn’t let myself get ahead at all today,” said Woodland. “Didn’t ever let myself think the tournament was over.”

Woodland played conservatively down the 18th and made one last birdie for the record book. He was aware that Tiger Woods had a 12-under during his historic win at Pebble Beach in 2000, and he topped him.

Gary Woodland Gary Woodland (Credit: USGA)

“Once that went in, it all came out of me. It’s special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach.”

The victory sees Woodland with a US$2.25 million cheque and a move up the world rankings which is anticipated to see him move inside the world’s top-20.

England’s Justin Rose was the only one who caught Woodland during the final round, with a birdie on the opening hole. Rose bogeyed from the bunker on the second as Woodland birdied, and from there never caught up.

Rose then imploded with three bogeys in a four-hole stretch on the back nine. He shot 74 and shared third with Xander Schauffele (67), Jon Rahm (68) and Chez Reavie (71).

Adam Scott was the best of the Australians and was in the mix early with four birdies and an eagle in his first 12 holes.

Scott’s game was humming as he made another charge at a major title.

But then all of the sudden an uncharacteristic wayward drive out of bounds at the 13th led to a double-bogey 6, and Scott’s charge had ended. He then went onto card three-putt bogeys at the 16th and 17th.

“It’s hard not to have an emotional verdict at the moment,” Scott said after his final round.

“I want to win one of these so badly – I play so much consistent golf, I feel, but that’s kind of annoying. I’d almost rather miss every cut and win one tournament for the year if it was a major. So it’s annoying.”

A 6-under finish still earned Scott a second consecutive top-10 at the majors, his share of seventh coming a month after his eighth placing at the US PGA Championship.

Jason Day, who had Steve Williams on the bag for the first time here this week, fired a final round 69 to be tied for 21st at 2-under alongside 15-time major winner Tiger Woods.

Marc Leishman (72) was tied 35th at 1-over, while Cameron Smith (72) was 8-over.