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Gary Woodland is the US Open champion

American Gary Woodland has won the US Open at Pebble Beach. It’s the 35 year old's first major ...

Gary Woodland is the US Open c...

Gary Woodland is the US Open champion

American Gary Woodland has won the US Open at Pebble Beach.

It’s the 35 year old's first major golf title.

He carded a final round 69 for a 13 under par total, 3 shots clear of world number one Brooks Koepka.

Woodland started the day with a one stroke lead over Justin Rose and the Kansas native settled his nerves with birdies at holes 2 and 3. That was important as world number one Koepka stormed out of the blocks, one putting the first five greens to go to 11 under par.

Pebble Beach was lacking bite, with little wind and no sunshine. It made the tournament more akin to a soft Open Championship, with receptive greens and the ability to score if one kept themselves out of trouble.

That's what Woodland pretty much did all day. Rose faltered, his 'A' game deserting him and Koepka couldn't pick up a birdie after the 11th.

The par five 14th hole was crucial, as Woodland decided to go for it off the tee and was rewarded with a birdie.  He held a two shot cushion on 17 and the tournament was his when he got up and down for par at that short par three with a sublime pitch.

Woodland has been somewhat of a journeyman professional over the years, with 3 PGA Tour titles to his name before now.

He has always been an athlete and was a crack college basketball player in Kansas, also excelling at baseball.

Golf wasn't a full time pursuit for him until university and he's been seen as a bomber, a big hitter.

Gary Woodland did two things this week. He showed bottle, turning a disappointing record of having failed to win a tournament on the previous seven occasions he held a 54 lead into a victory in one of the biggest tournaments of all.

Woodland also displayed great finesse around the greens and course management was the ace up his sleeve.

Rory McIlroy finished in the top 10 on 5 under par, but his challenge effectively ended with a double bogey at the second hole.

Graeme McDowell ended up on 3 under and Shane Lowry finished on 1 under par.

The final major of 2019 is the Open Championship at Royal Portrush next month.


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