Woodland fends off Koepka to say U.S. Open

PEBBLE BEACH, CA. (Reuters) – Gary Woodland held his nerve to say 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.

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 taking part in for golf’s largest prizes his total profession.

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

“Simply glad it was over,” smiled Woodland. “I didn’t let myself get forward in any respect in the present day.

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

“So I simply stayed in it.”

World primary Koepka went down combating, ending with a three-under 68 to depart him three in need of Woodland’s successful whole 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 exceptional show of dedication and guts by the 35-year-old Woodland, who seven instances earlier than had held a 54-hole lead in a PGA Tour occasion and 7 instances couldn’t shut the deal.

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

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With pressure constructing with every shot, Woodland saved 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 usually through the week out of the blue flip chilly, had his bid for a second U.S. Open title critically 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.

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

Right down to the closing two holes and a relentless Koepka had one final alternative to place stress on Woodland with a birdie on the 18th that may have left his opponent clinging to a one-shot lead coming dwelling.

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

“I hit a very good putt, it simply dove proper throughout the entrance,” stated Koepka. “Generally there’s simply nothing you are able to do.

“I believed it could be good to place some stress on him, one shot going into the final gap.

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

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

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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.

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These 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 remaining spherical at a U.S. Open in a decade however nonetheless 11 again of winner.

Enhancing by Peter Rutherford

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