Gary Woodland ousted World No.1 and two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka at the 2019 US Open to claim his maiden major victory. His 13 under par total with rounds of 68, 65, 69, 69 at Pebble Beach, provided him with a 3 shot victory over Koepka.
Woodland had some impressive statistics to go along with his US Open Victory:
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Woodland’s 4 bogeys tied for the US Open record – dropping only 4 shots all week is highly impressive – especially around a course such as Pebble Beach.
In the past, Woodland had failed to convert any of the seven times he previously held a 54-hole lead. However, this week was different – he had the thoughts of Special Olympic Athlete Amy Bockerstette in his mind. Woodland and Amy played together at the iconic Par 3 16th at TPC Scottsdale where she lit up the stadium-like hole with her positive energy and vibes.
“Amy told me a million times when we were on that hole… I’ve got this, I’ve got this, and I told myself that a million times today, I’ve got this” shares Woodland.
Playing with Amy at TPC Scottsdale influenced Woodland and changed the way he thought on the golf course, which helped him not only hold on to his lead this time, but pull away from Koepka to secure his maiden major victory at the 2019 US Open.
Koepka was the favourite this week and was hoping to break all sorts of records, aiming for his 5th major in 9 starts. It had been 115 years since someone last won 3 US Opens in a row – Willie Anderson from Scotland, and Koepka’s 4 birdies in the first 5 holes put him oh so close to joining Willie in the record books. However, it wasn’t to be for Koepka. Nonetheless his final round 68 meant he became the first player to shoot 4 rounds in the 60s and not win the US Open. With his last 4 major starts resulting in a 1-2-1-2 placing, he will be the clear favourite again for The Open in July.
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