After Justin Rose tied the lowest U.S Open round at Pebble Beach with a 6 under 65, Gary Woodland on the Friday match Rose with his own 65 and was in contention to win his first major. Woodland was solid on the Saturday with a 2 under 69 and took the lead heading into the final round.
He had a one shot lead over Rose and this was his first 54 – hole lead in a major.
“My game is in a great spot,” Woodland said. “I'm at a beautiful golf course. I came here to win, and that's what we're going out to do tomorrow.”
The only small issue was that two time defending U.S Open champion Brooks Koepka was only 4 behind the leader and with a course like Pebble Beach at a U.S Open, anything could happen. We saw it at the Masters this year and could we see the same drama again.
Koepka started the final round with 4 birdies in the first 5 holes but Woodland responded with birdies of his own on the 2nd
hole. By 11 Koepka made another birdie and got to 11 under which was one shot off the lead but the nerves started to kick in for the final two groups. Koepka missed the green on the par-3 12th
and couldn’t get up and down from the bunker which dropped him 2 back. Rose and Woodland both made bogey on 12 as well and the lead was cut back to one. Rose went on to bogey 13 and 15 and that was the end of his run at the U.S Open.
The U.S Open was down to 2 players but Koepka failed to make any in roads in the final 6 holes. He had six straight pars after his bogey on 12 and it was Woodland’s tournament to lose. Woodland was solid as a rock in his final six holes bouncing back with a birdie on the 14th
and then making a crazy up and down on the 17th
to save par. He finished with a 30th
bomb on the 18th
for a birdie and walked away with his first major win and a 3 stroke victory.
Koepka closed with a 68 giving him his second running up in majors this year finishing behind Tiger Woods at the Masters, winning the PGA Championship and now another runner up behind Woodland. He is the only man to have won more majors than PGA Tour tournaments in his career.
Woodland and Koepka were the only players in the field to shoot all rounds in the 60's for the tournament.