Woodland follows Nicklaus, Watson with Pebble Beach heroics

Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy

Woodland poses with the trophy after winning the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

In his first 26 major appearances Woodland's best showings were two T12 finishes at the 2011 PGA Championship and the 2016 Open. Tommy Fleetwood charged home with a 63, but Koepka's two-under 68 was enough for a one-shot win.

But his signature moment came at 17 - the same hole where Jack Nicklaus set up a tap-in birdie with a stinging one-iron in 1972 and Tom Watson chipped in 10 years later to deny Nicklaus a fifth US Open title.

Woodland had failed to convert any of his seven 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour into a win, but the 35-year-old from Kansas withstood the stubborn challenge of Rose and early charge from Koepka to land the title and first prize of 2.25million U.S. dollars. "The question about if I ever dreamed of making the putt on the last hole of a U.S. Open when I was a kid?"

"I said - Amy told me a million times when we were on this whole I've got this, I've got this, and I told myself that a million times today, I've got this".

Woodland's three-shot U.S. Open win over Koepka continues what has been a wonderful streak for Americans since Koepka's success two years ago at Erin Hills.

The world number four's gamble of hitting the driver backfired as he found heavy rough on the left, with his ball only moving a couple of feet on his second shot, before his third shot from 190 yards found another greenside trap, with a eight-foot bogey putt then failing to drop.

Woodland's third bogey of the tournament came on the ninth hole Sunday. "That 3-wood separated me a little bit".

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He preserved it with a flawless pitch from the green at 17, where his tee shot left him on the wrong end of the hourglass putting surface.

"Again, got off to another crappy start and was able to fight it off", said Woods, who bogeyed four of the first six holes, the easiest stretch on the course, a day after bogeying two of the first three. And that decision got forced on me really quickly. - "He deserves it" - ==================== Woodland, who admitted he once had trouble handling the rush of adrenaline in pressure situations, displayed impressive poise on a day when plenty of players were pressing on a receptive Pebble Course.

Louis Oosthuizen got to nine-under. So did Adam Scott. I didn't know what it was, what I was going to do.

Even Tiger Woods got on the birdie bandwagon with six birdies on his last 12 holes. But Woodland had birdie on his mind when he pulled out a 3-wood and crushed the shot over the front bunker.

Woodland, a 35-year-old who played basketball for one year at Washburn before taking a golf scholarship at Kansas, is immensely popular with his peers, many of whom gathered behind the 18th to celebrate his first major with him.

Koepka, seeking to become the first golfer in more than a century to win three straight U.S. Opens, was the last man standing to challenge Woodland at Pebble Beach. "Nothing I could do".

Koepka started four shots behind in his bid to join Willie Anderson as the only players to go back-to-back-to-back in the toughest test in golf. Cool way to go out on 18, to make that bomb.

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