Major machine Brooks Koepka looked set to win a history making three consecutive US Open’s until fellow bomber Gary Woodland stepped in.
Gary Woodland has managed to hold off major specialist Brooks Koepka to claim his maiden major championship victory with a three-stroke win at Pebble Beach.
Woodland secured the US Open trophy with a booming birdie putt at the par-5 closing hole at Pebble Beach, despite have three shots up his sleeve to claim victory.
But only an hour earlier it looked like Woodland’s would fall to the might of Koepka when the gap narrowed to s single shot.
Woodland’s would later say he was playing for the win when he ripped a 3-wood over the bunker to the fringe of the par-5 14th green.
A delicate up-and-down added a birdie to Woodland’s card and an upset victory looked a possibility for the 35-year-old whose previous best result at a major was a tie for sixth place at last year’s PGA Championship.
Koepka bombed his way into a position to have his say with two massive shots (with just a 3-wood and a 3-iron) to the back of the 18th green to set up an eagle chip. However the defending champion’s hopes of a third consecutive US Open disappeared when he couldn’t get up-and-down, settling for four rounds in the 60s and in the clubhouse at 10-under par.
Around the same time back on the par-3 17th green, Woodland found his ball in an awkward place. Although finding the green with his tee shot, a large hump sat between Woodland’s ball and the hole.
With no hope of getting close with his putter, Woodland opted to do something that would’ve seen greenkeepers across the globe cringe; he took out a wedge and pitched it. And he pitched it to just a foot from the hole handing Woodland a two-lead going to the final hole.
“I was just trying to get it over that hump,” Woodland said. “I thought it had a chance to go in, but it’s not one I want over.”
Adam Scott briefly had Australian hopes raised when he stormed to 6-under the card through 13 holes and draw to within three shots of the lead. But a wayward drive at the 13th hole dashed any hope.
Scott’s ball sailed way out-of-bounds and while his next two shots got him eyeing off a 10-foot putt for bogey, the ball slipped past the hole. Train derailed.
Scott would ultimately bogey a couple more holes before his round was finished, including a missed four-foot putt that didn’t touch the hole to settle into a tie for seventh place.