Topeka native Gary Woodland had the biggest moment of his professional golf career on Sunday when he captured the 119th U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, California. Woodland is a former star athlete at Shawnee Heights High School, Washburn and the University of Kansas. He’s also a young father. As Greg Echlin reports, Woodland’s victory was made all the sweeter because it took place on Father’s Day.
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Topeka native Gary Woodland has captured the U.S. Open, overcoming the back-nine pressure at Pebble Beach to hold off two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka for a three-shot victory. Woodland all but sealed his first major title when he chipped off a tight lie on the green on the 17th hole to tap-in range at a pin tucked in the back left. His par there preserved the two-shot lead. Then, he made it a three-shot edge when he knocked in a 30-foot birdie putt on 18. It pushed him to 13-under 271 — beating by one shot the score Tiger Woods posted during his 15-shot victory at Pebble in the 2000 U.S. Open. Woodland shot 2-under 69 to become the fifth player to break 70 in all four rounds of the U.S. Open. The fourth was Koepka, who wrapped up his round of 68 a few minutes earlier. He's the first to accomplish that feat and not win. Koepka failed in his quest to become the first player since Willie Anderson in 1905 to win three straight U.S. Opens. But this second-place finish adds to a runner-up at the Masters and his title at the PGA last month. Xander Schauffele, Jon Rahm, Chez Reavie and Justin Rose finished in a four-way tie for third and 7 under.
Woodland is an alum of the University of Kansas and Washburn University.