Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

US Open: Gary Woodland Holds Off Brooks Koepka To Win First Major

American Gary Woodland held off the challenge of world number one Brooks Koepka to claim his first major victory at the 119th US Open at Pebble Beach.

Gary Woodland

The world number 25 shot a two-under 69 to win by three on 13 under from two-time defending champion Koepka.

“It was special. I never thought the tournament was over,” said Woodland.

England’s Justin Rose took a share of the lead with a birdie on the first hole on Sunday, but fell away with a 74 to finish on seven under par.

The 43-year-old, who won the Masters in April, sparked an impressive recovery as he carded six birdies to shoot a 69 and finish two under par at the scene of his record 15-shot victory in 2000.

“I was able to get it under par for the week,” said the 15-time major champion. “Normally that’s a good thing at a US Open, but these guys are really taking it to the golf course.”

Resilient Woodland lands first major

It was a week that began so promisingly for Rose, who shot an opening-round 65 to hold a one-shot first-round lead – the joint-lowest score at Pebble Beach in the US Open, a record set by Woods when he won the first of his three US Open titles 19 years ago.

“I thought we had a game pretty early on. I closed the gap and you never know what’s going to happen down the stretch. I just tried to keep the pedal down and make some putts but I didn’t hole enough.

“I’m very pleased with how I played. I played my heart out it just wasn’t good enough this week.”

It was left for Woodland, whose previous best finish at a major was tied sixth at last year’s US PGA Championship, to finish his maiden victory in style with a 30-foot birdie at the last.

“I never looked too far ahead,” he said. “Once the putt on 18 went in, I let it come out of me. It was special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach.”