PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – Gary Woodland denied Brooks Koepka’s bold bid at history with two clutch shots and made U.S. Open memories of his own, starting with that silver trophy in his hands at Pebble Beach.
Woodland finished in style Sunday. He holed a 30-foot birdie putt for a 2-under 69, giving him the lowest 72-hole score in six U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach and a three-shot victory over Koepka, who was going for a third straight U.S. Open.
Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player with all four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning. But he made Woodland earn every bit of his first major championship.
Clinging to a one-shot lead with more pressure than he has ever felt, Woodland seized control by going for the green on the par-5 14th hole with a 3-wood from 263 yards, narrowly clearing a cavernous bunker and setting up a simple up-and-down for a two-shot lead.
Even more significant was a shot from 90 feet.
Woodland hit the edge of the green on the par-3 17th all the way to the right, with the pin on the hourglass green on the other side.
Ahead on the 18th, Koepka’s 3-iron went just over the back of the green, leaving him a chip for eagle to tie, with a birdie likely to do the trick considering what Woodland faced. Koepka chipped to just inside 10 feet and missed the putt.
Woodland delivered again. Unable to use putter to get it close, he perfectly clipped a pitch over the mound, and it checked about 12 feet short of the hole and trickled down to tap-in range.
That effectively ended the U.S. Open. Woodland played conservatively down the 18th and made one last birdie that only mattered in the record book. He finished at 13-under 271, one shot better than Tiger Woods’ historic rout in 2000.
The difference was Woods won by 15 shots and was the only player under par. With a marine layer blocking the sunshine, and no significant wind at Pebble Beach all week, 31 players finished under par.
Koepka closed with a 68 for his second runner-up in the majors this year, along with his second straight PGA Championship title.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) – Brooke Henderson won the Meijer LPGA Classic to break the Canadian record for tour victories with nine.
The 21-year-old Henderson led wire-to-wire for her second victory in three years at Blythefield Country Club, closing with a 2-under 70 in chilly conditions to hold off Lexi Thompson, Nasa Hataoka, Su Oh and Brittany Altomare by a stroke.
Henderson broke a tie with Sandra Post for the Canadian record on the LPGA Tour and also moved ahead of George Knudson and Mike Weir for the overall country mark.
Also the Lotte Championship winner in April in Hawaii, Henderson matched the tournament record of 21 under that she set in 2017 (when the course played to a par of 71) and also was tied last year by So Yeon Ryu. Henderson opened with consecutive 64s, playing 30 holes Friday after rain delayed the start Thursday, and had a 69 on Saturday to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
Thompson followed her course-record 62 in the third round with a 68, closing with an eagle for the second straight day. The 2015 winner at Blythefield, she was coming off a victory last week in New Jersey.
Hataoka shot 65, also making an eagle on the par-5 18th. Oh had a 66, and Altomare shot 68.
The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the third major championship of the year, is next week at Hazeltine in Minnesota.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – China’s Xinjun Zhang birdied the third hole of a playoff with Dylan Wu in the Lincoln Land Championship for his second Web .com Tour victory of the season.
Zhang closed with a 6-under 65 to match Wu at 15 under at Panther Creek.
The 32-year-old Zhang had already wrapped up a PGA Tour card for next season. He regained the lead in the season standings, with the final top 25 earning PGA Tour cards.
Wu finished with a 63 in his second career Web.com Tour start.
Zhang also won the Dormie Network Classic in April in San Antonio.