Gary Woodland reflected on a “special” U.S. Open success after winning his first major title at Pebble Beach on Sunday.
Woodland held off American countryman and two-time reigning champion Brooks Koepka, shooting a two-under 69 to secure a three-stroke victory and his first major crown.
The 35-year-old, who held a one-shot lead overnight, was delighted to get the job done in California, completing his win with a 30-foot birdie putt at the 18th.
“It was special. I never let myself get ahead and I never really thought the tournament was over,” Woodland said at the trophy presentation.
“Once that went in, it all kind of came out of me. It was special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach.”
— U.S. Open (USGA) (@usopengolf) June 17, 2019
Woodland held his nerve during the final round, including pitching to within two feet when he looked in danger of making bogey at the par-three 17th.
A four-time winner on the PGA Tour, Woodland said he would have taken a bogey at the penultimate hole.
“I actually had that shot earlier this week, that’s the second time I got it up and down,” he said.
“I was just trying to get it over that hump there. I was going to try and take four if I had to, just try eliminate the big number and it came off perfectly.
“I thought it had a pretty good chance to go in.”