Open commitment 'difficult' for Woodland with twins due in two weeks

Gary Woodland says his wife, Gabby, convinced him to play in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush this week, even though she is due to give birth to twins in a fortnight.

Woodland, who claimed his first major title by holding off defending champion Brooks Koepka at last month’s U.S. Open, was asked if it was a difficult decision to travel to Northern Ireland for the final major of 2019, considering the status of his wife’s pregnancy.

“Yeah, [it was] definitely difficult,” he told a news conference. “She’s doing all right. She’s semi-bedrest right now. Our girls are supposed to come in two weeks. So it was a decision, we sat down and we talked about it. And she was the one pushing me to come.

“[I’m] pretty confident they’re not going to come this week, but you never know. I’m hoping that’s the case.

“Next week, Memphis is only an hour away from home. I can get home pretty easily. It would be a little tough if they came right now, I’m not going to be able to get home. But she’s hanging in there.”

Woodland, who will play the opening two rounds this week alongside Rory McIlroy and Paul Casey, revealed his U.S. Open trophy has spent the past month on his nightstand, adding: “You want to wake up and make sure it’s not a dream. You want to make sure it’s real.”

He continued: “I was thinking about letting my parents have it this week, but I ended up keeping it. It’s at home. It’s right next to Gabby. She is looking at it all the time. I don’t know if she’s excited about that, but it’s been pretty close to me.”

Although Woodland’s triumph at Pebble Beach raised his profile, it appears he will have little trouble going under the radar at Portrush.

“Kuch [Matt Kuchar] and I went to breakfast yesterday, and I took about 20 pictures for him. Nobody knew who I was, they all knew who he was,” Woodland added.

“He loved every second of that, I can tell you. But definitely probably more [people recognise me] than it would have been maybe a couple of months ago.”