Woodland holds off Koepka to win U.S. Open

Golf: US Open final round updates: Woodland extends lead

After the criticism and carping over conditions at wind-whipped Shinnecock Hills a year ago, players were gushing in their praise of Pebble Beach - and of the US Golf Association for letting the jewel of a course shine.

It was in a way. Gary Woodland quickly realised the five-player game was not for him after facing eventual National Basketball Association guard Kirk Hinrich as the U.S. Open champion reflected on his first major title.

Rose, who saw the red-hot putter that had come to his rescue so often during the week suddenly turn cold, had his bid for a second U.S. Open title seriously wounded with back-to-back bogeys at 12 and 13 and then killed off completely with another at 15 that dropped him five off the pace with three to play.

Woodland transferred to Kansas for golf a year later.

And so, Koepka's special place in history after this week at Pebble Beach is that he's the only man to break 70 all four rounds and not walk away with the title.

Right behind him was two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka with a 10 under par score.

"Gary played a great four days". Also like Koepka, history will have the final say in that.

World number one Koepka went down fighting, finishing with a three-under 68 to leave him three short of Woodland's winning total of 13-under 271.

"I thought, 'Yeah, we've got a ballgame now, '" Koepka said.

They did, except it wasn't a back-and-forth ballgame.

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England's Justin Rose was tied for the lead after a birdie on the opening hole but faded on the back nine to share third with Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Chez Reavie, while the expected challenge from Rory McIlroy never materialized after a double bogey on the second.

Tiger Woods was four-over for first six holes and then he birdied half of the remaining 12 holes to finish at two-under 69 and Tied-21st at two-under 272. All day he was knocking on the door. Woodland saved par and held on to his two-shot lead.

Koepka gave it all he had but had to make way.

He was 227 yards from the pin on the par-5 18th and needed eagle to have any chance.

Of course not all the fans were happy about not being able to see their favorite players while stacked in the 10-deep galleries around the greens and having to spend $3.50 for bottled water, which they weren't allowed to bring in.

But Koepka watched his nine-foot putt slip by the cup, settling for a par to give Woodland some breathing room.

In the end, it might not have mattered. It wasn't easy after a childhood of high energy team sports where passion and emotion were advantages that could be taken out on opponents before they overwhelmed you. On his 49th birthday, he was 2 over with one hole to play and 5 over for the tournament.

Woodland's enthusiastic response to Bockerstette - he called it his most exciting moment on a golf course - was part of the video that went viral, and the Bockerstette family were among those pulling for him on Sunday.

When this close call was over, Koepka finally took some time to reflect on the history he nearly made. Promise you I would not have had that much guts.

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