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Gary Woodland holds off Brooks Koepka to win U.S. Open

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17th June, 2019
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Gary Woodland has claimed a maiden major championship with a three-shot victory over defending champion Brooks Koepka at the US Open at Pebble Beach.

The big-hitting, athletic Woodland drained a 25-foot birdie putt on the iconic par-5 18th for a three-under-par 69 and a 72-hole score of 13 under.

Two-time US Open winner Koepka (68) was second at 10 under.

Woodland’s final-hole birdie meant the 35-year-old beat the lowest score ever recorded in a US Open at Pebble Beach – surpassing Tiger Woods’ 12 under total when he won the 2000 edition by 15 shots.

“Sounds really really good,” an elated Woodland said of hearing his name announced as the US Open champion.

“When that putt went in on the last, it all came out of me. It’s special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach.”

Xander Schauffele (67), Jon Rahm (68), Chez Reavie (71) and Justin Rose (74) tied third at seven under.

Australia’s Adam Scott made a run for the ages, collecting four birdies and an eagle in his first 12 holes.

But the wheels came off spectacularly when he sprayed his tee shot out of bounds at the 13th en route to a double-bogey 6, which preceded three-putt bogeys at the 16th and 17th.

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At six under, Scott (68) still earned a second consecutive top-10 at the majors, his share of seventh coming a month after his eighth placing at the US PGA Championship.

Final group playing partner and 2013 US Open champ Rose tied Woodland atop the leaderboard early with a birdie at the first.

But Woodland reclaimed with two straight birdies from the second hole and never relinquished his lead.

A crucial moment came at the par-3 17th when Woodland had a difficult chip from off the green, 31 yards from the hole, but judged the angle perfectly with his shot settling to tap-in distance.

Koepka became the first player in US Open history to shoot four rounds in the 60s and not win.

The four-time major winner Koepka was attempting to become the first golfer in 114 years to win three successive US Opens

“I was just that close to accomplishing something that hadn’t been done in over 100 years,” Koepka, who also won the 2017 US Open, lamented.

Meanwhile, Jason Day’s 69 left him tied for 21st at two under alongside 15-time major winner Woods (69).

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Marc Leishman (72) was tied 35th at at one over, while Cameron Smith (72) was eight over.