Published: Wed, June 19, 2019
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Rose bemoans lack of 'A-game' after US Open challenge fades

Rose bemoans lack of 'A-game' after US Open challenge fades

He is going for his fifth major title in his last nine tries, a stretch not seen since Tiger Woods at his peak.

This year's winning score by Gary Woodland was 13-under par as a whopping 31 golfers finished under par for the week.

The 2010 victor at Pebble Beach managed no birdies on the front nine as went to the turn in 38 after a dropped shot on five was followed by a double bogey at the ninth.

While the Florida man failed to win his third successive US Open title, he proved his brilliance all weekend, staying in the hunt for large spells before producing an iron-like performance on the final day.

Woodland had not managed a top-10 finish in his first 27 majors before last year's PGA Championship, where he tied for sixth, but he handled the final round with the composure of someone who had been playing for golf's biggest prizes his entire career.

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

The 15-time major victor fired 15 birdies over the four rounds, just two less than eventual victor Woodland, but the significant problem in his performance was that he fired 11 bogeys and one double.

"I was proud of myself to stay in my moment and control myself and not get too anxious about what he was doing", Woodland said.

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

Gabby Woodland was at home with Jackson this week during Gary's run to the U.S. Open championship.

Koepka didn't make it easy, keeping the pressure on Woodland until the very end.

"We sat there and thought about it for a while and said 'Let's go, we're out here to win, '" Woodland said. Going for the uphill green in two was a risky proposition because left was not good, right was out of bounds, long wasn't ideal, and the bunker guarding the front of the green spoke for itself. His par there preserved the two-shot lead.

"He gave me more confidence on that shot, I'll give him all the credit", Woodland said of his caddie Little. "Took a lot of guts", Nicklaus said on Twitter.

He didn't panic when Koepka started to fire early on Sunday, and he simply answered any doubts about his resilience and consistency, firing birdies on two of the first three holes.

"You know, I shot free throws really well".

"Gary played a great four days". He was careless with a putt from just short of the 13th green and missed the 4-foot comebacker. It was all change at the second though when Justin handed the shot gained straight back with a bogey five as Woodland stiffed his approach to seven feet before knocking in the birdie putt.

He got down in one instead, raised his hands to the heavens then finished with a huge fist pump.

Believe it or not, newly-minted U.S. Open victor Gary Woodland was a basketball player before taking up golf. He also said, "I hate to say it, but they've taken putting out of the game".

"It wasn't meant to be this week", said Koepka.

Koepka did grab a slice of US Open history, becoming the fourth player to complete four rounds in the 60s.

Both Woodland, 35, and Koepka 29, have the same instructor Pete Cowen from Yorkshireman, who left for England a day before Woodland was crowned. What's not to love?

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