The US Open - All Access Sporting News

Updated February 28, 8:40 AM CT



June 17, 2019

Woodand wins the 2019 US Open

     Gary Woodland wins the U.S. Open for his first major title, beating two-time defending champion Brooks Koepka by three strokes. He earned every stroke by hitting gutsy shots in pressure moments.

He spent the entire day holding off Brooks Koepka, who himself was shooting for history - trying to become the first player since 1905 to complete a U.S. Open three-peat.

Koepka made clear early that he was up for the challenge. He opened with four birdies over the first five holes to pull within a shot of Woodland, who was playing one hole behind.

Woodland's Father's Day at Pebble Beach included a flushed 3-wood that set up birdie to give him a two-shot cushion, a wedge clipped off the 17th green that helped him preserve it, then a 30-foot birdie putt on No. 18 that ended the tournament with a flourish - and put him in the record book, to boot.

"My whole life, I've been able to compete and win at everything I've done, "he said. "It's taken a while, but it's trending in the right direction," past Tiger Woods and into the record books.

Woodland, whose wife, Gabby, is expecting twins in a couple of months to join their soon-to-be-2-year-old son, Jaxson, got to 13-under-par 271 with that closing birdie, beating by one the record Woods set for a U.S. Open at Pebble Beach during his 15-shot romp to victory in 2000.

Woodland credits short-game guru Pete Cowen for his improved putting. The two began working together in December. In addition to guidance with his putting stroke, Cowen has helped Woodland learn how to figure out his own swing and ways to fix any problems that may arise.

"I'm practicing, working on certain things to stay within myself and understand my golf swing so I don't have to call him," said Woodland, 35, who has three PGA Tour titles. "It's more difficult when Pete's across the pond than getting on the plane or seeing Butch (Harmon, his swing coach). It's difficult to do that. He told me he doesn't want to text him all the time. So, I have to learn so I don't have to make that phone call."

Ran DeBord - All Access Sporting News

Source: AASNSports; FoxSports; GolfChannel


The course: Designed by two amateur players, Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach opened in 1919. Jack Nicklaus redesigned the par-3 fifth hole along Stillwater Cove for the 2000 U.S. Open. It was bought 20 years ago by a group that included Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, Peter Ueberroth and Dick Ferris.

Length: 7,075 yards.

Par: 71 (35-36).

Cut: Top 60 players and ties.

Playoff (if necessary): Two-hole aggregate immediately after 72 holes are completed.

Field: 156 players.

Purse: $12.5 million. Winner's share: $2.16 million.

Defending champion: Brooks Koepka.

The competitors

    Players know they’re in the field when the national championship returns for the sixth time to Pebble Beach Golf Links in June. Those among this group are already exempt through local and sectional qualifying through their performances in past U.S. Opens, major championships and other significant events in 2018 and 2019. 

Brooks Koepka, winner of the PGA Championship has become fully exempt for Pebble Beach, as will the top 60 on the World Ranking as of May 20 and June 10. 

Special Exemption

The USGA can award special exemptions to players. Two-time champion Ernie Els has been given that special exemption to the U.S. Open for the second straight year. Els is the first player since Hale Irwin in 2002 and 2003 to receive special exemptions in consecutive years. Irwin is a three-time U.S. Open champion.

Els won the U.S. Open in a three-man playoff at Oakmont in 1994 and at Congressional in 1997.

Els finished third at Pebble in 2010, two shots behind Graeme McDowell. He tied for second at Pebble in 2000, 15 shots behind Tiger Woods.


 All other golfers—juniors, amateurs, club professionals and tour pros—must attempt to qualify either via local or local and sectional qualifying.

2019 U.S. Open field (How they qualified)

Daniel Berger (2018 U.S. Open top 10)

David Bling (a) (2018 U.S. Amateur runner-up)

Keegan Bradley (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Patrick Cantlay (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Paul Casey (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Jason Day (2015 PGA)

Bryson DeChambeau (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Ernie Els (special exemption)

Tony Finau (2018 U.S. Open top 10)

Tommy Fleetwood (2018 U.S. Open top 10)

Rickie Fowler (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Sergio Garcia (2017 Masters)

Lucas Glover (2009 U.S. Open)

Tyrrell Hatton (2018 U.S. Open top 10)

Billy Horschel (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Viktor Hovland (a) (2018 U.S. Amateur)

Dustin Johnson (2016 U.S. Open)

Zach Johnson (2015 Open)

Martin Kaymer (2014 U.S. Open)

Si Woo Kim (2017 Players)

Patton Kizzire (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Brooks Koepka (2017, 2018 U.S. Open, 2018 PGA)

Matt Kuchar (2019 multiple PGA Tour wins) Marc Leishman (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Hideki Matsuyama (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Graeme McDowell (2010 U.S. Open)

Rory McIlroy (2011 U.S. Open, 2014 Open, 2014 PGA, 2019 Players)

Phil Mickelson (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Francesco Molianri (2018 Open)

Kevin Na (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Kevin O’Connell (2018 U.S. Mid-Amateur)

Jon Rahm (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Jovan Rebula (a) (2018 British Amateur)

Patrick Reed (2018 Masters)

Justin Rose (2013 U.S. Open)

Xander Schauffele (2018 U.S. Open top 10)

Webb Simpson (2012 U.S. Open, 2018 Players)

Cameron Smith (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Jordan Spieth (2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open, 2017 Open)

Kyle Stanley (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Henrik Stenson (2016 Open)

Justin Thomas (2017 PGA)

Michael Thorbjornsen (a) (2018 U.S. Junior Am)

David Toms (2018 U.S. Senior Open)

Jimmy Walker (2016 PGA)

Bubba Watson (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Danny Willett (2016 Masters)

Aaron Wise (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Gary Woodland (2018 Tour Championship qualifier)

Tiger Woods (2018 Tour Championship qualifier, 2019 Masters)

Pebble Beach has eight public and private 18-hole golf courses. Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, and Peter Hay Golf Course are owned by Pebble Beach Company and are all public courses.

The U.S. Open is the annual open national championship of golf in the United States. It is the third of the four major championships in golf and is on the official schedule of both the PGA Tour and the European Tour.


     Brooks Koepka was shooting for his third-straight U.S. Open title, having won the last two championships at Erin Hills and Shinnecock Hills. He was close, but Gary Woodland held him off to win.

He is the sixth player to successfully defend his U.S. Open title. But only one man has ever done it three times in a row:

Willie Anderson

The Scotsman captured the U.S. Open in 1903, ’04 and ’05. None had done it before (with the U.S. Open beginning in 1895) and none have done it since.

Anderson first won the U.S. Open in 1901 at Myopia Hunt Club (Massachusetts) and then again in ’03 at Baltusrol Golf Club (New Jersey)

Anderson led after each of the first three rounds on Baltusrol’s original Old Course but was tied with fellow Scotsman Dave Brown after 72 holes. Anderson then defeated Brown, 82-84, in an 18-hole playoff.

Anderson defended his title in 1904 at Glen View Club (Illinois), shooting 72 in the final round to turn a one-shot deficit into a five-shot victory.

The U.S. Open returned to Myopia in 1905 and Anderson prevailed again. He was six back after an opening 81, but clawed to within one stroke through three rounds. He shot 77 in the final round, which was good enough for a two-stroke triumph.

The run came to an end in 1906, when Scotland’s Alex Smith won by seven shots at Onwentsia Club (Illinois). Anderson co-led after the first round but steadily slipped over the next three days to a fifth-place finish.

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