Golf Expert & Columnist
US Open: Rich Beem praises Gary Woodland for his maiden major win
Last Updated: 17/06/19 9:36am
Rich Beem praises Gary Woodland for his maiden major victory and looks back at a memorable US Open at Pebble Beach.
There will be a lot of articles written in the coming days that this was not a 'true US Open', but I think they are wrong and that the USGA actually let the golf course speak for itself.
They set it up firm and fast, but it was fair and the rough was still up like you would normally expect to see. Anybody who has played the game at the highest level and has played this golf course knows just how tight the greens at Pebble Beach are to find.
The fact is the wind never produced to affect these players and the sun never came out to bake the greens out more. It was like playing inside of a dome at times this week and the scoring would be low on any golf course in those conditions.
There were so many great storylines over this year's US Open, but Gary Woodland winning, for me, was the best story that could have happened during that final day.
He went out and out-performed the rest of the field, despite a phenomenal effort from Brooks Koepka on Sunday. That was such an awesome performance from Woodland, especially with so much pressure on him.
After shooting a 65 on Friday you always feel like some players are going to back up a little bit over the weekend. That may have happened to Woodland in the past, but that never seemed like being the case this time around.
As an announcer you sometimes feel a hint of jealousy when you see a player win a tournament, but today I was so proud of what Woodland did to register his maiden major and I could not be happier for him.
Woodland would have started to feel like his game was falling apart a little bit after hitting tee shots right on 11, 12 and 13, only to reassert himself with his approach into 13 and then those two super shots on the par-five next.
That stretch showed the world exactly what he's made of and then he played 15 and 16 exactly how you should do in that situation. The tee shot at the par-three 17th could be put down to nerves, but then to hit that chip shot with all those thoughts going through his head was mind-blowingly good!
There were so many things that could have gone wrong with that second shot, but the fact he was able to hit that to two-and-a-half feet and make the putt was just absurd!
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He is a different class golfer now to what he was a few seasons ago and I think that can be put down to all the hard work he has been putting into his game over recent years.