He shot 69 in the sound and fury that is playing alongside Woods, tied for sixth and learned an important lesson he applied Saturday, particularly when things threatened to go bad. While others were surrounded by three or four members of their team, Woodland had just his Canadian caddie Brennan Little at his side.
"I just enjoy the pressure", Koepka explained, per the PGA Tour.
But Koepka watched his nine-foot putt slip by the cup, settling for a par to give Woodland some breathing room.
There are added benefits to winning the U.S. Open aside from the financial rewards.
"But obviously it's a lonely place out there, and this golf course, it's a little bit of a sleeping giant".
"I didn't have my best stuff today but I am really, really proud of myself the way I hung in there on the back nine", said McDowell, speaking to RTE Sport following his final round at Pebble Beach. He now has a victory in the PGA Championship and runner-up finishes in the Masters and U.S. Open.
Johnson came from four shots behind to win in 2016 at Oakmont and Webb Simpson did the same in 2012 at the Olympic Club.
Woodland played conservatively down the 18th and made one last birdie that only mattered in the record book.
Brooks Koepka brought his "A" game to Pebble Beach on Sunday, hoping it would be good enough to make history. 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.
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This year, there were numerous scores in the red starting on Thursday, which had the second-most sub-par rounds in a first round in U.S. Open history, including 477 birdies and 17 eagles.
Woodland, the Topeka native who was on the University of Kansas golf team, played aggressively on the final round at Pebble Beach, California, and beat Brooks Koepka by 3 shots.
But a bogey at the eighth, his first in 34 holes, combined with a Rose birdie cut the advantage to two. "Once that went in, it all came out of me". "I thought it had a chance to go in, but it's not one I want over".
"I am going to go there for a few days before the Irish [Open] and get my links groove going early, so by the time I get back to Portrush, I should know what I am doing".
In the last two U.S. Opens at Pebble Beach, only one player - Tiger Woods in 2000 - finished under par. But Woodland had birdie on his mind when he pulled out a 3-wood and crushed the shot over the front bunker.
A three-time victor on the PGA Tour, Woodland began smartly picking, up two birdies on his outward nine and at one point increased his advantage to four strokes. After a sizzling start to get within one of the lead, Koepka finished with six consecutive pars coming off a bogey at the par-3 12.
"It took me a lot to learn to control adrenaline", Woodland said. "You know, fortunately my wife and I happen to have a great relationship but we have people around us that can help us get through moments".
The early miscues appeared to fire up the 15-time major victor, and Woods responded with back-to-back birdies but the relief was only temporary as he gave back those two shots with bogeys at seven and 12.
Woods birdied six of his last 12 holes and was never a factor.