Brooks Koepka's win at the 2017 U.S. Open triggered a dominating run for him and American golfers at majors, and Gary Woodland's first major title at Pebble Beach on Sunday puts Americans one win from their first Grand Slam sweep in nearly four decades.
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 twice looked as though he were about to lose two shots or more of his lead until chipping in from 35 feet on the par-3 12th hole, and holing a par putt from just over 40 feet on the par-5 14th. He then held onto the lead after Saturday's round three.
Jack Nicklaus tweeted that the pitch "took a lot of guts".
"When I started to transition into golf, the short game was what was really bad, to be honest", Woodland said.
"What I was pleased about was the tougher the shot, the better I seemed to play, and I'll gain a bit of confidence from that tomorrow", Rose said.
"I thought, 'Yeah, we've got a ballgame now"'. "Fortunately I did have that shot earlier in the week".
That's just bananas, as I live off hot coffee and I'm about to go get another one.
Woodland's enthusiastic response to Bockerstette - he called it his most exciting moment on a golf course - was part of the video that went viral, and the Bockerstette family were among those pulling for him on Sunday.
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That is exactly how Sunday played out for Woodland.
As Woodland made the turn with a two-shot lead, faint cracks in his composure began to show as Koepka trimmed the advantage to one with a birdie at 11.
"I don't take many days off", he said.
There are eight golf courses at Pebble Beach, the most famous being Pebble Beach Golf Links but it also includes Spanish Bay, Spyglass and Poppy Hills - all public.
Woodland's key shot on Sunday came on the par three 17th. "And so my whole deal was, I had to hit chips off putting greens all the time, and there were some times where superintendents weren't a huge fan of me".
"I'm getting closer for sure and I'm getting hungrier, and I'm determined".
Even playing partner Justin Rose, his own hopes ended by a trio of back-nine bogeys, gave him a little fist bump after that one. Woods had a 71 and was 11 shots behind. Also like Koepka, history will have the final say in that. Seventeen birdies against four bogeys was how the log book read.
Tiger Woods, a regular on the Forbes list of sport's highest earners, would have no problem getting a round in at Pebble but the 15-time major victor said that was not always the case. He went through a 34-hole bogey free stretch at one stage and on the final day, his pars were more impressive than many of his birdies. "To go out in style like that is pretty cool".
Others who finished near the top of the leaderboard included Justin Rose in a four-way tie for third, as well as Adam Scott and Louis Oosthuizen in a tie for seventh place.