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viral in February, US Open golf champion in June

The US Open, third "major" of the golf season, had a new winner, someone who he had never won a tournament of the so-called "greats": Gary Woodland, a golfer who in February became famous for something that was not exclusively sticks. During the trainings at Waste Management Phoenix, tournament in which he defended title, he made a hole with the young golfer Amy Bockerstette, a girl with Down syndrome, a portent possessing a sports scholarship at Paradise Valley Community College; that was recorded and that went viral. So much, that it became the most shared video in the history of the Facebook page of the PGA Tour. "She inspired me," Gary repeated several times.

It is not known if it inspired him so much-perhaps it would be to fall into the easy, in the history of film-as to win him the most important title of his career, but the fact is that he got it a few months later, and in one of the scenarios most spectacular: Pebble Beach Golf Links, in California, with the Pacific Ocean in the background. It is a public course, although prohibitive because of its price, complicated and with a leaden and windy day that caused golfers to have to leave one trap after another and who lived a Nice fight between Woodland and Brooks Koepka, the winner of the past PGA Championship and who was looking for his third consecutive US Open, which would have equaled a record that is more than one hundred years old. But Woodland resisted in a final stretch of the last day of competition very exciting. Koepka was two strokes behind and one hole ahead when there were few to play. He was in the 10th and then the winner, in the 9th. The British Justin Rose was also part of the fight at that time, but he was sinking little by little. Then, he entered a roller coaster. First Koepka was placed on an impact, then gave ground with a bogey (the first in the last 36 holes he had played) and then replaced one: -11 to -10. In the middle of all that, shots from the dirty area, with tall grass, from the bunkers, from rare places due to the difficulty of the field and time. Would the "novice" stand in that situation? Go if he did: on the 14th hole, a par 5, he risked to get two hits to the green and sign a birdie that he threw for the win in the head. Not only did he keep the type, but the last hole, in which he could be conservative, closed it with a spectacular far putt, to close his card with -13, three strokes less than Koepka.

The victory was already his, and he clenched his fist and took off his cap. Born in Kansas 35 years ago, he can not deny where he is from, with his American look and the flag of his country on his sneakers. He embraced his family and received congratulations from his tough opponent. As a young man he hesitated, like many other athletes, between golf and basketball, which he was good at. "But I think I could not have earned my living with it," he repeated several times. With the sticks, yes; and also can boast of having a US Open in your resume.

Jon Rahm, meanwhile, re-signed a great tournament, and finished in the third-classified group, with a total of -7 hits. Nobody doubts that sooner or later it will be done with a "major". Sergio GarcĂ­a finished in 52 (+4), Adri Arnaus in 58 (+5) and Cabrera Bello in 65 (+6).

. (tagsToTranslate) golf tournaments

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