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Sunday, May 19, 2019

Former Jayhawk Gary Woodland shoots best round of the day to crack Top 10 at PGA Championship

Gary Woodland watches a shot during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament, Friday, May 17, 2019, at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

Gary Woodland watches a shot during the second round of the PGA Championship golf tournament, Friday, May 17, 2019, at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y.

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Nobody shot a better final round at the 2019 PGA Championship than former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland on Sunday.

And as a result, the former Jayhawk and Topeka native carded his second ever Top 10 finish at one of golf’s major tournaments.

Woodland, who finished at +1 for the four-round tournament at Bethpage Black in Farmingdale, N.Y., shot a two-under-par 68 on Sunday to move up from 39th into a tie for 8th.

The difference in terms of prize money was more than $200,000 and Woodland’s 8th-place finish netted him a total prize of $266,062.

Beau Hossler, who finished tied for 36th at +6 for the tournament, was the only other golfer in the 82-man field to shoot 2-under par on Sunday.

In all, only 11 players finished under par during the final round on a tough-weather day at Bethpage.

Winner Brooks Koepka, who brought home $1.98 million after winning his second consecutive PGA Championship, shot +4 in the final round to finish at -8 for the tournament, winning by two shots over runner-up Dustin Johnson, one of the nine other players to shoot 1-under on Sunday.

Woodland’s final round was indicative of the tough conditions on Sunday.

He birdied four holes on the front nine but also carded bogeys at No. 7 and No. 9 and a double-bogey at the Par-3 third hole to finish with an even-par 35 on the front nine.

After bogeying No. 11 to move to +1 for the day, Woodland birdied four of the next five holes before parring the final two to fire a 33 on the back nine and a 68 for the round.

Woodland’s 8th-place finish was his seventh Top 10 of the season, in 16 starts, and the 36th of his PGA Tour career.

Woodland finished in a tie for 32nd at The Masters last month and has two more cracks this season — the U.S. Open, June 13-16 at Pebble Beach, and the British Open, July 18-21, at Dunluce Course in Northern Ireland — at chasing down his first major championship.

The former KU standout who has three career PGA Tour victories to his name, entered the week ranked No. 9 in the FedEx Cup standings and moved up to No. 8 after his strong finish on Sunday.

Fellow Jayhawk Ryan Vermeer, the 41-year-old PGA Director of Instruction at Happy Hollow Club in Omaha, Neb., shot a 79 on Sunday to finish +15 for the tournament in a tie for 80th place.

Comments

David Kelley-Wood 6 months, 3 weeks ago

The thing about the round that was most impressive to me, and most encouraging looking forward, was the eight birdies. Sure, there were some offsets, but to have any shot at winning tournaments (most of them, anyway), a player has to be able to sprinkle in one or two hot rounds.

W Keith Swinehart II 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Quietly and unassumingly Gary Woodland has become one of the world's top golfers. He's worked hard and it's paying off. He just needs a few more headlines.

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