If you’ve got something you’re looking forward to at the end of the month and want to kill time until it gets here, just hop on Twitter, type the name Gary Woodland — or his handle @GaryWoodland — into the search field and let your reading, scrolling and smiling take care of the rest.
In the wake of Woodland’s magnificent showing this weekend at Pebble Beach, where he became the winner of the 119th U.S. Open and the first KU golfer to win a major title, Twitter was full of literally thousands of messages about the Jayhawk’s big weekend.
From messages directly to Woodland from adoring fans to promotions from various courses and companies, messages of congratulations from all over the world and highlights of his final round, that simple search has everything you need to relive what can only be described as one of the biggest moments in the history of Kansas golf.
As I scrolled through hundreds of tweets and read all kinds of recaps of Woodland’s big day, I couldn’t help but be tickled by some of the more memorable tweets that came across my screen.
I surely missed some good ones and there are probably still more to come in the next few hours, days, weeks, months and years.
But these, at least for my money, were 10 of the coolest tweets I saw that were posted in the aftermath of Woodland’s U.S. Open victory.
Put your politics aside for a second on this one and take a minute to digest the fact that the President of the United States of America made sure to tip his cap to Woodland for winning what amounts to golf’s national title.
I don’t care who you voted for or how you feel, that’s a pretty cool moment and is just another way of illustrating just how big of a deal Woodland’s victory really was.
Here’s one for the other side of the aisle. New Kansas governor Laura Kelly, who handles her business of running the Sunflower State in Woodland’s hometown, took time out of her busy day to honor Woodland’s accomplishment, as well.
If you don’t know the story about Gary Woodland and his good friend Amy Bockerstette, this might not make a ton of sense.
But do yourself a favor and watch this video and then you’ll understand not only why this tweet from Amy was so cool but also why so many people are such big fans of Woodland.
This one made the rounds on KU Twitter a lot last night and it deserves to be included in this recap because it cuts to the core of what Woodland is all about.
More than just a great golfer and a great athlete, Woodland is a great person. He’s a friend to everyone, walks with genuine kindness and compassion in his heart and is proud of where he came from and does everything he can to support KU, Kansas, Topeka and those he loves.
Van Pelt nailed it here and the rest of the world is starting to figure it out, too.
That’s what’s so cool about the platform that comes to those who win at this level. Woodland now has an opportunity to show these traits to the entire world and there’s little doubt that he’ll take full advantage of it.
I included this one because it’s such a great graphic that perfectly captures the entirety of Woodland’s personality.
Steady, stoic, confident, explosive. It’s all there. And it’s an image that will be seen and saved by thousands of Kansans and Woodland fans for years to come.
There were literally dozens of congratulatory messages from Woodland’s fellow PGA Tour competitors, but this one jumped out to me the most because Rose had a front row seat for all of it and could not have been more gracious in defeat.
Remember, it was Rose who led after Round 1 and Rose who closed Round 3 with a birdie to pull within one shot of Woodland and the lead heading into the final round.
Sure, he has won a major before, but these guys never get tired of chasing them and there’s little doubt that Rose was incredibly disappointed by how his Sunday round played out.
To be able to let that go and recognize what a cool moment it was for the guy who beat you is all class.
I also love this one because Rose chose to include the fist bump he gave Woodland after his magnificent chip on 17 that pretty much wrapped up the championship.
I absolutely love this one. The Shawnee Heights High School Twitter account retweeted quite a few Woodland tweets on Sunday, but this one from the Kansas State High School Activities Association actually included a picture of Woodland in his Shawnee Heights hoops uniform.
He’s No. 23 on the bottom left, in case you can’t find him.
And this tweet, better than any of these others, fully captures just how incredible Woodland’s story — from start to finish — truly is and why it means so much to so many people in the state of Kansas.
Figured we might as well mix one in for the tens of thousands of KU basketball fans who frequent this site.
Not only is this tweet one of those blast-from-the-past moments, but it also shows just how legit Woodland was as a basketball player and what type of athlete he was when this whole thing began.
He can still hit jumpers with the best of them. He’s just much, much better at hitting a golf ball these days.
I liked this one because of the picturesque scene it captured, but also because it’s from a freakin’ blimp.
And by blimp, we’re talking one of the most legendary things in all of sports. That thing has flown over hundreds, if not thousands, of the biggest sporting events known to man.
It’s been immortalized in an Ice Cube song. And now there it is tweeting a message of congrats to Woodland.
The billions of Woodland-inspired tweets — in more than half a dozen different languages — were all cool. And I hope Woodland has time to sit down and sift through every last one of them. But how cool is this one?
It seemed only fitting to end this thing with a quick message from the champ himself.
This short video was posted by @WilsonGolf one of Woodland’s many, incredibly pumped and proud sponsors.
If you've been paying any kind of attention at all during the past 5 or so years, you surely know by now that former Kansas golfer Gary Woodland currently is one of the best players in the world and that he also was a heck of a basketball player back at Washburn before transferring to KU.
But there's so much more to Woodland, one of Kansas basketball's most famous fans, than monster tee shots, birdie putts and pristine scorecards.
This week, the PGA Tour captured some of that magic from the player currently ranked 3rd in the FedEx Cup standings in a short video posted on the PGA web site and on Twitter. And Woodland did not even have to pick up a club to make it all happen.
The moment took place in Phoenix at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where Woodland and fellow pro Matt Kuchar welcomed "Amy" to join them on the famed 16th hole for a little fun and the memory of a lifetime.
The rest is in the video, which currently has 1.86 million views and counting, and is a wonderful look at how golf can bring together people from all walks of life.
The lights came on around Thanksgiving (if not sooner) and will stay up for another couple of weeks, but after the usual build-up and anticipation, Christmas has come and gone.
Just like that, weeks worth of picking, purchasing and wrapping presents is now a thing of the past – at least for another 300-plus days.
I hope those of you who celebrate the holiday had a wonderful day with friends, family and loved ones and that, sprinkled in there among the gifts, goodies and overeating, you had an opportunity to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
My moment came in the form of a gift from my aunt, who, in honor of my late uncle (who passed away one year ago) paid off the layaway bill for several families in the Denver area. She then wrote a letter to each of us in the family and explained that the families had been taken care of in our honor and through my uncle's inspiration. He once did that for her gift, years ago, and she always said it was one of her favorites.
I now know why.
Anyway, in keeping with the theme of great gifts, here's a quick look back at the top 10 moments given to Jayhawk fans during 2013.
Enjoy! And, once again, Happy Holidays!
1. Women's track and field brings home a national championship — There are tons of good things on this list and most of them drew a lot more attention than this, but it'll be hard to argue with putting this No. 1 because hanging banners is what it's all about. The women's track team, which was loaded with talented athletes and wonderful people, dominated in Oregon last spring and brought home a trophy that inspired a billboard on I-70. Big-time stuff.
2. Andrew Wiggins picks Kansas — Recruiting is no joke around these parts and the day of Wiggins' announcement was full of the usual bag of mixed emotions. Many feared he would pick Florida State, North Carolina or Kentucky. Others were certain he was Kansas-bound. When the time came for Wiggins' announcement, he told a gym full of supporters in Huntington, W.Va., that he would play his one season of college hoops in Kansas. It's been a Beatles-esque run of Wiggins-mania since then and the 6-foot-8, 200-pound Canadian forward currently leads the Jayhawks in scoring at 15.5 points per game. Wiggins was merely the headliner of a class that included Joel Embiid, Wayne Selden, Brannen Greene, Conner Frankamp and Frank Mason. It also should be pointed out that the recruiting crazies went nuts again in November, when top-five big man Cliff Alexander picked Kansas.
3. Make it 9 straight Big 12 titles for Bill Self — The unprecedented streak of consecutive Big 12 regular season titles continued in 2013, as Self's Jayhawks held off serious charges from Oklahoma State and Kansas State to win it again. Just in case anyone disputed whether the Jayhawks were really the champs, KU went ahead and won the Big 12 conference tournament title, too, dispatching K-State for the third time in the semifinals to put the icing on the cake.
4. KU football snaps conference losing streak — After 27 consecutive losses in Big 12 play, a streak that dated back to the 2010 season, the KU football team finally broke through with a dominating, 31-19 victory over West Virginia at Memorial Stadium in November. The victory set off a wild celebration on the field between the players and the fans in the stands and, as is customary with big wins, the students ripped down the goal posts and sent them swimming in Potter Lake.
5. KU volleyball makes 1st ever Sweet 16 — Inpsired by the disappointment of getting so close and coming up short last season, a senior-heavy KU volleyball team finished second in the Big 12 Conference for the first time ever and followed that up by winning first- and second-round matches at Allen Fieldhouse to advance to the Sweet 16 in Los Angeles. Although the run ended there, this team, which featured All-American Caroline Jarmoc, Big 12 setter of the year Erin McNorton and Big 12 coach of the year Ray Bechard (who won the honor for the second year in a row), will likely be remembered for a long, long time over at Horejsi Family Athletics Center.
6. Sweet 16 times 2 for KU hoops — For the second year in a row, the Kansas basketball programs each reached the Sweet 16, with the men falling to Michigan in a heartbreaker and the women getting back to the Sweet 16 for a second time after being one of the last at-large teams put into the tourney field.
7. Another No. 1 seed for the KU men — Despite their shocking loss to Michigan, the men achieved a heck of an accomplishment at the Big Dance's outset when they earned a No. 1 seed for the 11th time in school history and the fifth time in 10 seasons under Bill Self.
8. Tier-3 TV deal puts KU in more homes — Although it produced some anger locally, KU's partnerships with Time Warner Cable and ESPN3 brought to homes across the country 70 live KU events, more than 600 hours of shoulder programming and several pre- and post-game shows highlight KU sports. “This is the backbone of providing Jayhawk fans with access to all of our sports in a way that they've never experienced before,” athletic director Sheahon Zenger said of the deal.
9. KU football lands more transfers — In May it was Nick Harwell, the all-time leading receiver in Miami (Ohio) history who said yes to KU coach Charlie Weis. And just last week it was Florida tight end Kent Taylor. Weis' experience and coaching pedigree continue to attract big-time talent and, although the ones who have made their way to Lawrence thus far have not been stars, it might just be a matter of time before a few of them pan out.
10. Professional Jayhawks continue to make noise — Whether it's Gary Woodland on the PGA Tour, Chris Harris with the Denver Broncos or a record number of former KU basketball players in the NBA, 2013 was a good year for Jayhawks on the professional map. Woodland won a tournament title again, Harris is a key part of a defense on a team with the best record in the NFL and others like Ben McLemore (Sacramento Kings), Aqib Talib (New England Patriots), Darrell Stuckey (San Diego Chargers), Xavier Henry (Los Angeles Lakers) and many, many more are doing their part to represent their school well at the highest levels.