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Former Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland inches into contention at U.S. Open

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Gary Woodland watches his shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Gary Woodland watches his shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Friday, June 17, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) by Matt Tait

On a day when most of the remaining players at the U.S. Open shot over par, former Kansas standout Gary Woodland fired a 1-under 69 to move up the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round.

Woodland’s Saturday round, which ended with him at +1 for the tournament, was a wild ride.

After opening with three consecutive bogeys on the first three holes, the Topeka native and 2019 U.S. Open champion eagled the par-5 eighth hole to get back some of the strokes he gave away.

That led to a par on No. 9 and a 1-over 36 on the front nine.

Another bogey on No. 12 moved Woodland to 2-over for the day, but he carded birdies on three of his final five holes — including back-to-back at Nos. 16 and 17 — to move to 1-under for the day.

At the time he finished, Woodland had moved up 25 spots into a tie for 15th at The Country Club course in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was just three strokes off the lead at the time, as well.

Woodland finished the day in a tie for 11th place, five strokes behind co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick.

While U.S. Open scores tend to stay closer to par, Woodland’s strong finish on Saturday put him in position to make a run at the top on Sunday.

He’ll have to play his best round of the week — if not the year — to contend, but he’s in far better shape to make a run at the trophy now than he was when Saturday’s round started or down the stretch on Friday.

At 2-over par through the first two rounds, Woodland made the cut to advance to the weekend by a single stroke.

He'll tee off at 12:50 p.m. Sunday in the sixth-to-last group to hit the course.

Comments

W Keith Swinehart II 2 weeks ago

Difficult course. Severe penalties for errant shots. Deep and unforgiving rough. Pin placements are challenging. Woodland does well under these conditions.

Blake Brown 2 weeks ago

I met Gary while sitting at courtside seats last year and he is a good guy which makes it even easier to pull for him and wish him well.

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