Winners and losers from the US Open as Gary Woodland and Brooks Koepka shine

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Gary Woodland claimed a remarkable first major title with a commanding victory at Pebble Beach on Sunday.

The American carded a closing 69 to finish three shots clear of Brooks Koepka to claim victory at the US Open, the year’s third major.

Here, we look at the winners and losers from California.

GARY WOODLAND
Finished: Winner

The 35-year-old from Kansas withstood the stubborn challenge of Kopeka to seal a maiden major triumph.

He didn’t panic when Koepka started to fire early on Sunday, and he simply answered any doubts about his resilience and consistency, firing birdies on two of the first three holes.

While some drives began to tail away from the intended target on the 12th and 13th, he used his short game to push himself back into formidable positions, most notably on the 14th and 17th.

His overall performance was outstanding, and his birdie on the 18th to get to 13-under and beat Tiger Woods’ commanding 2000 score by one shot was top class.

BROOKS KOEPKA
Finished: Runner-up

While the Florida man failed to win his third successive US Open title, he proved his brilliance all weekend, staying in the hunt for large spells before producing an iron-like performance on the final day.

Despite applying the pressure on Woodland, his final round 69, which included five birdies and two bogeys, wasn’t enough.

Winning three US Open titles would have been one of the great stories in golf, but he didn’t quite do it.

However, two wins and two runner-up finishes in his last four major events is spectacular all the same.

JON RAHM
Finished: T3

The likes of Xander Schauffele and Chez Reavie were also in contention for this pick, but Rahm shades it.

The Spaniard glided around the course with aplomb, shooting rounds of 69-70-70-68 to finish on seven-under par in a tie for third place and for his best finish at a major yet.

Building on his stunning 2018 campaign, the only way is up for the Barrika native, with crisp driving and consistent putting at the heart of what is an exciting and ferocious game plan.

It’s only a matter of time before Rahm clinches a first major.

LOSERS

JUSTIN ROSE
Finished: T3

There’s no doubt Rose had a solid weekend. It was his best finish at the US Open since winning in 2013, but the downside is that he had chances to put Woodland under pressure and didn’t deliver.

One shot back on Sunday, the Englishman couldn’t get his putter firing and struggled to a three-over 75, six strokes behind Woodland in a tie for third.

He suffered back-to-back bogeys on the 12th and 13th, whereas one other bogey on the 15th added salt to his wounds and punctured his overall ability to contend.

Back to the drawing board it will be and, with a T2 finish at last year’s Open Championship, Rose will be hoping for an improved display when he arrives at Royal Portrush for the final major of the year next month.

TIGER WOODS
Finished: T21

The 15-time major winner fired 15 birdies over the four rounds, just two less than eventual winner Woodland, but the significant problem in his performance was that he fired 11 bogeys and one double.

In previous events, his two-under 282 would have been enough to contend at the top of the leadeboard (would have won in 2018 and been enough for second in 2016). But, at Pebble, low scores were more frequent.

The 43-year-old has the vast array of skills to stay in the mix on any given week, but bad moments curtailed his chance at a fourth US Open title.

RORY MCILROY
Finished: T9

The Northern Irishman’s tilt at a fifth major wilted away by the third tee on Sunday.

Five shots off Woodland entering the final round, McIlroy knew a fast start was crucial. However, a bogey on the second left him low on confidence, perhaps knowing his quest for a second US Open title would have to wait for another year.

He did manage three birides on the front nine, but a double and two other bogeys left him well out of contention, and he finished eight shots back from Woodland on five-under par.

While his T9 finish isn’t bad by any means, inconsistencies kept McIlroy from being a menace to the likes of Woodland and Koepka.

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