Jayhawk fans celebrate super Sunday for Gary Woodland

Arnold Nichols
February 8, 2018

Fan favourite Rickie Fowler held the 54-hole lead on Saturday night but was overtaken by a host of players including eventual victor Gary Woodland on Sunday. I thought it would just be her.

Mickelson birdie three consecutive holes to reach the par-5 18th hole two shots behind Woodland, who had completed his round and headed for the practice range in preparation for a potential playoff.

Woodland is a bomber, who continues to work with Harmon, but has been focusing on his short game with another popular instructor, Pete Cowen.

"For him to be here, it's obviously a miracle", Woodland said.

Matt Kuchar, who hung around to congratulate Woodland after the victory, said he played nine holes with Woodland on Tuesday before the start of the WMPO and was wowed. "I'm just so excited to share this with him and my family". "And sure enough today it all clicked and I made some putts early, gave me some confidence and really hit the ball well coming down the stretch". "That was the struggle past year". After making pars at 15 and 16, he eagled the par-4 17th hole (3-wood tee shot to four feet) and birdied 18, too, for a 66 to finish 11-under.

"Yeah, that was just kind of a tribute to previous year", he said of 2017, when Jaxson was born a month premature in June after his twin sister was lost in a miscarriage.

Woodland and his wife were expecting twins past year when - in March - health complications led to the loss of one child.

"I feel like I can make a lot of putts and I haven't felt that way in a long time", Woodland said.

Although he didn't win, the result was Schniederjans' best since a solo second at the Wyndham Championship last August, and he has been inside the top 25 in five of seven starts this season. Mickelson birdied holes 15-17 late to get back into contention, but he double-bogeyed the 18th after a poor drive.

"Just wanted her to know I still love her", Woodland said of the tribute.

"I was in the zone", he said. After a bogey on the par-3 16th, he chipped to 3 feet for birdie on the par-4 17th. "I really had it going".

Woodland, 33, won his first tournament at the age of 26, his second at 28.

Woodland drove into sand on their return to the 18th but made a safe two putt par from the front edge as Reavie missed the green and failed with an 11 footer to stay alive. The victor chipped in from 30 feet to save par at the sixth hole and took just 26 putts Sunday, one day after he needed just 27 in the third round. They played in the final group with Reavie. "I've seen it coming for awhile", he said.

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