How good is it to be US Open winner Gary Woodland? When the 35-year-old won his first major championship on Sunday at Pebble Beach, he not only got a trophy, but a whole lot of perks along with it.
The first was the prize money, which was increased this year by the USGA after players complained. It is now the highest payout of the four majors. Woodland won $2.16 million, while Woods earned $2.07 million by capturing the Masters. Brooks Koepka got $1.98 million at this year’s PGA Championship. The last major, the Open Championship in July will dole out $1.89 million to the winner.
A U.S. Open win gives you a 10-year exemption into the U.S. Open, a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour, and a five-year exemption into the Masters, Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. He also should catapult from No. 25 in the Official World Golf Rankings to the Top 10. The last perk is his entry into the Tournament of Champions in Maui to begin the year.
That part hadn’t sunk in yet for Woodland. He told reporters he had more relief than nerves.
“I’ve worked hard my whole life,” Woodland said. “I’ve been surrounded by amazing people and I always just wanted to be successful. I didn’t know what it was, what I was going to do. I fell in love with golf, and it’s transcended to today. And it all kind of came out of me. I never kind of let myself get ahead, just told myself it’s never over, and when the last putt went in, it all came out. I was more nervous afterwards than I was at all today. I’m glad it’s over with.”
Koepka Just Misses Three-Peat
The odds were 5/1 going into the final round that Brooks Koepka would overcome a four-stroke deficit, and win his third consecutive US Open. He came within a stroke of Woodland, but could never catch him.
Koepka said afterwards that Woodland was just too tough.
“I played great. Nothing I could do. Gary played a great four days,” Koepka said. “That’s what you’ve got to do if you want to win a U.S. Open, win a major championship and hats off to him. Cool way to go out on 18, to make that bomb. He deserves it, he’s worked hard and I’m happy for him.”
While he is disappointed he wasn’t the second person to win three-straight US Open tournaments, Koepka said it wasn’t the end of the world.
“It doesn’t sting. I played great. Nothing I could do,” Koepka said. “I gave it my all. I give it my all every time and sometimes, like this week — it happened at Augusta — it’s not meant to be. I played great. I hit every shot that I wanted to. And sometimes no matter how good your good is it isn’t there.”
Prop Bets Payouts
There were several proposition wagers that paid off big for gamblers savvy enough to make them before the tournament.
A winning margin of two strokes were pretty safe until Woodland drained a 30-foot putt on the final hole to win by three. That margin paid off at +450, as opposed to +400 for a two-shot victory.
The one prop that didn’t seem in doubt was the over/under on the winning score. The line was set at 280.5, and Woodland finished at 271, well within the under.