Golf Analyst: Gary Woodland "Deserved The W"

Woodland's long game has always been "upper-echelon," Peter Kostis says, but his short game at Pebble Beach was brilliant

Taz and the Moose
June 17, 2019 - 10:34 am
Gary Woodland U.S. Open

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Gary Woodland held off Brooks Koepka at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach this past weekend to capture his first major championship. Woodland shot a 69 on Sunday and finished 13-under-271, besting Koepka – the two-time defending U.S. Open champ – by three strokes.

“I’ve known Gary for a long time, and first of all, I couldn’t be happier for anybody to win their first major than Gary,” CBS Sports golf analyst Peter Kostis said on Taz & The Moose. “What he and his wife have gone through with their kids and stuff, he is a phenomenal human being. I’m not really surprised at him being able to keep his composure. What’s always been his weak link has been his short game and putting. It’s let him down. His ball-striking has always been upper-echelon. I was really interested to see how his short game and putting would hold up over the weekend, and he did brilliantly. He deserved the W.”

Kostis called Woodland a “new breed of golfer.” The former college basketball player didn’t truly take up the sport until after high school.

“That is hugely late for golf,” Kostis said. “Most people will pick it up at 8, 10, 12 years old and stay with it. So he is the prototypical athlete from other sports who are gravitating towards golf. There’s fewer concussions, fewer cross-checks, it’s a sport you can play for 30, 40 years completely – he is a tremendous athlete who decided, like Brooks Koepka, to take up golf.”

Koepka, meanwhile, fell short in his bid to join Willie Anderson as the only player to ever win three straight U.S. Open titles. Anderson accomplished that feat in 1903-05.

Koepka has won four majors since 2017 and this season has finished runner-up at the Masters and U.S. Open. Yet, he still doesn’t garner the buzz he deserves.

Why?

“Brooks is kind of withdrawn, a little shy,” Kostis said. “I think he’s a great guy. I get along with him well. But he was never in the picture with the golf world, the media in the golf world, but now you’ve got to put him there. He is doing stuff that Tiger did, frankly. He is right there every single major championship. He is first-class, no question about it.”

Click below to listen to Kostis’ interview in its entirety.