David Dusek and Dan Kilbridge from Golfweek explain how Pebble Beach plays what should be an exciting finale to the American Open.
Golfweek, USA TODAY & # 39; HUI NETWORK
PEBBLE BEACH, California – Nothing bothered Gary Woodland.
Not the weight to play with the lead in the third round of the US Open. Not the relentless pressure exerted by many of the best players in the game who are chasing him, especially playmate Justin Rose. Not the mix of elements that prepared a cloudy and cool day at Pebble Beach.
And it certainly helped calm the nerves when he survived three-hole adversity by collecting 11 yards to save the normal 12th, arguing for the 13th normal and making a foot of 43 feet for the normal. the 14th
Throughout a rolling four-hour roller coaster, Woodland was as sturdy as the seafront cliffs protecting Pebble Beach from the sea and will sleep again at the top of the national championship. Woodland cut a 69 under par 2 to 11 under the 54-hole total and leads Rose, who birdied the last hole.
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"I feel really comfortable with my game," said Woodland, who added that he sometimes walked more slowly and stabilized his emotions by breathing deeply at other times of the round. "The golf course is in excellent condition and I love the way it suits me, so I'm delighted to be up to my situation."
Brooks Koepka, who tries to become the second player to win the American Open three times in a row, is four points to 7 with Louis Oosthuizen and Chez Reavie. Rory McIlroy, who is looking for his first major since 2014, is sixth at 6 under.
After winning his first major title, Woodland took a 2-shot lead over the first tee and, at one point, extended his lead to four after the fourth and sixth birdies. But a bogey in the eighth, paired with a Rose birdie, cut the advantage in half. From there, Woodland did not make another boguey and added a birdie to the 11th.
"I really felt good all day," said Woodland, holder of three PGA Tour titles. "I felt really good from the start, I had a good warm-up, I felt comfortable going to the first tee, I know what it takes to win, and my game is in a fantastic location, I am on a beautiful golf course.I came here to win and that is what we will do tomorrow.
Justin Rose plays a shot under the tree on the 18th hole during the third round of the 2019 US Open. Photo: Orlando Ramirez / USA TODAY HUI Sports
Rose, the US Open champion in 2013, scored one goal more than half of the holes he had played in three sets and had just 23 shots on Saturday. He managed a 9-foot birdie on the 12th after Woodland saved, he managed a 13-foot bird after Woodland saved the pair and finished with an 11-foot birdie on the latter.
"I read the greens," Rose said. "It was a fun day. I saved a lot of passes with good shots. And Gary made two huge equal stops in the back. That's why we are at the top.
"I'm in a great position, a return gives me the freedom to feel that I have everything to gain, nothing to lose, I'm close enough to build my plan, my round of golf, disciplined."
Koepka, the world No. 1 who has won four of the last eight major tournaments and is the only player in history to hold two consecutive titles at once, is still in a position to join Willie Anderson as a single player . win the US Open in three consecutive years. Koepka kept his three towers alive with a 68 without boguey.
"I think if I can do some putts, I think I could be right there, right next to Gary," said Koepka. "It's been very tight, I'm happy to play, I'm happy to hit the ball.
"And I'm as confident as ever, it's probably the best hitting week I've ever seen Pebble greens are so small, I think I missed a green today, maybe two, I do not I do not know, if I was in the bangs or something … But to hit as many greens as I've had these past two days, hitting the ball is just where I want it. "
Woodland said every part of his game was going exactly where he wanted, including his mental state. His first encounter with a potential disaster took place at the 12th hole, when his tee shot on Normal-3, which he found perfect, proved to be very difficult. From an awkward lie – the ball was above his knees – Woodland put his chip in the back. No problem. He raised 11 yards to save the normal.
At the next hole, he saved the pair with a manual up and down in front of the green. Then on the 14th, he slipped his tee shot and found himself brutally. The lie was so thick, his club twisted just before the impact that sent his second into the rough again. From there, he could only advance the ball within 60 yards of the green. After throwing at 43 feet, he drained the putt.
At present, he has 18 holes in the major championship glory and knows he will have to maintain his form and composure to keep him together and keep the pursuers away.
"I know that if I play my game and play the way I did, the guys behind me will have to do something really, really special," said Woodland. "So, I'll go out, stay in me, follow my game plan and try to extend that lead more than anything.I do not need to change anything.It's more than enjoying the moment."