Four months after personal tragedy made him withdraw from his match with Rory McIlroy in the World Golf Championship Match Play tournament, Gary Woodland will walk 18 holes today with McIIroy in the third round of the British Open at Royal Birkdale.
Woodland earned that honor by battling wind and rain better than most of the rest of the field in Friday’s second round. He carded a 1-under par 69 and is tied for sixth at 1-under, five shots behind leader Jordan Spieth.
Woodland is tied with Richard Bland, Austin Connelly and McIlroy.
Woodland had to scratch from his March match with McIlroy when pregnant wife Gabby lost one of their twins. The couple welcomed their first child, son Jaxon, into the world last month.
This is Woodland’s second tournament as a father. The highlight of his Friday round came on No. 5 when holed out his approach shot for an eagle. He followed that by making bogey on his next two holes, and made birdies on 10 and 15 and carded a bogey on 13. Woodland and McIlroy tee off at 9:25 a.m. Central time.