Former Kansas golf standout Gary Woodland inches into contention at U.S. Open
On a day when most of the remaining players at the U.S. Open shot over par, former Kansas standout Gary Woodland fired a 1-under 69 to move up the leaderboard heading into Sunday’s final round.
Woodland’s Saturday round, which ended with him at +1 for the tournament, was a wild ride.
After opening with three consecutive bogeys on the first three holes, the Topeka native and 2019 U.S. Open champion eagled the par-5 eighth hole to get back some of the strokes he gave away.
That led to a par on No. 9 and a 1-over 36 on the front nine.
Another bogey on No. 12 moved Woodland to 2-over for the day, but he carded birdies on three of his final five holes — including back-to-back at Nos. 16 and 17 — to move to 1-under for the day.
At the time he finished, Woodland had moved up 25 spots into a tie for 15th at The Country Club course in Brookline, Massachusetts. He was just three strokes off the lead at the time, as well.
Woodland finished the day in a tie for 11th place, five strokes behind co-leaders Will Zalatoris and Matt Fitzpatrick.
While U.S. Open scores tend to stay closer to par, Woodland’s strong finish on Saturday put him in position to make a run at the top on Sunday.
He’ll have to play his best round of the week — if not the year — to contend, but he’s in far better shape to make a run at the trophy now than he was when Saturday’s round started or down the stretch on Friday.
At 2-over par through the first two rounds, Woodland made the cut to advance to the weekend by a single stroke.
He'll tee off at 12:50 p.m. Sunday in the sixth-to-last group to hit the course.