Gary Woodland turned in back-to-back stellar rounds at the PGA Championship to go into the weekend with a one-shot lead over Kevin Kisner. Woodland followed up Thursday’s 64 with a 66 on Friday to post a -10 cumulative score at Bellerive Golf Course.
Woodland, 34, has never won a major championship. His best finish was T-12 in both the 2016 Open Championship and 2011 PGA Championship.
Woodland is currently ranked 44th in the Official World Golf Rankings. If Woodland can go wire-to-wire and win his first major, his ranking would certainly go up. He also currently sits at 22 on the Ryder Cup points list. While he won’t be able to vault himself into the top 8 to automatically qualify for the historic event, a win at the PGA Championship could make captain Jim Furyk think hard about selecting Woodland as a captain’s pick.
Here’s what you need to know about Gary Woodland:
1. Woodland Has Won Three Times on the PGA Tour
GettyGary Woodland hoists the trophy at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open
Woodland turned professional in 2007, starting his career on the Nationwide Tour (now known as the Web.com Tour). By the end of 2008, he earned his tour card through Qualifying School, though he struggled for the next couple of years as he battled injuries and split his time between both tours.
By 2011, Woodland’s game came together rather nicely. He lost in a playoff at the Bob Hope Classic at the start of the season. Not deterred by just missing out on his first PGA victory, two months later Woodland won the Transitions Championship, defeating Webb Simpson by one stroke.
Woodland has hovered around leaderboards ever since. In 2013, Woodland won the Reno-Tahoe Open for his second PGA Tour victory.
Earlier this year, he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in a playoff over Chez Reavie to notch his third PGA Tour win. After the win, Woodland shot up to 25th in the World Rankings, the highest spot he’s ever held.
Fans of match play may remember his match with Rory McIlroy for the 2015 WGC-Cadillac Match Play Championship. Although Woodland lost, he further proved he was capable of going toe-to-toe with the very best in the game.
2. Woodland Hasn’t had Much Luck in Major Championships Throughout His Career
GettyWoodland lining up a putt during the third round of the 2018 U.S. Open
Since 2009, Woodland has played in 28 major championships, all four of them at least six times. He’s missed the cut eight times and finished 50th or worse in six majors. He has one top-25 in the Masters, U.S. Open, and Open Championship, and two top-25 finishes in the PGA Championship.
Despite his spotty history in golf’s most prestigious events, Woodland feels confident at Bellerive.
After his first round, Woodland said, “This week is as close to home as I’ve been. I snuck over here about a month ago and played the golf course. Really enjoyed the layout. The turf is very familiar to me. It’s so hot here during the summer, so the …read more