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Gary Woodland wins US Open title as Rory McIlroy's final round birdie blitz is spoiled by errors

Gary Woodland won his first major title at Pebble Beach.
Gary Woodland won his first major title at Pebble Beach.
Gary Woodland won his first major title at Pebble Beach.
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Brooks Koepka of the United States and his caddie, Richard Elliott, walks down on the ninth hole during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 16: Brooks Koepka of the United States (L) and caddie, Richard Elliott, walk up the eighth hole during the final round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 16, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland and caddie, Harry Diamond, during the third round.
Rory McIlroy is in the hunt at Pebble Beach.
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland waves to the crowd from the 17th hole during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy and caddy Harry Diamond at Pebble Beach.
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot from the 12th tee during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland plays a shot from the tenth tee during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland (R) and his caddie, Harry Diamond, wait to hit on the tenth hole during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 12: Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland signs autographs during a practice round prior to the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 12, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Jon Rahm of Spain, Marc Leishman of Australia and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland walk down the tenth fairway during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
PEBBLE BEACH, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 13: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a second shot on the tenth hole during the first round of the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links on June 13, 2019 in Pebble Beach, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Gareth Hanna

By Gareth Hanna

Gary Woodland held his nerve to win the US Open at Pebble Beach while it was another story of what could have been for Rory McIlroy on the final day of a major tournament.

American Woodland carded a one under par final round 70 to win by three shots ahead of runner-up Brooks Koepka.

The overnight leader held the advantage throughout Sunday's action but had to hold his nerve when Koepka, and Portrush caddie Ricky Elliott, briefly cut the lead to just a single shot during the back nine.

Woodland got off the perfect start, two under par through three holes. Drop shots at the ninth and the 12th were only brief signs of nerves as a tap-in birdie at the par five 14th teed up an impressive finish.

Koepka finished three shots clear of a four-way tie for third. He had made a flying start, four under through five holes, and ended the day with a three under par 68.

Rory McIlroy came in a disappointing eight shots behind the leader as his challenge all-but evaporated as early as the second hole, when he struggled to a double bogey six.

McIlroy would go on to card SIX birdies during his final round. That could have been enough to get him well in contention for the title after starting the day five shots back but another double at the 16th after three further drop shots meant the Holywood golfer could only finish in a tie for ninth.

Graeme McDowell had begun the day on four under par, seven behind Woodland, and after a disappointing three over front nine, carded three birdies on the back to finish on -3 for the week in a tie for 16th.

That was just a shot ahead of Tiger Woods, who recovered from a disastrous start, four over through six, to finish two under par for the day and the week.

Champion Woodland finished in style with a birdie from 30 feet on the 18th green.

Asked how it sounded to be called the US Open champion, Woodland said: "It sounds really, really good. I like that.

"The drive on 14 was huge and then I hit a great second shot. The idea was to play to win. I could have easily layed up but my caddie gave me a lot of confidence when he told me to hit 3-wood and that birdie kind of separated me a little bit."

 

Here's the final scores and the Sunday action as it happened:

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