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Woodland says demands on his time will be hard to manage

 

Popular guy: Gary Woodland won the US Open this month
Popular guy: Gary Woodland won the US Open this month

By Phil Casey

Gary Woodland admits he will find it hard not being a nice guy all the time as he copes with the demands on his time after winning the US Open.

Woodland returns to action for the first time since his triumph at Pebble Beach in this week's Rocket Mortgage Classic, the first PGA Tour event to be staged inside Detroit's city limits.

Double Masters champion Bubba Watson is among the players to have advised Woodland that he will have to learn to say "no" to some of the extra demands on his time which comes with his newly-elevated status, something the world number 12 may struggle with.

"Management of my time is the biggest deal," Woodland said. "You've still got to find a way to prepare. You've still got to take time to do your obligations, but I've got to find time for myself as well.

"I'll rely heavily on my agent (Mark Steinberg) going forward and fortunately my caddie as well (Brennan Little) was on the bag when Mike Weir won the Masters so he's texted me some expectations and I've had guys reach out to me that have won majors in the past.

"You try to be a nice guy but sometimes you gotta find a way to say no. That's easier said than done for me sometimes so hopefully I'll make Steinberg the bad guy."

Woodland admits he was caught by surprise to be announced as the US Open champion during Wednesday's pro-am at Detroit Golf Club, but insists he will not be resting on his laurels for the rest of the season.

"I hadn't seen the 10th hole, I was thinking about what kind of shot I had and you hear '2019 US Open champion' - I tell you that doesn't get old, I love hearing it," the 35-year-old added.

"But playing this week, the guys out here don't care. They're out here this week, they want to win and it's time to move on. During the off-weeks I'll be able to enjoy it but out here I'm trying to focus on this week."

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