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British Open 2019: It doesn't sound like Irish golf fans recognize the U.S. Open champ

July 16, 2019

Ross Kinnaird

There is a reputation, perpetuated by Old World writers, that European golf fans are more knowledgeable than their American counterparts. Given the cascade of "MASHED POTATOES" and "BABA BOOEY" shouts at your average PGA Tour event, that argument might have merit.

But it's a conversation that's lost some luster if this Gary Woodland tale is believed.

Woodland, you might recall, held off a charging Brooks Koepka at Pebble Beach last month to capture the U.S. Open. Winning any major is supposed to bestow fame and riches, especially so at an esteemed venue like Pebble. That sentiment has apparently not made its way to the other side of the Atlantic.

Speaking with the media at Royal Portrush on Tuesday, Woodland, 35, was asked if his recent win has elevated his profile to the average fan. At least in Northern Ireland, that answer is ... not really.

"[Matt Kuchar] and I went to breakfast yesterday. And I took about 20 pictures for him," Woodland said. "Nobody knew who I was; they all knew who he was. He loved every second of that, I can tell you."

To be fair, Woodland's not exactly a household name in the States, either, and he did remark that he's getting recognized "probably more than it would have been maybe a couple of months ago."

Still, in the parlance of Portrush, most knowledgable fans, me arse.