Gary Woodland has been incredibly clutch throughout Saturday, as the 36-hole leader has maintained his lead the entire day. The highlight of his day, though, came at an especially perilous time—when he needed something positive to happen. And it did.
Woodland's tee shot at the tough par-3 12th hole found the wispy long grass just at the edge of the bunker in front of the green. It looked like bogey might even be a good score—Woodland had to stand in the bunker, with the ball way above his feet, and the thick, tall grass in front of his ball.
He managed to hack one out, even though he kind of drop-kick, shanked one just barely off the green. Here's a look at his second shot:
His third shot is the shot of the tournament thus far.
If Woodland goes onto win the U.S. Open, he'll have that par save to thank. And not only did he avoid dropping a shot at the 12th hole, but he also prevented Justin Rose from picking up to shots, as J-Rose birdied.
Woodland maintained a two-shot lead for the moment with that clutch chip-in—and that'll be one we'll remember, particularly if Woodland keeps up this stellar play and contends for his first major title. The Kansas native leads the field in scrambling this week, part of the reason why he's in the lead—and the 12th hole was Exhibit A for his short-game touch on Saturday.
UPDATE: Woodland added ANOTHER insane par—this at the par-5 14th hole after finding trouble on his tee shot and his second shot—proving his scrambling is at a world-class level right now. Here's the ultra-impressive putt he made to avoid making just his third bogey of the WEEK at Pebble Beach.