PEBBLE BEACH — "This golf course is a bit more fun and shows its teeth with wind," Rickie Fowler said of Pebble Beach on Thursday. Those trailing 36-hole leader Gary Woodland at the 2019 U.S. Open are probably rooting for the gust gods to show up this weekend, but so should golf fans. Because you know what's really fun? Watching Gary Woodland hit shots in the wind.
To the casual followers of the PGA Tour, Woodland is primarily known for his tremendous power. One of the game's best athletes (get ready to hear he played college basketball almost as much as the phrase "marine layer" during Fox's weekend coverage), his length has been his greatest asset during his three victories. But he leads the tour in a (very) unofficial stat as well: filthy stingers.
That's right, Woodland has more than mastered the shot made famous by Tiger Woods, a low missile that cheats the wind and does much of its damage by running along the ground. Here's a collection of such shots:
And here's an incredible stinger approach that Woodland pulled off at the Sony Open earlier this season:
Wow. It's so good that it looks like it's a mis-hit. Anyway, even Justin Thomas declared G-Dub, not T-Dub, the King of Traj:
High praise, indeed. On second thought, those trailing Gary through 36 holes at Pebble Beach shouldn't be rooting for the wind to pick up. . .