Woodland Overcomes Passing Of His Grandmother To Retain Sentry TOC Lead

Gary Woodland overcame the passing of his grandmother on Friday night to go out on day three to retain his lead heading to the final round of Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

The 34-year old American ended Friday’s second round posting a five-under 68 to move to 12-under par and lead the field by three shots on the Plantation course at Kapalua.

Then after eagling the 15th and birding the last also in a third round 68, Woodland revealed the sad news he had been given well after his second round.

“I lost my grandma last night. I got that phone call late last night so thats’s been tough,” said Woodland.

Gary Woodland

“She’s been downhill for a little while now. It’s been tough. And you try to prepare for that but you never really can. So that, definitely have a little extra emotion with me, but we’ll get through it.”

Woodland, and clearly benefitting from a decison to commence working with putting expert, Phil Kenyon, continues to lead the ‘winners-only’ event finding the ‘side door’ for birdie at the 18th hole and this after brilliantly eagling the par-5 15th hole in an eventual round of 68 for a three-shot lead at 17-under par.

Woodland, 34 qualified for the event in capturing the Phoenix Open and his third PGA Tour success while the scholars of the pro game will recall the Kansas-born Woodland led the opening two rounds of last year’s PGA Championship before eventually securing a share of 6th place.

“Yeah, it was a good day. I played solid all day, got off to a nice start,” said Woodland.

“I love coming over here, I love the golf course, it really suits me well, it allows me to hit a lot of drivers. I like next week as well. So, I love coming to Hawaii, I brought my family every year I’ve been here, so it’s kind of been a family trip as well.

“But I like to get going. I don’t like to take too much time off.  And this is obviously a short field, you got to think it’s one of your better chances to win with only 30 guys in the field, some guys probably haven’t been here before and maybe have taken some time off and are a little rusty coming in so I think it’s definitely one to come out and be aggressive.”



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