Gary Woodland produced a Major upset when he lifted the US Open title at Pebble Beach. The 35 year old big hitter has always been a threat because of his power but was lacking the short game attributes to be one of the top players until teaming up with Master Professional Pete Cowen 18 months ago. The Yorkshireman, who also coaches the likes of World No.1 Brooks Koepka and Henrik Stenson, gave us an insight on how he helped Woodland take his game to the next level.
“I had to try and make him understand the technique with his short game,” Cowen says. “He was a very, very poor chipper with no confidence. His shaft leaned a lot and dug with the front edge of his wedge so we had to make him understand what he had to do to prevent this from happening. Obviously all the practice he’s put in has paid off because he’s understood the technique and improved.
“When we started he was a 1/10 in his short game and now he’s about 3/10 so that’s a 200 percent improvement which is pretty good!
“When you saw his chip off the 17th green in the US Open, he wouldn’t have been able to do that 18 months ago so that was nice to see him do it under that extreme pressure. That took real guts!”
Woodland has climbed to 12th from 25th in the World Rankings after this Pebble Beach triumph and will be looking for another big performance in the next Major at Portrush to climb into the top 10 for the first time in his career.
Away from the serious talk, Cowen also made a prediction on who would win in an arm-wrestle between his two Americans Koepka and Woodland. You can see his answer below: