U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland used to be a basketball star. Then he ran into Kirk Hinrich.
Woodland, who won the 119th U.S. Open Championship on Sunday at Pebble Beach, shared a story about how he transitioned from basketball to golf.
Woodland was attending Washburn University in Kansas, and as a freshman in 2002 he and the Ichabods played the Kansas Jayhawks in an exhibition game.
It was during that game - a 101-66 Kansas victory - that Woodland said he realized he wasn't going to make it as a hooper.
"That decision got forced on me,” Woodland told reporters after his U.S. Open victory. "I had to guard Kirk Hinrich, and I realized, I’m going to have to do something else."
No one can blame Woodland for feeling that way. That Jayhawks team went on to win 30 games and, behind Hinrich and Nick Collison, advanced to the national championship game where they lost to freshman star Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse.
Hinrich went on to become the 7th overall pick in the historic 2003 NBA Draft and played 13 NBA seasons with the Bulls, Hawks and Wizards.
Woodland, ironically, transferred to the University of Kansas as a sophomore and joined the golf team. The rest is history for the major championship winner.
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