Topeka native Gary Woodland is celebrating a big win at the U.S. Open, but while he’s been traveling the world for golf, his roots are still in Topeka.
KSNT News spoke exclusively with Woodland’s sister, C.J. Head, about watching her brother win.
Head is two years older than Woodland. They’ve both been golfing since they could walk.
“I would play my 18 holes and go to the pool because I’d had enough, and Gary would stay and play another 18,” Head said.
She even caddied for him before he went pro at a tournament in Georgia.
“It was kind of close to where Augusta National is, so they thought they could try to take a peak at the green,” Head said. “We drove around the whole grounds trying to see just a flag stick or the green or anything, we couldn’t see anything.”
Augusta National Golf Club is where the Masters are held every year.
“A couple of years later it was really surreal to see watch him tee off at the Masters at that first whole,” said Head.
She couldn’t be at the U.S. Open on Sunday but said she could sense how he was feeling.
“It was his time and just to see him so confident, and he was so just calm and relaxed, and he was laughing,” said Head. “I said ‘oh, man, he’s in it.'”
She takes credit for his mental resilience after years of messing with her little brother. She joked about sending him a picture of her throwing a water balloon at him, to which he replied, “100% you missed.”
Head also said it’s a good thing that golf greens don’t have stadium lights, otherwise her brother would stay up all night practicing.