Golf

Father’s Day Reminds Gary Woodland of the Greatest Triumph and the Biggest Tragedy of His Life

Father’s Day is a holiday for dads around the world to kick back and relax. It’s a holiday made for reminiscing on the best times they’ve had as a father. For pro golfer Gary Woodland, it’s a day he’ll cherish forever. It was Father’s Day in 2019 when Woodland won the U.S. Open and celebrated with his dad afterward. As beloved as that memory must be for Woodland, though, Father’s Day also reminds him of a family tragedy from a few years before he won his first major.

Gary Woodland won the 2019 U.S. Open on Father’s Day

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Gary Woodland won the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach last year for his first career major victory. If the thrill of his first major wasn’t enough, Woodland also won the tournament on Father’s Day with his dad in attendance.

The win was made even more special considering what his father, Dan, went through 10 years prior. While playing golf with some friends in 2009, Dan suffered a heart attack on the course in Scottsdale, Ariz. A week later, he underwent triple-bypass surgery.

At one point during the surgery, Dan’s heart stopped beating for four minutes. He almost died in that hospital room, but the doctors were able to resuscitate Woodland and save his life.

Ten years later, Dan watched from the stands as his son held up the U.S. Open trophy on Father’s Day.

Father’s Day also reminds Gary Woodland of a tragic day in 2017

As much as Gary Woodland will forever remember Father’s Day as the greatest day of his golfing career, the holiday also reminds him of a chilling memory from 2017.

Woodland’s wife, Gabby, was pregnant with twins and expecting to deliver soon when Woodland went to play in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in March. During the tournament, Gabby suffered a miscarriage, and the Woodlands lost one of the twins before birth.

Woodland withdrew from the tournament and posted a saddening update on Twitter.

Last week I withdrew from the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play to be with my wife, Gabby, as there were complications with our recently announced pregnancy with twins. Gabby and I have since had to cope with the heartbreaking loss of one of the babies, and our doctors will be closely monitoring the health of my wife and the other baby for the remainder of the pregnancy. We appreciate all of the love and support during this difficult time as we regroup as a family. At this point in time, I plan to play the Masters next week.

Gary Woodland

Thankfully, the other twin survived a premature birth. Woodland’s son, Jaxson, is a healthy toddler today, but Father’s Day will always remind Woodland of the child he lost in 2017.

Woodland and his wife had healthy twin girls last year

After losing a child in 2017, Woodland said it was the hardest year of his life. His son Jaxson turned out to be a healthy child, but nothing can take the memory of losing a child away.

In 2019, Woodland’s wife Gabby learned she was pregnant with twins again. This time, both children were born on time and healthy. Woodland welcomed twin girls, Maddox and Lennox, to the world in August of last year.

Woodland can now celebrate Father’s Day with his three healthy children, his exceptionally strong wife, and his dad all at once.