Thousands were watching him.
The final round of the 119th US Open soon developed into a three-way tussle.
For a week Pebble Beach Golf Links belonged to the world's best but on Monday the famous seaside layout on every golfer's bucket list was returned to the duffers and weekend warriors. "I've been surrounded by wonderful people and I always just wanted to be successful". He'd been my each-way fancy at the US PGA Championship past year at 125/1 but he he was poor after leading at halfway there (eventually finishe tied sixth), so he wasn't a player I expected to play so well in-the-mix at a major.
The USGA's John Bodenhamer, the former BYU golfer who was in charge of the setup for this year's tournament, told me a couple of weeks ago, "Our guiding stars are to present the golf course and U.S. Open in a way that creates something special and that we create a test of their shot-making, their mental resolve and their physical resiliency".
Koepka had to settle for a footnote in history as the first player with all four rounds in the 60s at the U.S Open without winning. "And that's what I did".
Pebble Beach remained receptive in cool, cloudy conditions, and only a gentle sea breeze stirred on Sunday.
Woods hit back with six birdies, including one at the 18th, for a two-under round, his lowest final round at a US Open in a decade but still 11 back of victor.
Even playing partner Justin Rose, his own hopes ended by a trio of back-nine bogeys, gave him a little fist bump after that one.
His gutsy three-wood second shot at the par-five 14th on Sunday led to a birdie and a two-shot lead.
Undaunted, Bockerstette bravely stepped up, knocked her tee shot into a bunker, blasted out to eight feet and rolled in a par putt, telling herself and Woodland each time, "I've got this".
That was Kansas winning the NCAA title, and beating a dynasty in the process.
Woodland produced a superb performance at Pebble Beach to win the first major of his career and prevent Brooks Koepka becoming only the second man to claim three successive U.S. Open titles.
Koepka gave it all he had but had to make way.
While his T9 finish isn't bad by any means, inconsistencies kept McIlroy from being a menace to the likes of Woodland and Koepka.
Woodland rarely showed any emotion during a week that afforded plenty of opportunities.
Koepka's last realistic chance to force a playoff disappeared when his nine-foot birdie putt at the par-five 18th broke sharply to the right, missing by millimetres. He learned from the reactive sports he played - basketball and baseball - that emotion can help.
Woodland was never really on my radar as I just didn't think he'd be able to finish the job off so impressively.
The basketball references will stay with Woodland, and that's OK with him.
"I was just trying to get it over that hump", Woodland said. "And that was my first game in college".
"People probably growing up said the US Open wouldn't suit me, because I'm a long hitter, I'm a bomber", Woodland said.
He transferred to Kansas, the first time he focused exclusively on golf.
Woodland is 35, but it's fair to call him a late bloomer. His first year on the PGA Tour was interrupted by a shoulder injury.