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Woodland mulled being home with pregnant wife

PORTRUSH, Northern Ireland -- U.S. Open champion Gary Woodland said he decided to play in this week's Open at Royal Portrush only after his wife, Gabby, pushed him to go.

Gabby Woodland is pregnant with twin girls and on bedrest. The twins are due to be born later this month.

"She's doing all right," Woodland said. "She's semi-bedrest right now. Our girls are supposed to come in two weeks. So it was a decision, we sat down and we talked about it. And she was the one pushing me to come. [We're] pretty confident they're not going to come this week, but you never know. I'm hoping that's the case."

Woodland said he's also scheduled to play in next week's WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind in Memphis.

"Memphis is only an hour away from home," Woodland said. "I can get home pretty easily. It would be a little tough if they came right now. I'm not going to be able to get home. But she's hanging in there."

Two years ago, Woodland and his wife were expecting twins when they lost their daughter three months before their son, Jaxson, was born 10 weeks premature, weighing 3 pounds. Jaxson turned 2 on June 23 and is doing well, according to his father.

After Woodland claimed his third PGA Tour victory -- in a playoff at the 2018 Waste Management Phoenix Open -- he patted his heart, blew a kiss and pointed to the sky in honor of his late daughter.

At the U.S. Open, Woodland said his wife suffered two miscarriages last year. She wasn't in Pebble Beach when he claimed his first major championship.

Woodland has played only once since winning the U.S. Open, missing the cut at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. He said he wasn't ready to play in that event and spent the past two weeks working at home.

Woodland's hometown of Tecumseh, Kansas, which has a population of about 7,800, threw him a celebration after his big victory.

"A lot of people showed up, I was a little surprised by that," he said. "That was pretty cool, especially for my family. My family has been there forever, they still live there. That was special."

Overall, though, Woodland said his newfound celebrity hasn't changed his life that much.

"[Matt Kuchar] and I went to breakfast yesterday," he said. "And I took about 20 pictures for him. Nobody knew who I was, they all knew who he was. He loved every second of that, I can tell you."

The silver U.S. Open trophy that Woodland won at Pebble Beach didn't make the trip across the Atlantic.

"It's been very close to me the last month," Woodland said. "[I have it on] the nightstand so I can see it. You want to wake up and make sure it's not a dream. You want to make sure it's real.

"So I was thinking about letting my parents have it this week, but I ended up keeping it. It's at home. It's right next to Gabby, she's on bedrest. She is looking at it all the time. I don't know if she's excited about that. But it's been pretty close to me."