Gary Woodland’s victory came with a special surprise on the 18th green

February 5, 2018

It’s common for PGA Tour players’ families to join them on the 18th green after a victory, but Gary Woodland was nonetheless surprised when his wife brought his son out after his win Sunday evening.

After beating Chez Reavie on the first playoff hole of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, Woodland’s wife, Gabby, brought baby boy Jaxson out to his victorious father, just seven months after he was born 10 weeks premature in a difficult pregnancy for the family. Woodland and his wife were expecting twins last year when — in March — health complications led to the loss of one child. Woodland understandably called it the “toughest year of [his] life by far.”

“We have kept [Jaxson] kind of isolated for awhile. Obviously he’s been through a lot and we just didn’t want to expose him to too many people,” Woodland said Sunday evening. “So it’s been nice to have him on the road the last five weeks. We went out to Hawaii early so I’ve been with him for five straight weeks which is amazing. But he hasn’t been out at the courses, he’s kind of been at the room all five weeks. So my wife kind of surprised me with him on the last hole. I didn’t think he was going to be there, I thought it would just be her, and for her to bring him out, that was special and something I’ll never forget.”

Right after tapping in for the tournament-clinching putt, Woodland pointed to the sky as an ode to the baby girl who was lost in the pregnancy. He was asked about it after the round.

“That was just kind of a tribute to last year,” he said. “Obviously we lost a little girl and being there seeing my wife give birth to her, that’s real and just wanted her to know I still love her.”

You can watch footage of Woodland’s post-round press conference below.