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Woodland playing for late grandmother as he looks to close out TOC win

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KAPALUA, Hawaii – Not that he needed it, but Gary Woodland will have some extra motivation when he tees off on Sunday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions with a three-stroke lead.

Woodland’s grandmother died last night at her home in Kansas.

“I got that phone call late last night. That's been tough,” Woodland said. “She's been downhill for a little while now. It's been tough. You try to prepare for that but you never really can. So definitely have a little extra emotion with me, but we'll get through it.”

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Woodland, who padded his lead with a third-round 68 that included a 64-footer for eagle at the 15th hole, has dealt with his share of family tragedies in recent years. He and his wife, Gabby, were expecting twins in 2017 but lost one of the babies in a miscarriage. Woodland called it the toughest year of his life.

It has helped that his family, including Gabby and his 1-year-old son Jaxson, is with Woodland this week in Maui.

“I brought my family every year I've been here, so it's kind of been a family trip as well,” he said.