Gary Woodland says his US Open victory at Pebble Beach was "so special" given his first major title came on American Father's Day - two years after he and his wife endured the tragedy of a stillborn child.
Woodland's wife Gabby was expecting twins in 2017 but health complications led to the loss of one child, while their son Jaxson was born 10 weeks premature.
Woodland admitted 2017 was the "toughest year of (his) life by far" and played a part in his outpouring of emotion after he drained a 25-foot birdie putt on Pebble Beach's iconic 18th green on Sunday.
Former college basketball player Woodland shot a three-under-par 69 and a 72-hole score of 13-under-par, with two-time US Open winner Brooks Koepka (68) second at 10 under.
Woodland's final-hole birdie meant the 35-year-old beat the lowest total recorded in a US Open at Pebble Beach - surpassing Tiger Woods's 12 under when he won the 2000 edition by 15 shots.
But that was not why the unflappable Woodland let it all out.
"Obviously, we've had our struggles and it's been documented, the losses that we've suffered," Kansas native Woodland said.
"When that putt went in on the last, it all came out of me. It's special to finish it off here at Pebble Beach.
"Being a father now puts life in perspective; my whole life it's all been about trying to win and now I'm trying to make a better life for my son than I've had.
"Today is so special from that standpoint; being a father. Hopefully some day (my son) can see this (win) and realise that anything is possible."
For his fourth PGA Tour victory, the powerful Woodland pocketed $2.25 million ($A3.3m) and moved up to No.12 on golf's world rankings.
Woodland's challengers came thick and fast at the Californian seaside course - in particular from defending champion Koepka (69, 69, 68, 68), who became the first player to shoot four rounds in the 60s at a US Open and not win.
The four-time major winner was attempting to become the first golfer in 114 years to win three successive US Opens.
"I was just that close to accomplishing something that hadn't been done in over 100 years," Koepka, who also won the 2017 US Open, lamented.
Xander Schauffele (67), Jon Rahm (68), Chez Reavie (71) and Justin Rose (74) tied third at seven under.
Australia's Adam Scott made a run for the ages, collecting four birdies and an eagle in his first 12 holes.
But his final-round charge came unstuck when he sprayed his tee shot out of bounds at the 13th en route to a double-bogey six, which preceded three-putt bogeys at the 16th and 17th.
At six under, Scott (68) shared seventh with former British Open winner Louis Ossthuizen (72).
Scott's countryman Jason Day's 69 left him tied for 21st at two under, in a group which included 15-time major winner Woods (69).
Marc Leishman (72) was tied 35th at at one over while Cameron Smith (72) finished eight over.