Bradley triumphs by one shot

2012-08-06 07:05
Keegan Bradley (File)

Ohio - Keegan Bradley saved par on the final hole by pouring in a 15-foot putt to claim the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday, denying Jim Furyk the first wire-to-wire victory of his career.

Bradley rallied with a final round six-under 64 Sunday to finish at 13-under 267 and win by one stroke over Furyk and Steve Stricker.

"I still can't believe it," Bradley said. "I am just so thrilled."

It was the first win for Bradley since capturing the 2011 PGA Championship and he now heads to Kiawah Island, South Carolina to try to defend that title next week.

Furyk led the tournament for 71 holes before suffering a meltdown on the par-four No. 18 where he shot a double bogey. He had an eight-foot putt to get into a playoff with Bradley but missed it right and it scooted six feet past the cup.

"My fifth shot I hit was my worst shot of the week," Furyk said. "I have no one to blame but myself when things go wrong. It is an empty pit."

Furyk closed with a one-under 69 while Stricker shot a six-under 64 as they finished in a tie for second at 12-under 268.

South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen fired a one-under 69 to finish in fourth place by himself, two shots adrift of Furyk.

England's Justin Rose (67) and Rory McIlroy (68) of Northern Ireland tied for fifth at eight under.

World No. 2 Tiger Woods closed with nine straight pars in a bogey-free round of 66.

Bradley saved par on 18 by pouring in a 16-footer after hitting his approach into the sand.

He nailed the putt and then pumped his right fist several times in celebration. Bradley then had to wait to see if Furyk could sink his bogey putt to send them back to the 18th tee for a tiebreaker.

Bradley began the round four shots back of Furyk who appeared to be cruising to his 17th PGA Tour win after making birdie on his first three holes.

Bradley's approach on 18 landed deep in the sand in the right side bunker. He overcooked his swing on the bunker shot and the ball sailed about 15 feet past the cup.

Bradley's win was the third of his career and also earned him a spot on the America's Ryder Cup team.

Furyk was trying for his first win since the 2010 Tour Championship and his first wire-to-wire win of his career. Had he won Sunday he would have joined Woods (2000) and Stewart Cink (2004) as the only wire-to-wire winners at the Bridgestone.

You can add Furyk's name to the long list of final-round collapses on the Tour this year.

He hit his tee shot on 18 into the trees but got a lucky bounce when his ball deflected back onto the fairway.

Furyk's approach missed the green and barely got over a bunker into thick grass on the right. He bungled his chip shot to five feet and then the bogey putt to force a playoff never had a chance.

A dejected Furyk said he would use this as a learning experience.

"I am disappointed," Furyk said. "I hated to see .... I walked over and my boys are crying right after the round.

"It reminds you as an adult and as a parent you have to act the proper way you have to do and say the right things and show them the right lessons.

"There is no way I should have made any worse than five on the last hole. No way I should be at worst in a playoff."

Woods finished in a tie for eighth with a group of eight golfers that included England's Luke Donald, Aaron Baddeley of Australia and South Korea's K.J. Choi.

It was a small consolation for Woods who has not been playing well and was 11 shots back heading into the fourth round.

"I putted well the last two days which was good," said Woods, a seven-time winner here. "So that was something positive that came out of it. I am heading in the right direction on that."

Leading fourth-round scores on Sunday in the $8.5 million WGC-Bridgestone Invitational (USA unless noted, par-70):

267 - Keegan Bradley 67-69-67-64

268 - Jim Furyk 63-66-70-69, Steve Stricker 68-68-68-64

269 - Louis Oosthuizen (RSA) 67-65-68-69

272 - Rory McIlroy (NIR) 70-67-67-68, Justin Rose (ENG) 70-69-66-67

274 - Jason Dufner 67-66-73-68

276 - Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 73-66-71-66, K.J. Choi (KOR) 71-72-67-66, Luke Donald (ENG) 66-69-71-70, Matt Kuchar 70-70-70-66, Lee Slattery (ENG) 65-71-72-68, David Toms 68-67-73-68, Bo Van Pelt 70-69-66-71, Tiger Woods 70-72-68-66

277 - Simon Dyson (ENG) 66-71-70-70, John Senden (AUS) 66-70-69-72, Kyle Stanley 69-73-68-67

278 - Bill Haas 67-71-70-70, Dustin Johnson 69-68-73-68, Scott Piercy 69-70-70-69, Nick Watney 69-70-72-67, Bubba Watson 66-73-72-67

279 - K.T. Kim (KOR) 67-67-74-71, Graeme McDowell (NIR) 70-67-70-72, Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 67-70-72-70, Charl Schwartzel (RSA) 69-75-72-63

280 - Carl Pettersson (SWE) 67-70-71-72

Read more on:    keegan bradley  |  golf

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