Bradley holds off Schwartzel

2011-10-19 20:15

Southampton - Keegan Bradley, this year's PGA Championship winner, held off fast-closing Masters champion Charl Schwartzel to win the 29th PGA Grand Slam of Golf by one stroke on Wednesday.

America's Bradley settled for a par-71 in a windy final round at the 6 845-yard Port Royal Golf Course to complete 36 holes on four-under 138 while South Africa's Schwartzel, who began the day seven adrift, closed with a 65.

Bradley took home $600 000, twice as much as Schwartzel, in the two-day, $1.35 million showdown of the year's four major golf champions. All four players were first-time major winners.

US Open champion Rory McIlroy, who began the day level for the lead with Bradley on 67, struggled to a 75 to take third on 142 while Northern Irish compatriot Darren Clarke, the British Open winner, fired a 74 to end on 151.

Bradley was snubbed for a US captain's choice spot on the Presidents Cup team by Fred Couples in favour of Tiger Woods and US PGA season playoff champion Bill Haas, but showed his major breakthrough was no fluke by hanging on to win.

Schwartzel, who opened with a 74 on Tuesday, birdied the last five holes of the front nine to match Bradley for the lead, then answered with a bogey at the par-3 13th and with a birdie at the par-4 15th.

The South African holed out from a bunker at the ninth to conclude his birdie run and briefly match Bradley for the lead before the American birdied the 10th to seize the lead for good.

Bradley stumbled at the start with an opening bogey and surrendered bogeys on the fifth and sixth as well. He birdied the par-5 seventh and answered the charge of Schwartzel with a birdie to begin the back nine.

Bradley remained one stroke ahead of Schwartzel after both men birdied the par-5 17th and both closed with pars.

McIlroy, who shared the lead with Bradley after a first-round 67, could not manage a birdie in round two but won $250 000. He stumbled by closing the front nine with three bogeys in a row and dropped another shot at the par-3 16th.

Clarke, who took home $200 000, birdied the par-5 second and seventh holes but took back-to-back bogeys at nine and 10, another at the 12th and two more at 14 and 15.