Bradley rallies to win Bridgestone|
Akron, OH (Sports Network) - Keegan Bradley fired a bogey-free, 6-under 64 on
Sunday to come from behind and win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Bradley parred the final two holes to overcome Jim Furyk, who faltered to a
double-bogey at the last. Bradley finished at 13-under-par 267.
"I still can't believe it. I'm just so thrilled," Bradley said in a TV
Furyk, who led the entire round, hit a poor chip at the last, then missed a 5-
footer for bogey that would have forced a playoff. He closed with a 1-under 69
to share second at minus-12.
Steve Stricker matched Bradley's 64 to finish alongside Furyk.
Louis Oosthuizen posted a 1-under 69 to end alone in third at 11-under 269 on
the South Course at Firestone Country Club.
Justin Rose (67) and Rory McIlroy (68) shared fifth place at minus-8. Jason
Dufner shot 2-under 68 to take seventh at 6-under-par 274.
Furyk led by one at 13-under with three holes to go. On the par-5 16th, the
final threesome played the hole in the same amount of shots, but in different
Oosthuizen, who was three back at the time, had knocked his third shot over
the green. However, he chipped in for birdie to get within two of Furyk.
Furyk responded with an 18-foot birdie putt to climb to 14-under.
Bradley answered as he poured in his 11-foot birdie effort to get to minus-13.
The trio all parred the 17th and so it came down to the last. Oosthuizen
needed to hole his second shot for eagle to have any chance. He nearly did so,
but settled for a 2-putt par.
Furyk, like he did on the 16th tee at the U.S. Open, hit a quick hook off the
18th tee. This time, he got a good break that saw his ball ricochet back into
The 2001 runner-up missed the green right with his approach.
From the fairway, Bradley dumped his ball into a greenside bunker, and his
ball plugged in the sand.
After Furyk flubbed a chip and left his ball in the rough, Bradley blasted to
15 feet. Furyk pitched his fourth to 5 feet.
Bradley ran home his 15-footer for par to force Furyk's hand. Furyk missed his
bogey putt, that would have forced a playoff, well right.
"I have no one to blame but myself. I'm disappointed," Furyk said in a
televised interview. "There's no way I should have made any worse than five on
the last hole, there's no way I should be in any worse than a playoff.
"But if I put the third shot on the green, I put a lot of pressure on him to
make that putt and it would be a lot more difficult putt. Then for my fifth
shot, I hit my worst putt of the week, so just disappointed."
Bradley hadn't had a top-10 finish since the Houston Open.
Early on, Furyk seemed as though he would grab the title with ease. He birdied
the first three holes to get to 14-under, where he was two clear of the field.
Furyk stumbled to a bogey on the sixth, but still led by two. He ran off nine
consecutive pars from the seventh before faltering late.
Bradley had a steady climb up the leaderboard. He had just two birdies on the
front nine to make the turn at minus-9. Around the turn, he converted back-to-
back birdie chances from the 10th.
The PGA Champion connected on a birdie chance on 14, then matched Furyk's
birdie on 16 before parring the final two holes.
Tiger Woods, a 7-time champion of this event, closed with a 4-under 66 to
share eighth place at 4-under 276.
NOTES: Bradley, who won for the second time on the European Tour and third
time on the PGA Tour, collected $1.4 million for the victory...Last year's
winner Adam Scott tripped to a 3-over 73 to finish at 5-over 285...The final
round was completed despite a 2-hour, 48-minute weather delay.,.Bradley will
defend his title next week as the European and PGA Tours move to Kiawah Island
for the PGA Championship.
08/05 18:51:17 ET