Tue, Aug 07, 2012 - Page 17 News List

Bradley rallies past Furyk to win WGC-Bridgestone

AFP, AKRON, 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 on 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 PGA Championship last year 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.

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 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 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 on 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.

“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.”

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.”

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