Bradley wins PGA Championship
Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 14, 2011
By Paul Newberry
JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — Keegan Bradley has won the PGA Championship with one of the greatest comebacks in major championship history.
Bradley was down by five strokes after making a triple bogey at the 15th hole of regulation. Jason Dufner appeared to have the title wrapped up, but Bradley rallied and Dufner collapsed.
The leader put his tee shot in the water at 15, setting up the first of three straight bogeys. Bradley made birdies at 16 and 17, going to the final hole suddenly tied for the lead.
Both players made par on the 72nd hole, but Bradley won the three-hole playoff by a single stroke. He tapped in for par at the 18th hole and lifted the Wanamaker Trophy.
“I can’t believe it,” Bradley said. “
In the playoff, Bradley made a 4-foot birdie at the 16th hole to gain the upper hand. Dufner nearly holed out from the fairway with his approach, then missed a 6-foot birdie try.
Bradley was in command when Dufner three-putted the 17th for a bogey, going to the final hole with a two-stroke edge. Dufner rolled in a 20-footer for birdie but it didn’t matter. Bradley two-putted from 18 feet for the win, tapping in the final one from about a foot away.
The players were tied at 8-under 272 at the end of regulation.
“A lot of experience to be gained from that,” a dejected Dufner said.
The 25-year-old Bradley, the nephew of LPGA Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, won the PGA in his very first appearance at a major championship. Dufner was denied his first tour win.
Going to the playoff, the U.S. was assured of breaking its longest drought in the modern Grand Slam era, having gone six straight majors without winning since Phil Mickelson captured the 2010 Masters.
Anders Hansen of Denmark closed with a 4-under 66 but finished one stroke out of the playoff at 273.
Robert Karlsson of Sweden, David Toms and Scott Verplank tied for fourth at 275.