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Keegan Bradley Shines at 93rd PGA Championship

Keegan Bradley (ACTION IMAGES)

When Keegan Bradley triple bogeyed the par three 15th at The Atlanta Athletic club on Sunday, you couldn’t help but think we were on our way toward another colorless major championship finish. After Bradley’s blow up, Jason Dufner held a five-stroke lead, and it looked like another cipher of the golf world was cruising to a major title.

But Bradley came roaring back with consecutive birdies on sixteen and seventeen. He played the final three holes, which comprise the most treacherous part of the course, two under par. After Dufner bogeyed three of his last four final holes, the two ended up tied at eight under par, and off to a playoff they went.

Both players split the fairway on their opening tee shots. After Dufner nearly holed his approach shot to the green, Bradley hit his approach inside of it. He would go on to make birdie, Dufner, a par. Bradley would hold on to his advantage on the following two holes, winning his first major championship. The former St. John’s standout becomes just the third player after Francis Ouimet and Ben Curtis to win a major championship in his debut.

Bradley to the rescue!

Sullen from the dearth of superstars on the leader board and Tiger’s execrable performance (more on that later), golf fans needed a boost. It looked like another unexciting finish, and then Keegan Bradley put on a show. His resilience after that triple bogey is a rarity in golf at all levels. To keep his emotions in check after that blow up hole was a lesson for all golfers. Dufner played well despite falling short and contributed to the most compelling finish out of all 4 major championships this year. Something exciting finally happened in golf that didn’t involve Tiger Woods, his former caddie, or Phil Mickelson. All three were afterthoughts on Sunday.

The show goes on…

Many have said (myself included) that golf needs Tiger to be interesting. This weekend it didn’t. Nobody bemoaned Tiger’s absence when Bradley drained that 35-footer on 17.  It’s going to take Tiger some time to feel comfortable. I still think he’ll come back and be the best player in the world again. If he has a good finish this season, golf could be set up for a great season next year. This weekend showed us that golf could survive without Tiger. When a player steps up and shows you there is more to them than meets the eye, you develop a liking and appreciation for them, Keegan Bradley did just that on Sunday.

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One comment for “Keegan Bradley Shines at 93rd PGA Championship”

  1. New Post: Keegan Bradley Shines at 93rd PGA Championship http://t.co/a6aa1gc

    Posted by Sports of New York | August 17, 2011, 5:21 am

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