Golf: Bradley secures tournament win and Ryder Cup spot

Keegan Bradley holds the trophy after winning the Bridgestone Invitational. Photo / AP
Keegan Bradley holds the trophy after winning the Bridgestone Invitational. Photo / AP

Keegan Bradley only wanted a chance to get into a playoff at Firestone. All it took was a vital par, along with a stunning collapse by Jim Furyk, for Bradley to win the Bridgestone Invitational and wrap up a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Bradley closed with a 6-under 64, and the final stroke was the most important - a 4.5m putt to save par from a plugged lie in the bunker.

Furyk, who led for 71 holes and looked solid throughout the final round, chopped up the 18th hole for a double bogey to throw away a chance at his first win since the 2010 Tour Championship. He missed the green from the fairway. His chip with one foot in the sand barely cleared the bunker and stayed in the thick collar. He hit a weak chip to 1.5m, and his bogey putt never had a chance.

Furyk dropped his putter when the ball left his blade. He went from what appeared to be a certain win to a 69 and a tie for second with Steve Stricker, who made four birdies on his last five holes for a 64.

"I've got no one to blame but myself," Furyk said. "There's no way I should have made more than 5."

Bradley won for the first time since last year in PGA Championship, and now goes to Kiawah Island to defend his title with a lot more confidence.

"I still can't believe it," he said.

Bradley has three wins in two years on the PGA Tour, including a major and a World Golf Championship. He is only the 11th player to have won a major and a WGC. It was an important performance for Stricker, who moved up three spots to No 10 in the Ryder Cup standings. Furyk is No 11. Bradley moved to No 4, and bumped out Hunter Mahan from the top eight for automatic spots after the PGA Championship next week.

- AP

- NZ Herald

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