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Full steam ahead: Bradley wins the WGC-Bridgestone

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Every week on the PGA Tour, more than a hundred competitors start out at the beginning of the week and only one man wins. But this year, seemingly more than most years, in addition to one clear winner there is one clear loser. This week, Jim Furyk was the tragic victim, relinquishing the lead he had held for the entire tournament with a double bogey on the final hole to give Keegan Bradley the win in the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley carded a 6-under par 64 to finish at 13-under 267 for the tournament, one stroke ahead of Furyk and Steve Stricker.

Furyk played brilliantly through the first three rounds, hitting fairways and greens and raining every put the looked at.  For Sunday’s final round, Furyk racked up three consecutive birdies on the first three holes on the rain-softened Firestone South Course. But he played the next 12 holes 1-over, opening the door to the streaking Bradley, Stricker and South African Louis Oosthuizen.

Bradley played brilliantly, carding six birdies and no bogeys. His intensity, fidgeting and death stare over his putts make him look like Henry Hill from GoodFellas out for a round, but that same intensity served him well as he inched his way closer to the lead. After clutch par saves on Nos. 16 and 17, Bradley went into the final hole just one shot behind Furyk.

For Furyk it was déjà vu all over again, as he snapped-hooked a drive to the left that evoked memories of his misshaped effort off the tee on the 16th hole at the U.S. Open. Furyk caught a break when the trees spit his ball back onto the fairway about 170 yards out. Bradley striped his drive, leaving himself 164 to the pin.  With the tournament on the line, both Bradley and Furyk hit sub-par approaches. Furyk left himself an almost impossible downhill chip over a bunker to a green sloping away from him, while Bradley was plugged in the bunker that Furyk had to negotiate. Furyk took two shots to get himself to six feet from the hole. Meanwhile, Bradley splashed out to 10 feet and literally frightened the ball into the hole for his par. Amazingly, Furyk had to hit his putt to tie and earn a playoff. He motored it past the hole, giving Bradley his 3rd PGA Tour win and the first since his win at the 2011 PGA Championship.

Bradley is the kind of player that everyone likes to watch and no one wants to play against. His piercing gazes and countless gestures are almost Sergio-esque, but he looks like he’d wack anyone who’d try to heckle or rush him. There is no quit in Bradley, no relaxing. No matter where he is on the leaderboard he is sweating the details and grinding so hard he leaves a trail of brake dust on the fairway.

While being one of the Tour’s most popular players amongst his peers, Bradley reminds longtime Tour observers of the great competitors of previous generations, guys like Hale Irwin and Raymond Floyd who had to have the right combination of talent and nasty to notch victories while competing against the likes of Nicklaus, Palmer, Watson, et al. The nephew of LPGA great Pat Bradley is golf royalty who has learned from the best what it takes to be good, and what it takes to be great. As he now heads for Kiawah to defend the Wannamaker Trophy, Bradley is seeking to break the string of 17 different winners in the last 17 majors. There are probably a lot of people who would pick somebody else to win, but there aren’t a lot who would tell him to his face.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour Talk” forum. 

Michael Williams is the contributing editor of Newschannel8 Capital Golf Weekly and Bunkershot.com, as well as a member of the Golf Writers Association of America.

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Williams has a reputation as a savvy broadcaster, and as an incisive interviewer and writer. An avid golfer himself, Williams has covered the game of golf and the golf lifestyle including courses, restaurants, travel and sports marketing for publications all over the world. He is currently working with a wide range of outlets in traditional and electronic media, and has produced and hosted “Sticks and Stones” on the Fox Radio network, a critically acclaimed show that combined coverage of the golf world with interviews of the Washington power elite. His work on Newschannel8’s “Capital Golf Weekly” and “SportsTalk” have established him as one of the area’s most trusted sources for golf reporting. Williams has also made numerous radio appearances on “The John Thompson Show,” and a host of other local productions. He is a sought-after speaker and panel moderator, he has recently launched a new partnership with The O Team to create original golf-themed programming and events. Williams is a member of the United States Golf Association and the Golf Writers Association of America.

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1 Comment

  1. Troy Vayanos

    Aug 6, 2012 at 4:57 am

    Congratulations to Keegan, it was a great effort to win another big title with a major like field. He holed some big putts down the stretch when it counted. In good form leading into his defense of the US PGA next week.

    Felt sorry for Jim Furyk who found trouble at the 18th. It was like the US Open all over again.

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Tour News

REPORT: Tiger Woods to play in the Genesis Open on Feb 15

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Last season, Tiger Woods withdrew from a press conference at the Genesis Open due to back spasms. This season, Woods will reportedly play in the 2018 Genesis Open at Riviera C.C. in Pacific Palisades, California from February 15-18.

By withdrawing from the 2017 Genesis Open — an event which his Tiger Woods Foundation hosts — Woods ensured that a promising comeback was not to be. At the start of 2017, Woods committed to play in the Farmers Insurance Open, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, the Genesis Open and the Honda Classic… an aggressive schedule for Woods, who hadn’t played much competitive golf in the previous year due to back injuries and surgeries. Things didn’t go as planned, however, as Woods missed the cut at the Farmers, withdrew after an opening-round 77 in Dubai, and withdrew from the Genesis Open and the Honda.

Since then, Woods has had spinal fusion surgery, and he recently finished T9 at the 18-player 2017 Hero World Challenge. It was there he showed the golfing world — and probably himself, too — that he can still compete among the world’s best golfers when he’s healthy.

At the Hero World Challenge, Woods was consistently hitting 179 mph of ball speed off the tee with his driver, and despite some early concerns with the wedge, he showed prowess around and on the greens. He was yip-less, fast, healthy, and finished 8-under through four rounds. A Tiger Woods comeback seems more plausible now than it has in three years.

Woods will continue to test his game at the 2017 Genesis Open — a start that will come 26 years after competing as a 16-year-old amateur in the 1992 Nissan Open at Riviera. Much like 26 years ago, Woods comes to Riviera as a golfer who needs to prove himself… it’s just that this time around, he has 14 majors and 79 PGA Tour wins to his name.

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Thursday’s Photos from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 PNC Father/Son Challenge at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club in Orlando, Florida.

The 20-team field includes some of the game’s legendary major champions, and their sons. Notable teams include John Daly/Little John Daly, Nick Faldo/Matthew Faldo, Tom Kite/David Kite, Bernhard Langer/Jason Langer, Greg Norman/Greg Norman Jr., Jack Nicklaus/Gary Nicklaus Jr., and Lee Trevino/Daniel Trevino.  The teams will compete in a scramble format over 36 holes to decide the winners of the Willie Park Trophy.

Last year, David Duval and his step-son Nick Karavites took home the trophy, and they are back in the field this year to defend.

Check out our photos below from this year’s event!

Thursday’s Photos

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos

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Friday’s Photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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GolfWRX is live this week from the 2017 QBE Shootout at Tiburon G.C. in Naples, Florida. Formerly known as the Franklin Templeton Shootout, or the Shark Shootout, the unofficial event plays host to 24 of some of the world’s best golfers, competing in a two-person team competition. The format calls for 54 holes; first-round scramble, second-round modified alternate shot, and third-round fourball (or better ball).

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Here is a list of the teams:

  • Daniel Berger-Gary Woodland
  • Keegan Bradley-Brendan Steele
  • Kevin Chappell-Kevin Kisner
  • Jason Dufner-Billy Horschel
  • Harris English-Matt Kuchar
  • Tony Finau-Lexi Thompson
  • Brian Harman-Pat Perez
  • Russell Henley-Kyle Stanley
  • Charley-Hoffman-Zach Johnson
  • Shane Lowry-Graeme McDowell
  • Brandt Snedeker-Bubba Watson
  • Sean O’Hair-Steve Stricker

Last year, Harris English and Matt Kuchar took down the crown, finishing at 28-under par for the event. Of course, they’ll be playing together again this year as the defending champs.

Check out our photos from the 2017 QBE Shootout below!

Friday’s Galleries

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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