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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.

1 Comment

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 Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from the United Leasing & Finance Championship

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GolfWRX stopped by the Web.com for some WITB action, Thursday. The United Leasing & Finance Championship from Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana, is the host venue for golf’s seasoned grinders and up-and-comers this week.

If you’d like a quick bite of Tour photo goodness, we’ve got you covered. Scroll for a Web.com Tour edition of “10 interesting photos.”

First up, Curtis Thompson’s motivational iron stamping is, as the kids say, straight fire

Another of Thompson’s inspiration-inscribed Cobra King MB irons

If these gentlemen aren’t doing it absolutely right, then who is?

Lee McCoy’s custom Odyssey putter appears to feature ball bearings and silicone. Singular stuff. We’ll need (much) more information…

Someone needs to untie this man, he’s trying to practice his golf swing!

The rare beanie-and-sunglasses combo

Crowd or no crowd, this marshal is doubly committed to his job

I’m not an expert, but I don’t think that’s the preferred driver setup…

Two words: Pant. Game.

Respectable lead tape application!

Check out all our photos from the United Leasing & Finance Championship below!

Thursday’s galleries

Special galleries

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

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Thursday’s photos from the Web.com Tour’s United Leasing & Finance Championship

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GolfWRX stopped by the Web.com for some WITB action, Thursday. The United Leasing & Finance Championship from Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, Indiana, is the host venue for golf’s seasoned grinders and up-and-comers this week.

We have seven galleries from the range, as well as an in-hand look at the always WITB-envy inducing Lee McCoy’s putter.

Thursday’s galleries

Special galleries

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

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Tour Photo Galleries

10 interesting photos from Tuesday at the Zurich Classic

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GolfWRX is live from the 2018 Zurich Classic at TPC Louisiana, where, among other things, a giant three-legged crocodile roams.

Now in it’s second year, the tournament’s unique two-man team format has attracted a wealth of top talent, including 10 of the top 14 golfers in the OWGR. We’re on the scene snapping bag pictures and have five galleries from TPC Louisiana’s range Tuesday. We also have a look inside Ryan Ruffels bag, a peek at Jimmy Walker’s putter, a look in Brooks Koepka’s bag, and more!

Let’s dig in.

Well, this certainly is interesting, Xinjun Zhang. Not sure about the context, but not something you traditionally see on a PGA Tour driving range…

Hard not to love Ryan Ruffels’ 009M

Look’s like Michael Greller is enjoying some well-earned relaxation

Ryan Palmer boldly going where few Tour pros dare to: serif font

Roman numeral loft stamping? Savage grind? We like your style, Bud Cauley

Is this a new Wilson Staff PMP wedge prototype or a one-off thing for Ricky Barnes?

Finally, Whitney comes to a wedge

Ham & egg!

Jimmy Walker’s silver Spider

Our Tour Photographer risking the wrath of Bubba (we assume he had permission)

 

Tuesday’s Photos

Special Galleries

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

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