Keegan Bradley never looked like a winner over four days and 71 holes at Firestone until he poured in a 15-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday in Akron, Ohio.
Given the way golf has gone this year, no one should have been surprised.
Two weeks after Adam Scott gave up a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the British Open, Jim Furyk was poised to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Bridgestone Invitational until he made double bogey from the middle of the 18th fairway.
His 5-foot bogey putt to force a playoff missed badly, and he dropped his putter and bent over in shock.
“I led the golf tournament the entire way and lost it on the very last hole,” Furyk said. “To get that close and to know that I played more than good enough to win the golf tournament, and not close the door, is disappointing. It is a cruel game.”
Lost in his 18th-hole collapse was a sterling performance by Bradley, who shot 31 on the back nine and came up with one clutch putt after another. None was bigger than the final stroke of his 6-under 64. After blasting out of a plugged lie in the bunker, he poured in the par that turned out to be the winner.
“I didn’t think for a second I was going to miss it,” Bradley said.
HENRY HOLDS ON
J.J. Henry won the Reno-Tahoe Open for his second PGA Tour title, beating Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha by one.
Henry finished with 43 points in the modified Stableford scoring after a 7-point round. Players received five points for an eagle, two for birdie and zero for par. They lost a point for bogey and three points for worse.
John Daly tied for fifth, his best finish since 2005.
LANGER SHOOTS 62
Bernhard Langer rallied to win the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., shooting a 10-under 62 to overcome a six-shot deficit.
He finished at 18-under 198 at the TPC Twin Cities.
David Peoples, three shots ahead entering the final round, shot a 70 and finished second by two shots.
Ben Kohles won his second straight Web.com Tour title since turning professional, closing with an 8-under 62 for a three-stroke victory in the Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb.
The 22-year-old former University of Virginia player turned professional and won last week in Columbus, Ohio.
Tracking Local Golfers on the PGA Tour
last week: WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone Country Club South Course, Akron, Ohio.
Fourth-round score: 3-under-par 67.
Position: Stanley (3-under 277) tied for 16th, 10 strokes behind winner Keegan Bradley (267).
Recap: It was a great week, and the Gig Harbor resident was one 51/2-foot, par-saving putt on the finishing hole from staking his first top-10 finish since winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February. On Sunday, Stanley matched playing partner Tiger Woods (66) almost shot for shot, and was consistently by him 10-15 yards on drives. And on the long par-5 16th, Stanley’s drive was measured at 376 yards – and he hit his approach over the green but made a final birdie. He earned $90,000 for his finish Sunday.
Next: PGA Championship, starting Thursday at Kiawah Island Resort Ocean Course, Kiawah Island, S.C.
Last week: PGA Tour’s Reno-Tahoe Open, Montreux Golf and Country Club, Reno.
Fourth-round score (Modified Stableford scoring): Zero points.
Position: Kelly (17 points) tied for 49th, 26 points behind winner J.J. Henry (43 points).
Recap: The course played much tougher for the final round. It did not help that Kelly started off Sunday with two bogeys, including one at the par-5 second hole.
Next: Wyndham Championship, starting Aug. 16 at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C.email@example.com