Keegan Bradley only wanted a chance to get into a playoff Sunday at Firestone in Akron, Ohio. All it took was a clutch 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 15-foot 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 5 feet, and his bogey putt never had a chance.
Furyk 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.
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.
Bradley finished at 13-under 267. He has three wins in two years on the PGA Tour, including a major and a World Golf Championship.
It was an important performance for Stricker, who moved up three spots to No. 10 in the Ryder Cup standings. Furyk is No. 11, followed by Rickie Fowler at No. 12. Bradley moved to No. 4, and bumped out Hunter Mahan from the top eight for automatic spots after the PGA Championship next week.
Tiger Woods played bogey-free for a 66, his lowest score since a 65 in the second round at Bay Hill at the end of March.
J.J. Henry won the Reno-Tahoe Open for his second PGA Tour title, beating Brazil’s Alexandre Rocha by a point in the modified Stableford event.
Henry finished with 43 points. Players received eight points for double eagle, five for eagle, two for birdie and zero for par. They were docked a point for bogey and three points for anything worse.
Argentina’s Andres Romero was third with 37 points, followed by John Mallinger with 34.
Bernhard Langer rallied to win the 3M Championship in Blaine, Minn., for the second time in four years, shooting a 10-under 62 to overcome a six-stroke deficit.
The 54-year-old German finished at 18-under 198 at the TPC Twin Cities for his 15th Champions Tour title. He ended a 24-event victory drought, his longest on the 50-and-over tour.