Bradley needs extra hole to win rain-delayed BMW Championship
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa.—Fiery Keegan Bradley parred the only hole needed in a sudden-death playoff on Monday to outlast Justin Rose of England at the rain-delayed BMW Championship at Aronimink Golf Club and win for the first time in six years.
Rose, who had a 67 in the final round, and Bradley, who fired a scintillating 64 on Monday, went back to the 18th tee for a sudden-death playoff after both bogeyed the closing hole to finish at 20 under 260 after 72 holes.
Both Bradley and Rose missed the green to the right on the playoff hole. Bradley played first and chipped to within two feet. Rose chose to putt his ball and left himself a knee-knocking five-footer, which he missed, allowing Bradley to tap in for the victory.
The event is the third of four tournaments in the PGA Tour's end-of-year FedEx Cup Playoffs and featured a field of 69 players from the top of the playoff standings.
The top 30 in the standings after this event earned spots in the season-ending Tour Championship, to be played Sept. 20-23 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
Bradley, the 2011 PGA Championship winner, captured his fourth PGA Tour title and won for the first time since the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2012. He also earned his first trip to the Tour Championship in five years.
It was Bradley's first victory in 160 events.
"I felt so calm out there today," he told the Golf Channel. "I came out today, I just felt great. I don't normally love looking at leaderboards, but I watched them all day. And it was just my day, it feels so good.
"It was a hard road back, but it feels good."
The final round was pushed back from Sunday to Monday because of constant rain that led to poor course conditions. It was the third unplanned Monday finish on the PGA Tour this season.
Because of the wet conditions, players were allowed to lift, clean and place their ball in the course's closely mown areas.
Bradley ripped off three birdies in a four-hole stretch coming home to grab the lead but bogeyed the closing hole. He was steady throughout the cold and drizzly final round and had a one-stroke lead when he got to the 18th tee. Finally giving into his nerves, he bogeyed the hole and fell out of the lead, only to stand by and watch Rose drop a shot on the final hole as well.
Despite finishing second, Rose ascended to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings, becoming the 22nd player to hold the position since it was introduced in 1986 and the fourth player from England to claim that perch, joining Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Westwood and Luke Donald.
"It's boyhood dreams," he told the Golf Channel of passing Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka for the No. 1 ranking. "This dream that we've all thought about at some point in our lives. Young, aspiring golfers think about it.
"It's a slow burn, and that would be my advice to guys kinda grinding it out out here, kids still trying to make their way. I turned pro at 18 - it took me 20-odd years to get to No. 1. The quest to get better is what I really wake up for in the morning ... and what gets me out of bed."
Billy Horschel was tied with Bradley and Rose for the lead for the better part of the back nine on Monday before finishing with a 64 and in third place at 19 under along with Xander Schauffele (67).
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland ended up fifth at 18 under after a 68 in which he hit the ball well from tee to green but continually missed makeable putts.