Keegan Bradley in dramatic play-off win at US PGA
History was made in Atlanta in the early hours of this morning, when Keegan Bradley defeated fellow American Jason Dufner in a three-hole play-off for the US PGA Championship.
The first player to win on his first appearance in a major since Ben Curtis at Sandwich in 2003, Bradley recovered from five shots behind with only three holes left to lift the Wanamaker Trophy at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Not only is little-known Bradley the first player to capture a major with a long putter, but also seven majors in a row have now been taken by first-time winners - and that has not happened before either.
How it was Bradley and not Dufner, almost defied belief. The 25-year-old, whose aunt Pat won six majors and is in golf's Hall of Fame, looked to have blown his chances of becoming only the second player since 1913 to win on his major debut when he triple-bogeyed the short 15th. But the world No 108 birdied the 16th and then made a near 40-footer for another at the 160-yard 17th.
In the group behind, meanwhile, world No 80 Dufner also went in the water at the 259-yard 15th and, after doing well to escape with a bogey there, he failed to get up and down from sand on the next and then three-putted the 17th.
Suddenly they were level on eight under par and after both parred the last - no mean effort with the lake in play for the first and second shots - to beat Dane Anders Hansen by one, they returned to the 16th for the start of a three-hole play-off.
Dufner almost holed his second shot, but Bradley also hit in to within five feet of the flag and he was the one to make the birdie putt.
A par was good enough to make the gap two as Dufner three-putted the 17th once more and, although Dufner made a brilliant birdie on the last, Bradley's par secured the title in the first major of his life. Before Curtis, the last player to win a major at the first attempt was Francis Ouimet at the 1913 US Open.
Swede Robert Karlsson felt the pressure, just like Dufner. He had been one behind, but bogeyed the last three and allowed Hansen to come third after a closing 66.
The shock was that on the first three days, Dufner was three under par for holes 15 to 18, two better than anybody else in the field. But they got him in the end just like they got just about everybody else at some stage.
Englishmen Luke Donald and Lee Westwood finished joint eighth, their late errors in the third round proving too much to recover from.
World No 1 Donald, so annoyed at himself for double-bogeying the last hole of his third round and falling six behind, was only three back after playing his first 12 holes in four under.
But he went in the water on the short 15th - start of the fearsome closing stretch at the Athletic Club - and bogeyed the last as well for only a 68.
World No 2 Westwood also finished three under par and also bogeyed the last - his only dropped stroke of a day when he once more could not get the putts to drop.
Westwood, playing his 55th major, said: "I played lovely again today. It's just one of those things. I felt like I stroked it a little bit better, but, having said that, I missed twice inside six feet in the first five holes.
"When you're looking to get off to a quick start that is not ideal. Then it was in the water at six and I made a nice ten-footer there for par. I didn't really hole that much, apart from ten feet on 10. I have enjoyed playing great for a long time now, but unfortunately when I turn up to majors and I don't win it's a disappointing week for everybody it seems - and obviously for me."
Donald commented: "It was a missed opportunity again. At the beginning of the day I thought if I could get to six or seven under I might have a chance.
"But the guys out front really made it tough - they are playing well - and I thought I had to press a little bit hard and take on some pins on those last few holes. Obviously I hit a poor shot on 15. I just didn't strike it well enough."
On a weekend when they both fell short again, Westwood and Donald were also bitterly disappointed when they spoke to the media on Saturday night.
"I'm completely fed up. I've had enough now," said Westwood after dropping two shots on the 468-yard 14th in an otherwise bogey-free 70. "I made two birdies and they were from five-foot putts. I missed five inside ten feet and you can't do that on these greens - everybody else is making them."
Asked ahead of yesterday's final round what more he could do to cure a problem that has dogged him most of the season, Westwood replied: "Different religion maybe. I've tried everything else and I need inspiration from somewhere.
"I would like to think they will drop tomorrow, but they haven't dropped all year, so why should they tomorrow?"
Donald was similarly despondent. "I am angry," he had said after signing for his third-round 68. "I had something good going and I threw it away. It's just a shame to waste it like I did. I worked so hard to get to five under.
"Those last few holes are tough, but on the third shot to 18 I was probably too aggressive with my line and just pushed it.
"I gave myself a lot of chances, that's the positive thing, and if I can go low tomorrow who knows? But obviously the finish leaves a bitter taste in my mouth."
Rory McIlroy grabbed a birdie at the 507-yard par-four 18th for the second day running and shot 74 to finish alongside Padraig Harrington in 64th spot.
Londoner Brian Davis finished level par, Ian Poulter four over, Ross Fisher five over, Simon Dyson six over and Paul Casey 14 over. Not quite last, but close to it.
Matteo Manassero, the 18-year-old Italian, closed with a 70 for a one-over-par total, meaning he becomes the latest player to overtake former world No 1 Tiger Woods in the rankings. Woods missed the cut on Friday.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West