Keegan Bradley came through a playoff against Justin Rose to win the BMW Championship at Aronimink. In finishing second, Rose did enough to become World Number 1.
Keegan Bradley wins BMW Championship
America’s Keegan Bradley defeated Justin Rose of England at the first hole of a playoff for the BMW Championship. The Englishman could console himself with the fact he has become the World’s Number 1 ranked golfer.
After tying through 72 holes at Aronimink Country Club, on 20-under-par, Rose and Bradley returned to the 18th tee to settle the tournament in a sudden-death playoff.
On the first extra hole Rose hit his tee shot to the left while Bradley found the fairway. Rose’s second was lost slightly right but it struck the grandstand and ended on the edge of the putting surface.
Bradley then played his second from 190 yards to a similar spot just off the green.
The American was first to putt and he left his birdie effort just short of the cup. Rose then had another chance to win it, but he left his first putt well short. He then missed the par effort and Bradley was left with a tap-in to take the victory – his first since the 2012 WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
“This means everything. It took a lot of work to get back to this spot and it’s incredible when those efforts pay off,” said Bradley. “It was a great battle today and I was keeping an eye on the leaderboards. I felt comfortable and it’s amazing to get it done.”
Rose was able to take the positives at the end of the tournament.
“I enjoyed it down the stretch. I thought I’d won it with that putt on the 72nd,” he said. “To get to World Number 1 though is a boyhood dream and I’m incredibly proud of that. I’ve played solidly through the year and I’m disappointed it didn’t come through a win but still, very proud to join the list of incredible players who have been Number 1.”
In regulation play at Aronimink, Bradley reached 21-under-par with an excellent birdie two at the par-3 17th but two poor shots on the 72nd hole led to a bogey five and a clubhouse total of 20-under.
Rose made a birdie of his own on the penultimate hole in regulation play to get to 21-under and, with Bradley’s closing bogey, the Englishman needed a par on the last to claim the title.
He hit a solid drive but, into the wind, his second ballooned and came up short of the green. He hit a poor chip and then his putt for par and the win lipped out of the cup.
Xander Schauffele had a chance to join Bradley and Rose in the playoff. He needed a birdie on the home hole to reach 20-under. After two good shots he gave himself a chance but his putt drifted just past the right edge.
With Tony Finau also finishing strongly, it may be that Schauffele just misses out on securing the final Ryder Cup wildcard pick from Jim Furyk.
Billy Horschel also came very close to posting a four-round total of 260. He needed to chip in from beside the 18th green to do just that. He made a great effort at it but narrowly missed.
Rory McIlroy couldn’t get it going through round four. He played some great golf but the putts wouldn’t drop and he finished alone in fifth place.
Tiger Woods had another good week. He closed with an excellent 65 to finish on 17-under and in a tie for sixth place.
In the battle to make it to the Tour Championship at East Lake, Patton Kizzire did just enough to get in on the bubble at Number 30 while Jordan Spieth was the man to lose out – He dropped from 27th to 31st place and will not play in the season-ending event for the first time in his pro career.
Those playing their way in to East Lake and still now with a chance to win the FedEx Cup were: Keegan Bradley who moved from 52nd to 6th and Xander Schauffele; up to 18th from 41st.
Aronimink GC, Newton Square, Pennsylvania
Purse: €9,000,000 Par: 70
1 Keegan Bradley (USA) 66 64 66 64 260
1 Justin Rose (Eng) 66 63 64 67 260
T3 Billy Horschel (USA) 64 67 66 64 261
T3 Xander Schauffele (USA) 63 64 67 67 261
5 Rory McIlroy (NIR) 62 69 63 68 262
T6 Webb Simpson (USA) 66 67 65 65 263
T6 Tiger Woods (USA) 62 70 66 65 263
T8 Tony Finau (USA) 68 64 67 65 264
T8 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 70 63 64 67 264
T8 Tommy Fleetwood (Eng) 71 62 62 69 264
T8 Rickie Fowler (USA) 65 65 65 69 264
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage