Playing in his first ever Major, Keegan Bradley of the USA defeated countryman Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff for the 93rd USPGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Bradley became the first man to win a Major on his first attempt since Ben Curtis at the 2003 Open Championship and only the second man to achieve that feat since Francis Ouimet’s US Open triumph of 1913.
He is also the first man to win a Major wielding a long putter and the first American to win one of golf’s big four tournaments since Phil Mickelson won the Masters in 2010. He is the seventh straight first-time Major winner.
Bradley’s chances looked to have gone when he mad a triple bogey at the par-3 15th in the final round. But the 25-year-old bounced back with birdies at his next two holes to move to eight-under-par.
Dufner had a five shot lead over Bradley after the latter’s disaster at 15. But Dufner also found the water at the 15th and, although he escaped with a bogey, he went on to make bogeys at the 16th and 17th holes. Those meant he fell back into a tie with Bradley on eight-under. A par at the last ensured a playoff was required to decide the title.
Both men played fantastic approach shots into the first playoff hole – the 16th. Bradley went on to make a birdie and take a one stroke lead. When Dufner took three putts at the 17th, the gap was two and, although Dufner birdied the treacherous 18th, Bradley scored a par to win by a shot.
“It feels unbelievable,” Bradley said. “It seems like a dream and I’m afraid I’m going to wake up here in the next five minutes and it’s not going to be real.”
Denmark’s Anders Hansen was the best-placed European player. He fired an excellent closing 66 to finish alone in third.
“I’m very proud of myself,” he said. “It’s good for my confidence, good for the future.”
English players Luke Donald and Lee Westwood threatened to contend early in their rounds but both faded on the difficult run for home and they finished tied for eighth.
Atlanta Athletic Club, Georgia
Aug 11-14, purse $8,000,000, par 70
1 Keegan Bradley (USA) 71 64 69 68 272 $1,445,000
2 Jason Dufner (USA) 70 65 68 69 272 $865,000
3 Anders Hansen (Den) 68 69 70 66 273 $545,000
T4 Robert Karlsson (Swe) 70 71 67 67 275 $331,000
T4 David Toms (USA) 72 71 65 67 275 $331,000
T4 Scott Verplank (USA) 67 69 69 70 275 $331,000
7 Adam Scott (Aus) 69 69 70 68 276 $259,000
T8 Lee Westwood (Eng) 71 68 70 68 277 $224,500
T8 Luke Donald (Eng) 70 71 68 68 277 $224,500
Note: Player score in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only