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Bradley benefits as Furyk falters on 18

Keegan Bradley pulls out a come-from-behind victory by shooting 6-under 64 and hitting a 15-foot par putt on 18.

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Keegan Bradley pulls out a come-from-behind victory by shooting 6-under 64 and hitting a 15-foot par putt on 18.

AKRON, Ohio — Keegan Bradley never looked like a winner over four days and 71 holes at Firestone until he poured in a 15-foot par putt on the final hole Sunday.

Given the way golf has gone this year, no one should have been surprised.

Two weeks after Adam Scott gave up a four-shot lead with four holes to play in the British Open, Jim Furyk was poised to finish off a wire-to-wire win at the Bridgestone Invitational until he made double bogey from the middle of the 18th fairway.

His 5-foot bogey putt to at least get into a playoff never had a chance, and he dropped his putter and bent over with a mixture of shock and disgust.

"I led the golf tournament the entire way and lost it on the very last hole," Furyk said. "To get that close and to know that I played more than good enough to win the golf tournament, and not close the door, is disappointing. It is a cruel game. I've lost some tournaments in some pretty poor fashions, but I don't think I've let one ever slip nearly as bad as this one. This was my worst effort to finish off an event."

Lost in his 18th-hole collapse was a sterling performance by Bradley, who shot 31 on the back and came up with one clutch putt after another. None was bigger than the final stroke of his 6-under 64. After blasting out of a plugged lie in the bunker, he poured in a 15-foot putt for par that turned out to be the winner.

"I didn't think for a second I was going to miss it," Bradley said. "It was unbelievable. I got behind it, and I barely even had to read it. I knew the exact way it was going to break. I just needed to hit it hard enough. I knew that. And it was dead center."

Bradley, who won for the third time in his career, finished at 13-under 267 and is all but assured of making his first Ryder Cup team.

CHAMPIONS: Bernhard Langer rallied to win the 3M Championship for the second time in four years, shooting 10-under 62 to overcome a six-stroke deficit in Blaine, Minn. The German finished at 18-under 198 at the TPC Twin Cities for his 15th tour title. He ended a 24-event victory drought, his longest on the 50-and-over tour. David Peoples, three strokes ahead entering the final round, shot 70 to finish second, two shots behind.

PGA: J.J. Henry won the Reno-Tahoe (Nev.) 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, three points for anything worse.

Bradley benefits as Furyk falters on 18 08/05/12 [Last modified: Sunday, August 5, 2012 10:19pm]
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