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Bradley Squeaks By Furyk & Stricker at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
Keegan Bradley fired a six-birdie 64 to edge by 54-leader Jim Furyk and Steve Stricker to win the $8.5 million WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio.
Bradley, who earned $1.4 million and 550 FedEx Cup points, carded four of his birdies on the back nine en route to finishing at 13-under 267, one stroke lower than Stricker (64) and Furyk (69).
Furyk, who was looking for a wire-to-wire victory, could have won with a par on the par-4 last but double-bogeyed the hole, reminiscent of his struggles down the stretch in June's U.S. Open at the Olympic Club when he lost the lead and Webb Simpson was crowned champion.
On the 18th, Furyk had a one-stroke lead before teeing off. His second shot landed in the right rough above a bunker that Bradley's approach found. Furyk's next shot stopped short of the green, while Bradley's sand blast went past the pin. Furyk's fourth stopped five feet short of the cup, while Bradley sank his par putt and responded with a fist pump.
Furyk then missed his five-footer for bogey, thus eliminating a sudden-death playoff with Bradley and depriving the 42-year-old Pennsylvanian of his first victory since the 2010 Tour Championship. On Sunday, Bradley's clutch play managed to overcome Furyk's four-stroke lead entering the final 18 holes.
The third player in the final threesome, Louis Oosthuizen, ended up in solo fourth at 269 after a 69. Sharing fifth were Justin Rose (67) and Rory McIlroy (68). Jason Dufner closed with a 68 to take seventh at 274, while another stroke back were Aaron Baddeley (66), Tiger Woods (66), Matt Kuchar (66), K.J. Choi (66), David Toms (68), Lee Slattery (68), No. 1-ranked Luke Donald (70) and Bo Van Pelt (71).
After opening with rounds of 70, 72 and 68, Woods shined with four birdies and 14 pars. "I played well today," said Woods, now ranked No. 2 in the world. "I hit a lot of good shots and never really sniffed making a bogey all day. So that was a good day."
The start of the final round was delayed two hours and 48 minutes due to heavy rain and lightning.
Bradley is now heading to the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island in South Carolina, where he'll seek to defend his title in the PGA Championship, golf's fourth major of the year.
For all the scores, visit http://www.worldgolfchampionships.com/leaderboards/current/r476/index.html.
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