Bradley holds off Rose in play­off to win at Aron­imink

Manteca Bulletin - - Sports -

NEW­TOWN SQUARE, Pa. (AP) — Kee­gan Bradley had bot­tomed out, crash­ing from the high of win­ning the PGA Cham­pi­onship to tum­bling out of the top 100 in the world. His chances to rep­re­sent U.S. teams in in­ter­na­tional play had dried up, his pre­ferred putting method was banned, and the con­fi­dence that once put him on the cusp of great­ness was shot.

“It’s scary when I look back, be­cause I didn’t know I needed this much im­prove­ment,” Bradley said.

He was like a sci­en­tist in the lab, chang­ing his swing, his putting stroke, his fun­da­men­tals — in­vest­ing in the work needed to get to where he was Mon­day on soggy Aron­imink: go­ing head-to-head in a sud­den-death play­off against the new No. 1 player in the world, Justin Rose.

For a player who had to rein­vent his game, the clutch mo­ment didn’t seem so scary.

Bradley topped Rose with a par on the first play­off hole to win the rain-plagued BMW Cham­pi­onship for his first PGA Tour vic­tory in six years.

Bradley’s fourth ca­reer win meant a bit more than the oth­ers — yes, even the ma­jor he won in 2011 — be­cause he held more than a tro­phy and a $1.62 mil­lion check. He also got to give his young son Lo­gan a vic­tory toss in the air on the 18th green for the first time. Bradley, who shot a fi­nal round 6-un­der 64 to fin­ish at 20-un­der 260, thrust his arms to­ward the gray sky and driz­zle in cel­e­bra­tion and waved his fam­ily to­ward him to bring them in for a lengthy em­brace.

“I’ve won be­fore, and I win and I fin­ish, and I go home, just me,” Bradley said. “Now, I get to go back and we get to have fun and en­joy it to­gether. It’s just a com­pletely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Rose left Aron­imink with a new re­al­ity as well. Though he was run­ner-up at the FedEx Cup play­off event, he didn’t come up short in the world rank­ing. Rose moved No. 1 in the world ahead of Dustin John­son and be­came the 22nd player to reach the top spot since the rank­ing be­gan in 1986.

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