TO BE one shot behind the leader in a Major and then make a triple bogey is the stuff that shatters hopes and dreams. Which is why Keegan Bradley (right) deserves so much credit for bouncing straight back with birdies at 16 and 17 and then winning a play-off to claim the US PGA Championship. It was a fantastic performance and the perfect end to a riveting tournament.
But I do feel sorry for Jason Dufner, who played absolutely beautifully only to wobble at the end and then lose out in the play-off. Even though Bradley appeared to have the momentum going into the three extra holes, it was Dufner who played the shot of the play-off. His four iron at the 16th was a beauty and set up a putt that was almost a gimme birdie. But that’s golf. In the end it was Bradley who did it and you can’t begrudge him victory because he played great.
He might have been the first American Major winner for some time but the Europeans put in good performances. Tee to green, Lee Westwood was magnificent, probably eight shots ahead of the rest of the field, but just could not get the ball to drop in the hole.
Luke Donald was marvellous as usual, but the last four holes killed him all week, Anders Hansen was just one shot away from making it a three-way play-off, and Robert Karlsson just fell down in the closing stages.
Incredibly, Bradley is now higher in the world rankings than Tiger Woods, who was dismal at the US PGA. He got the start he wanted but dropping 10 shots in 13 holes shows how out of sorts he is.
The hardest club to bag is the pencil. He’s not been using the pencil for months and it’s hard to compete when you’ve not been doing it. He needs to play six or seven events in the next eight weeks now to get back to where he belongs.
I have to mention Rory McIlroy as well, who injured his arm hitting a tree root. It was a ridiculous decision to play that shot when he couldn’t possibly reach the green. It was a potentially career-changing decision. We don’t know how severe the injury is – lets hope its nothing – but he could have done something there that would put him out of the game for a year. That’s the impetuosity of youth.
I’m back in action this week at the Scottish Senior Open and feeling good. I’ve been working hard and seem to be playing really nicely, so we’ll see.