Furyk collapse hands Bradley Akron victory

Furyk collapse hands Bradley Akron victory

Keegan Bradley, six shots back with only 13 holes left, pulled off a stunning victory over crest-fallen Jim Furyk at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in Akron tonight.

Eleven years on from Tiger Woods beating him in a seven-hole play-off on the same Firestone course, Furyk was one in front with one to play, but double-bogeyed it to lose by one.

Bradley, who defends his USPGA title this coming week, must have thought his chance had probably gone when he bunkered his approach to the 18th.

He even arrived to find the ball in a plugged ball, but splashed out to 15 feet and made the putt for par and a brilliant 64.

Furyk, meanwhile, had had a lucky break off the tee when his ball rebounded off a tree into the fairway, but from there he made a complete mess of the hole.

His approach missed, his chip carried the bunker where Bradley’s ball was only to land in more rough and when he suddenly had to make his five-foot bogey putt just to force sudden death he pushed it badly wide.

In its way it was as bad a finish as Adam Scott’s four closing bogeys in The Open a fortnight earlier.

Bradley, whose win should be enough to earn him a Ryder Cup debut next month, finished 13 under par, while Furyk - round in 69 - fell into a tie for second with Steve Stricker, whose four birdies in the last five holes meant he also shot 64.

Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose, both heading for their second caps against the Americans, shared fifth place on eight under, while Woods fired a bogey-free 66 to climb from 24th into a tie for eighth.

Furyk, one ahead of Louis Oosthuizen overnight, came out after a near three-hour storm delay to birdie the first three holes and at three clear starting for home had a first World Golf Championship in his sights.

But Bradley, having already birdied the third and seventh, closed the gap to one by picking up further strokes at the 10th, 11th and 14th.

Both birdied the long 16th, Furyk from 18 feet and Bradley from 11, but the event will be remembered for Furyk’s last hole rather than the 71 that preceded it.

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