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Monday, May 30, 2011

The Limerick Summary: 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship

Winner: Keegan Bradley

Around the wider world of golf: Luke Donald took down Lee Westwood in a one-hole playoff at the BMW PGA Championship, grabbing not only the win but #1 in the OWGR; Caroline Hedwall took the LET's Allianz Ladies Slovak Open; Hiromi Mogi won the Yonex Ladies on the JLPGA (the Constructivist has the details); Mariajo Uribe won the LPGA's Brazil Cup in Rio de Janeiro; and Tom Watson beat David Eger in a one-hole playoff to win his sixth senior major on the Champions Tour.

Keegan Bradley on Nationwide Tour

I guess Tour rookies get no respect either. A search for articles about Keegan Bradley's playoff victory at the Nelson turned up photos of Jordan Spieth (the local amateur), Sergio Garcia, Ryan Palmer... but no pics of Bradley, even though the articles were about his win.

Maybe that'll change in the future. As it is, I chose a pic from PGATOUR.com showing Bradley on the Nationwide Tour, the article having been written by our local newspaper's golf columnist, John Dell. That article gives some nice background on the Tour's newest winner.

In case you've been hanging out with the guy in this commercial:



let me tell you about Keegan Bradley. His dad Mark is head pro at the Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club in Wyoming, and his aunt is LPGA legend Pat Bradley. (I wonder if they'll be ringing the cowbell for his win, the way they used to for Pat? Probably!) And Keegan won in typical Bradley fashion -- by outlasting the field.

After Friday's round the lead was at -8... and it went backward from there. Winds gusting at more than 30mph on both Saturday and Sunday drove the number of players under par to a mere 5 by the end of the tournament. When Keegan posted at -3 via a bogey-free back nine that included 8 straight birdies, Ryuji Amada was at -5 and looked to be in good shape. But the wind cost him 3 bogeys in the last 4 holes, and everybody else with a chance had a similar tale to tell. Only Ryan Palmer, who started the day at -5, managed to birdie the 18th and post a +2 round to make a playoff.

Surely the advantage fell to Palmer, with 3 Tour wins already and riding the high of a birdie on the last hole. Bradley had been waiting for some time, and it showed as the playoff began and he nailed his drive way right into the woods. Palmer also missed the fairway right, but he had a fairly clear shot. Game over, right?

Right, but not as expected. Bradley threaded a big hook through the trees and barely held the edge of the green, just short of the water on the left... and Palmer rinsed his second shot. Bradley got up-and-down for his first Tour win... and most likely his first "cowbelling."

So here's a Limerick Summary for the Florida kid who's originally from Vermont... and who showed his appreciation for alpine sports in the hot flatland of Texas:
Keegan Bradley could not have been calmer
In his playoff against Ryan Palmer.
Though he drove in the woods,
He came up with the goods―
An approach dodging trees like a slalomer.

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