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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Limerick Summary: 2012 WGC—Bridgestone Invitational

Winner: Keegan Bradley

Around the wider world of golf: Bernhard Langer won the 3M Championship on the Champions Tour; Catriona Matthew won the LET's Ladies Irish Open; Jaclyn Sweeney won the Symetra Tour's Credit Union Challenge; J.J. Henry won the PGA Tour's alternate event, the Reno-Tahoe Open; Ben Kohles continued his undefeated career as a pro (he's 2 for 2 now) with a victory at the Web.com Tour's Cox Classic; and Shanshan Feng notched another victory by winning the JLPGA's Meiji Cup Sunday. The Constructivist has details.

Another Bradley putt drops

Yesterday I noted how hard it is to be the 36-hole leader and how the 54-hole leader doesn't fare much better. It turned out to be more prophetic than I expected. J.J. Henry did manage to hold on and win at Tahoe... by a single point. (In case you're interested, his 7-point final round worked out to a 69 in stroke play.)

But that tie for the lead at the Cox Classic? Both Guthrie and Henley got blitzed by several players -- Dawie van der Walt was on 59 watch -- and ultimately Ben Kohles took the win with a 62.

That 4-shot lead David Peoples had at the 3M Championship? Obliterated by Bernhard Langer's final round 62.

And then there was the Bridgestone, where Jim Furyk had led from Day 1 and carried a single-shot lead into Sunday's round. He held it for 71 holes. Unlike the winners at the other stroke play tournaments, Keegan Bradley could only come up with a 64... but that was good enough.

Keegan is making a habit out of last-minute heroics, having sunk big putts for most of his wins as well as the playoff earlier this year with Bill Haas and Phil Mickelson. He credited a large part of this win to a ball change -- he's now using a Srixon -- but I think he just enjoys the challenge of running down the big names on the back 9. Here's some of his after-round press conference from PGATOUR.com, if you're interested. Some of it's quite funny. (But if you're in a hurry, bear in mind that it's 13 minutes long.)



At any rate, this win puts Keegan in some rarified air. Only Tiger won a WGC and a major at a younger age, and Keegan's 3 wins are all quality wins. (His first win, in case you've forgotten, was the 2011 HP Byron Nelson.) This win also locked up a position on the Ryder Cup team -- no snub this year! All-in-all, I'd say Keegan's in pretty good form to defend his title next week at the PGA.

One note concerning that long putter: Keegan told Tim Rosaforte that he wasn't worried about a possible rule change. He said if they took it away, he'd deal with it then; for now, he just intends to keep winning. And I believe he will, simply because I've believed for some time now that he wins in spite of the long putter, not because of it. When you handle nerves as well as Keegan does, you can probably putt with a 2x4 and still make more putts than most people!

Appropriately enough, this week's Limerick Summary salutes the young guy with nerves of steel... and a whole lot of rabid fans:
He's the king of last-minute heroics
And despite what you think, there are no tricks.
Keegan putts with success
'Cause he's bold—no finesse—
Which draws crowds of loud fans… never stoics.
The photo came from the front page at PGATOUR.com, and the video comes from the worldgolfchampionships.com site.

2 comments:

  1. Ditto on the JLPGA re: leads. Shanshan Feng shot a 67 to catch 2-time money-list leader Sun-Ju Ahn and ex-LPGAer Shinobu Moromizato, then won on the 5th playoff hole with a 237-yard 3-wood and a 40-some-footer for eagle!

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  2. Clearly no lead is safe anymore. Should be interesting at the PGA this week and the Women's British next month!

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