Keagan Bradley wins 2011 USPGA

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Updated: August 15, 2011

Keegan Bradley won his first major at the first time of asking as the rookie American saw off Jason Dufner in a playoff to lift the PGA Championship trophy in Atlanta.

While Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy tied for 64th position on 11-over par for the tournament, Bradley overcame a triple-bogey on the 15th hole on Sunday to catch Dufner at the top of the leaderboard and force a three-hole playoff.
Both Bradley and Dufner finished on 8-under par after 72 holes in regulation play but it was the 25 year old Bradley who made the difference in the playoff where he birdied the first hole and kept par on the remaining two to beat the always-composed challenger Jason Dufner.
Dufner never looked stressed or fazed during his time on the course but that wasn’t enough for him to see off the young rookie in their play-off, as he had to two-putt his way to a bogey on the second hole par 3 and could only manage a par on the first, despite an excellent approach from the fairway which he nearly holed for an eagle.
Dufner pulled one shot back to even par for the playoff on the last hole after he putted a difficult enough shot for birdie but it still meant Bradley could two-putt his way to the championship, and the 25 year-old duly obliged.
Bradley impressed at the Bridgestone Invitational last week in which he went into the final day in contention for the tournament but his play on Sunday saw him fall just short of championship winning form.
The young man from Vermont was five shots off the lead with three holes to go but a combination of dropped shots from Dufner and excellent play by himself saw him clinch the playoff; his putt on the 17th will be particularly memorable.
It was not a memorable weekend for the Irish however, as Darren Clarke and Graeme McDowell failed to make the cut and Harrington and McIlroy ended up near the bottom of the group that did make the weekend play.
McIlroy can mark his below average performance for the tournament down to an injury he picked up on only the 3rd hole during his first round on Thursday in a risky shot off a tree root that didn’t pay off.
The top two ranked players in the world Luke Donald and Lee Westwood finished tied for 8th on 3-under par but it was a poor return to form for Tiger Woods as the four time PGA Championship winner missed the cut on Friday and ended his involvement in Atlanta on 10-under.

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