Johns Creek, Ga. A rally that ranks among the best. A collapse hardly anyone saw coming. There was even a guy in a red shirt Sunday, pumping his fists with each clutch putt in the final, frenzied hour of the PGA Championship.
In a major filled with unfamiliar names, Keegan Bradley delivered an unforgettable finish.
Bradley was five shots behind with only three holes to play after his chip shot raced across the 15th green and into the water, leading to a triple bogey. That’s when he reminded himself that no lead was safe on the final four holes at Atlanta Athletic Club.
“I just kept telling myself, ‘Don’t let that hole define this whole tournament,’” Bradley said.
Instead, it led to one of the most stunning turnarounds in a major. Bradley made back-to-back birdies, including a 35-footer with a belly putter that rattled into the cup on the 17th.
Then came a monumental meltdown by Jason Dufner. Unflappable all afternoon, he hit his tee shot in the water on the 15th for the first of three straight bogeys that led to a three-hole playoff.
Bradley birdied the 16th hole in the playoff — his first outright lead of the day — and went on to win by one shot.
Bradley became only the third player in at least 100 years to win a major championship in his first try.
The Wanamaker at his side, Bradley took out his cell phone and took a picture of the oversized trophy. It wasn’t long before he posted it on Twitter with three hash tags — “pgachampion. triplebogies. happiness.”
“It feels unbelievable,” he said.