BMW Championship: Keegan Bradley beats Justin Rose in a play-off to lift title

Golf
Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley beat Justin Rose in a play-off to lift the BMW Championship following a thrilling final round in Pennsylvania.

Leaderboard

-20 Justin Rose, Keegan Bradley *(Bradley won after a play-off)

-19 Xander Schauffele, Billy Horschel

-18 Rory McIlroy

Day four report

Justin Rose admits his "boyhood dream" of becoming world number one was tainted by his agonising play-off defeat at the BMW Championship.

The Englishman climbed to the top of the rankings above American trio Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas after securing at least second place at the event in Philadelphia.

But his achievement was then slightly overshadowed following a disappointing additional hole at the Aronimink Golf Club which saw him edged out by winner Keegan Bradley.

"I know there is a bit of good news but it kind of takes a slight bit of the edge off," Rose told Sky Sports Golf.

Speaking about his new ranking, he added: "That's obviously boyhood dream stuff, something I'm incredibly proud of.

"I now have another string to the bow; if you're trying to sum up my career in three sentences - world number one would be right up there with the other achievements.

"I'm very proud of it, it's been a good stretch of golf, I've really played solidly for over a year.

"I always envisaged myself getting to world number one by winning tournaments and the last two weeks I haven't won.

"But delighted to have got to the top, absolutely."

Rose looked on course for the 10th PGA Tour title of his career after American Bradley bogeyed the 18th following a wild tee shot.

The 38-year-old narrowly missed a putt for par though, leaving the pair level on 20-under and forcing the additional hole.

Bradley, who fired a six-under 64 in the final round after beginning the day three shots behind Rose, had been watching anxiously at the side of the course with his family and he then returned to take advantage of his extra opportunity.

"The putt I hit to, I thought, win the tournament was probably as good a putt as I have ever hit to try and win a tournament and to see that spin out was unfortunate," added Rose, who carded a three-under 67 on his final round.

"Then we all saw the play-off, that was terrible, but it's one of those things.

"That's the thing with sudden-death play-offs, you make a mistake and it's all over."

After Sunday's wet weather postponed the final round, overnight leader Rose got off to a shaky start in defence of his one-shot advantage with a bogey on the first hole.

He quickly found his rhythm and five birdies, including successive ones on the 16th and 17th holes, put him in a strong position to take the crown, prior to his late wobble.

Americans Billy Horschel and Xander Schauffele finished tied for third, a shot off the pace, while Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy was fifth on 18-under following a final round 68.

Tiger Woods, who celebrated his return to the United States Ryder Cup team by earning a share of the lead after the first round, was joint sixth alongside compatriot Webb Simpson on 17-under, while England's Tommy Fleetwood shared eighth place with Tony Finau, Rickie Fowler and Open champion Francesco Molinari.

Winner Bradley said: "It means everything, it took a lot of hard work to get back to this spot.

"It's just an incredible feeling right now. This has been a long time coming so I'm thrilled."

Day three report

Justin Rose took a step closer to the world number one spot after snatching the lead at the BMW Championship with a six-under round of 64.

The Englishman spearheaded a British contingent who moved in at the top of the leaderboard after rain-delayed play resumed in Philadelphia on Saturday.

Chasing his 10th PGA Tour title, Rose charged through the front nine on day three at the Aronimink Golf Club in 29 thanks to half a dozen birdies.

Rose made it back to the clubhouse without dropping a shot and edged ahead of round two leader Xander Schauffele, whose 67 saw him slide into second on 16 under overall.

The American sits a shot off the pace with Rory McIlroy, who recovered from a second-round slip-up with a round of 63.

After an encouraging start the Northern Irishman suffered a scare on the eighth, but quickly regained composure and bounced back on the ninth with an eagle.

The best round of the day saw Tommy Fleetwood's 62 put him on 15 under overall, tying the Englishman in fourth with Rickie Fowler of the US.

All three Britons are on the European Ryder Cup squad heading to Spain later this month.

After a tricky second round Tiger Woods tried to regain lost ground on Saturday, but his four-under round of 66 was not enough to make much of a difference.

He rose one place up the board to sit tied in 11th on 12 under overall.

It was a better day for Open Championship winner Francesco Molinari, whose 64 pulled him 13 places up the board to tie for seventh.

The Italian Ryder Cup squad member fared better than wildcard team mates Paul Casey and Tyrrell Hatton, whose rounds of 69 saw them both plunge 12 places into joint 50th.

Ian Poulter, who will also be heading to Spain, carded a 67 to climb four spots into 44th and go five under overall.

A win in Philadelphia should be enough for Rose to take the crown of world number one from Dustin Johnson.

The American, along with world number two Brooks Koepka, were tied in 33rd after round three on eight under overall.

Day two report

Xander Schauffele moved to the top of the leaderboard on day two of the BMW Championship to strengthen his push for a Ryder Cup place.

The American followed up an opening 63 with a second-round 64 to reach 13-under, on a day which saw both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy falter as Justin Rose powered past them and into contention.

Schauffele birdied four of the opening seven holes and two of the final three in a round which again included just one blemish, in the process threatening to give US Ryder Cup captain Jim Furyk a real headache.

Furyk has one more wild card selection to make, having named Woods, Phil Mickelson and Bryson DeChambeau earlier in the week, and it has long been expected to go to in-form Tony Finau.

But Schauffele, who won last year's TOUR Championship and had a chance to win the Open at Carnoustie in July, will further enhance his already impressive credentials should he continue at this relentless pace.

He said: "I feel like I'm sort of on a mission here. I have lots to prove to myself, and I just want to win and just handle my business."

Finau kept the leader in his sights with a 64 to move to eight-under, but Rose is now in closest pursuit on 11-under having continued his progress, which has been flawless since he started the tournament with a bogey.

Woods however putted poorly in a level-par 70 which included bogeys at both the 17th and 18th holes to fall five adrift, whereas McIlroy at least ended on the front foot as he shot 69 despite struggling with the pace of the greens.

Woods told pgatour.com: "I hit it just as good and putt it just as good. Nothing went in. That's the way it goes.

"That round today was easily six, seven-under par. It turned into even par which is not what I needed to do today."

Keegan Bradley, Rickie Fowler, Hideki Matsuyama and Alex Noren share third on 10-under, the latter having chipped in for eagle at the ninth, his final hole, while Justin Thomas and Jason Day are in a high-class group on nine-under which is completed by McIlroy.

Tommy Fleetwood meanwhile sprang to life with a round of 62 which saw him hit all 18 greens in regulation, a feat also achieved by Day for just the second time in his career. Fleetwood moved into a share of 20th, two back of Day and six off the lead.

Day one report

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy both shot blistering opening rounds of 62 to share the clubhouse lead at the BMW Championship on eight under par.

Woods, who was tipped up by our Ben Coley at 28/1 before the event, is now 7/2 with Sky Bet to win the tournament.

Woods celebrated his return to the United States Ryder Cup team by setting the early pace at the latest FedEx Cup play-off event where he carded his second-lowest ever front nine score of 29.

After suffering some putting woes of late Woods has returned to the same trusty old putter he first put in his bag almost 20 years ago, and the move paid off with his flying start at Aronimink in Philadelphia.

Woods won 13 of his 14 majors with the same Scotty Cameron blade and being reunited with his favourite flat stick paid off as he took 27 putts for the round and made everything from inside ten feet.

"I've hit hundreds of millions of putts," Woods said after his round. "I've had it since '99 and my body just remembers it. Sometimes it works but it just feels very familiar to me.

"I've been monkeying around with that putter back home and in the backyard. It feels good. I know the release point and I know how it swings and my body morphed into a position where it understands where it needs to be to release the putter."

McIlroy later joined Woods at the summit of the leaderboard as he made ten birdies against just two dropped shots to match the efforts of his great friend and rival.

Xander Schauffele shot 63 to sit on his own in third place on seve-under while Billy Horschel, Peter Uihlein, Justin Thomas and Alex Noren all shot 64.

Rickie Fowler, playing aongside Woods as he returned from injury, carded a five-under 65 to sit in a tie for eighth place.

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