AKRON, Ohio – Right when it looked as if Keegan Bradley would need a birdie to force a playoff, he won the Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday with a par.

Bradley closed with a 6-under 64 and the final stroke was the most important — a 15-foot putt to save par from a plugged lie in the bunker.

Jim Furyk, who led for 71 holes, chopped up the 18th hole and made a double bogey to throw away a shot at his first win since the 2010 Tour Championship.

Furyk missed the green from the fairway, barely got over a bunker into thick grass, chipped weakly to 5 feet and the bogey putt to force a playoff never had a chance.

Furyk dropped his putter when the ball left his blade. He went from what appeared to be a certain win to a 69 and a tie for second with Steve Stricker, who made four birdies on his last five holes for a 64.

“I’ve got no one to blame but myself,” Furyk said. “There’s no way I should have made more than a 5.”

Along with winning, Bradley all but wrapped up a spot on the Ryder Cup team.

Bradley won for the first time since last year in the PGA Championship and now goes to Kiawah Island to defend his title with a lot more confidence.

“I still can’t believe it,” he said.

Bradley was four shots behind going into the final round, and was six shots back when Furyk opened with three straight birdies.

Bradley kept pecking away at the lead, holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the seventh, scrambling for par on the 12th and starting the back nine with a pair of birdies.

 


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