Ryder boost for Bradley
Keegan Bradley is set for a Ryder Cup debut next month after his dramatic win in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Last Updated: 28/08/12 4:00pm
Keegan Bradley is set for a Ryder Cup debut next month after jumping up to fourth place in the US standings following his victory in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone.
The top eight after this week's US PGA Championship at Kiawah Island earn automatic places in Davis Love's side and a dramatic late twist means that Bradley will now be one of them.
Bradley secured his spot after a closing 64 at Firestone but the tournament will be as much remembered as the one Jim Furyk threw away.
Back on the course where he lost a seven-hole play-off to Tiger Woods 11 years ago, Furyk was one ahead with one to play.
But the 42-year-old double-bogeyed it moments after Bradley made a 15-foot par putt.
Instead of making a huge leap towards an eighth Ryder Cup cap, Furyk moved only from 15th to 11th in the standings while Bradley jumped from ninth to fourth ahead of the defence of his US PGA crown this week.
Can't believe it
"I still can't believe it," said the 26-year-old, looking almost as stunned as when he won the first major he had ever played in last August - from five behind with three holes to play.
This time he was six strokes adrift with 13 holes remaining, but he closed the gap to one and then saw Furyk flop a chip over a bunker into more rough, hit his next shot to five feet and miss it.
The good news for Furyk, of course, is that even if he does not make it into the Ryder Cup top eight next Sunday night he is favourite now for one of Love's four wildcards - especially after winning all his five games in the Presidents Cup last season.
Despite having won the US PGA title Bradley was not chosen for that, Fred Couples instead picking Tiger Woods and FedEx Cup play-off winner Bill Haas.
The player pushed out of an automatic qualifying spot by Bradley's victory was Hunter Mahan, whose loss to Graeme McDowell gave Europe the win at Celtic Manor two years ago.
Mahan is another near-certain wild card if he needs it, however, and as things stand Steve Stricker and Dustin Johnson would probably complete a powerful-looking line-up.
Stricker matched Bradley's closing 64 to be joint runner-up with Furyk in Akron, leaving Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose joint top Europeans in a share of fifth.
Tiger Woods tied for eighth with, among others, world number one Luke Donald and fellow Englishman Lee Slattery.