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Keegan Bradley burst into flames during the final round of the PGA Championship, where he was seven-under par for the day and just one-stroke behind Cam Smith when he stepped foot on the infamous 17th hole. The two-hole stretch however, would burn a hole in his pocket to the tune of $700k.
Like so many before him, Bradley’s tee shot on the 17th found the green only for it to spin and find the very front of the putting surface. The resulting three-putt from 70-feet dropped him a further shot away from the lead.
Needing something special at the last, a hole which yielded only six birdies on the final day, Bradley hung his tee shot out to the right where it came to rest directly behind a tree. An overly aggressive punch out into the water followed and the American’s hopes of the championship were over. Bradley limped home with a double bogey and his position on the leaderboard dropped from second to fifth place; costing him a projected $700k in the process. The drop really surmises just how much the players were playing for.
Speaking after the round, Bradley found it hard to sum up the week. He said: “Man, I'm so bummed out. That was tough. I played really well today. Really well all week. I had a two-shot penalty on Friday and still was right there. Yeah, I'm sorry, I'm having a hard time thinking of words to say. I'm pretty bummed out, but proud of the way I played.”
Bradley’s penalty came on the 16th green during his second round of the tournament. The 2011 PGA Champion marked his ball before a gust of wind moved it. He played his shot from where he originally marked it from instead of where it moved to, which was a breach of the Rules. His par five was amended to a double-bogey seven.
"Well, apparently the rule is - I thought as long as everyone in my group, and I guarantee most of the entire field thought the USGA changed the rule to simplify it, put your coin down, that's where your ball is," Bradley explained.
Bradley's Players Championship really was a rollercoaster of emotions, where he ultimately left with a cheque for $820k and inside the top-60 in the Official World Golf Ranking, a position he hasn’t been in since 2020.
James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.