Almanac Golf – Golf Capital: Bradley rolls new number one Rose, Evian for final major of 2018



It was an end to the Bryson DeChambeau show on the PGA Tour as Keegan Bradley snapped a six-year drought to win the third-leg of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, the BMW Championships. England’s Matt Fitzpatrick joined exalted company with his triumph in Switzerland and the final major of the year takes place in France with the women contending for the Evian Championship title.


Opening drive
After losing Sunday to the rain, and with the chance the tournament would get contracted to 54 holes, Keegan Bradley’s triumph at the Aronimink Golf Club came as a big surprise, especially after Justin Rose bungled late putts in regulation (which would have given him the win) and then the playoff (which would have extended things) gave the 32-year-old his fourth PGA Tour victory, three of which have come via a playoff.


Bradley and Rose finished at 20 under one clear of the chasing duo after Bradley started three shots behind the Englishman who was at 17 under heading in the final round.


The result still meant Rose, 38, climbed to number one in the world for the first time in his career. The 2013 US Open winner and 2016 Rio gold medalist will be a key plank in the Ryder Cup for the Europeans in the Ryder Cup. Not bad for a player who when they turned professional missed 20 cuts in a row.


Following an impressive seven-under 63 in his third round to give him a two-shot buffer heading into Sunday at the European Masters England’s Matt Fitzpatrick but first Mike-Lorenzo Vera and then Lucas Bjerragaard nearly halted the defence. MLV hit the lead after his 13th hole then threw away his chance to win with a double bogey on the 14th and Bjerragaard did all he could for the outright win only for Fitzpatrick to birdie 18 to force extra holes. Fitzpatrick then birdied the opening playoff hole for the win.


Seve Ballesteros was the last back-to-back winner (1977/78) of the event at Crans-sur-Sierre and the following year he won his first major The Open. Fitzpatrick has won five titles at the age of 24 and will be hoping he can look to push into the world’s elite group with his pending move to the US PGA Tour.


Player performance notes
Following major wins in 2018 to Pernilla Lindberg, Ariya Jutanugarn, Park Sung-hyun and Georgia Hall the final women’s major of the year the Evian Championship takes place in Evian-les-Bains in south-eastern France this weekend. Swede Anna Nordqvist won a playoff in rain-soaked conditions last year over American Brittany Altomare.


Under 20: Ariya Jutanugarn. In recent years class players have bounced back from poor efforts to win here. In 2016 In Gee Chun won in a record 21 under having missed the cut in the year prior so Jutanugarn’s missed cut here last year isn’t a massive concern. Has already won the US Open this year plus two other tournaments.


Under 20: Sung Hyung Park. The Korean has opened with an eight-under 63 in the last two editions of the tournament. Albeit she did capitulate last year then going 73-77 to finish T26 but I would rather judge her on the second place in 2016 and this year’s PGA Championship triumph.


20 to 50: Georgia Hall. The British Open winner was tenth here last year in her best result at a major outside of the UK and now that she has got that win it might break the dam for more. Was second recently in Portland.


50 to 100: Charley Hull. Brooke Henderson has had a monumental few weeks and England’s Hull gets the last nod, just. This time a year ago Hull was the Brit most likely to claim a major having won the LPGA’s season ending tournament in 2016. In 2017 she failed to kick on but its worth remembering Hull is only 22 and has three top ten finishes in majors this year.


Greens in regulation
America completed their Ryder Cup squad during the week confirming Tony Finau as the final wildcard following his T8 finish in the BMW. To underscore the quality in the USA squad the weekend’s winner Bradley, along-with Xander Schaufelle now the world number 18 and Billy Horschel who has two top threes in the last two events he’s finished aren’t on the squad.


However it should be noted the last two European Tour winners Fitzpatrick and Matt Wallace did miss Thomas Bjorn’s side so there are many hard luck stories in both teams. The statistic from last week bears repeating – all of the top ten in the world will be playing at Le Golf National. As the kids say, it’s going to be lit.


Tap in
The PGA Tour’s built-in week off between the BMW and the Tour Championship worked out well after the Monday finish in Pennsylvania with this week’s break until the Fed Ex Cup playoff climax in Atlanta giving the top-liners a useful week off.


The Dutch (great name) hosts the European Tour’s KLM Open in Spijk with Romain Wattel, a first-time ET winner here last year when ranked 451 in the world, the defending champion.


This golfing wrap first appeared on From the sideline of sport


About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.

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