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September 10, 2018

Keegan Bradley is back on track after emotional BMW Championship win at Aronimink

Typically, Mondays are "off days" at Aronimink Golf Club. The caddies play while the course is more or less closed to regular members.

But, after a rainy weekend in Newtown Square, Pa., a rare Monday finish made the course the center of the golfing world in the late morning and early afternoon hours as Keegan Bradley fought his way up the leaderboard to win for the first time in half a decade, beating Justin Rose in a playoff to take home the BMW Championship in dramatic fashion.

On the first playoff hole, the 18th, a pulled five-foot par putt by Rose gave Bradley a tap in for par and his first victory in six years.

“I am so, this is incredible this has been a hard road back I cant believe it it's so great," an emotional Bradley told The Golf Channel minutes after winning. "I am speechless. It took a lot of hard work a lot of people helped me... I don't really know what to say. I am just so happy.”

Bradley was a major champion seven years ago when he won the PGA Championship — but since, he's done little to brag about. The win sets him up with a chance to win it all next week at Atlanta's East Lake in the FedEx Cup's final event.

With Rose (who rises to No. 1 in the world with his runner-up finish) and Rory McIlroy tied for the lead most of the day — and a potential challenge from Tiger Woods, who was ultimately unable to create enough magic despite shooting a final round 65 — Keegan Bradley nearly won outright after birdies on the 14th, 16th and 17th holes.

With a slim lead over Rose, Bradley drove his tee shot way left on the final hole. His approach shot — one he tried to draw around the grandstands — landed among the fans leaving the door open for golfers in pursuit. He would bogey the hole to finish at 20-under.

A Rose birdie at the par-3 17th tied things at 21-under briefly, later putting Rose back on top as he walked down the 18th fairway. A par putt to wrap it up outright lipped out on the final hole, forcing a playoff with Bradley at -20.

Woods, who had a share of the lead with a first-round 62 Thursday, hung around and nearly made a run at the top of the leaderboard but ultimately ran out of holes settling for a respectable score of 17-under and a tie for 6th place.

"To have a chance to win again this year, it's a very positive feeling," Woods, who will be playing in both the Tour Championship and Ryder Cup later this fall, said. "If I made a few more putts this week could have been a different deal coming down the stretch but even though, you know, I finished at 17 (under) and I had three good looks on the last three holes — that's a positive."

Much to the surprise of many expecting the event to be called after 54 holes, the Donald Ross designed Aronimink held its own despite intermittent showers all day long after Sunday's action was a total washout.

The event was the first held in the Philadelphia area since 2013's US Open at Merion — won by Rose who finished a solid shot behind Bradley at 20-under.

Golfer Score 
 Keegan Bradley*-20
 Justin Rose-20
Billy Horschel-19
 Xander Schauffele-19
Rory McIlroy-18
Webb Simpson-17
 Tiger Woods-17
Tony Finau -16
Ricky Fowler-16
Tommy Fleetwood-16

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