By Sam McPherson
It had been more than six years since one-time golfing sensation Keegan Bradley had won a PGA Tour event. But thanks to fortune and opportunity, he now can add the 2018 BMW Championship to his victory ledger. Bradley defeated Justin Rose on the first hole of a playoff to claim the title after posting rounds of 66-64-66-64 to finish tied with Rose atop the leaderboard at 20-under par.
Rose bogeyed the 72nd hole of the event to fall back into that tie with Bradley, and the 2011 PGA Championship winner wasted no time in taking advantage of the situation. The playoff hole was the par-4 18th at the Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, and Rose once again made bogey. Bradley shot par to claim the $1.62 million paycheck and move into the top 30 of the FedExCup points standings.
Billy Horschel and Xander Schauffele tied for third place, one stroke out of the playoff, while Rory McIlroy finished alone in fifth at 18-under. Webb Simpson and Tiger Woods finished in a tie for sixth place, one shot behind McIlroy.
All this means the Tour Championship, featuring the top 30 points earners on tour this year, will have some unexpected faces — and will be missing some familiar faces. Jordan Spieth, 27th on the points list before the BMW Championship, finished in a tie for 55th and dropped out of the top 30.
The BMW featured the top 70 players, and it was a very competitive event through all four rounds, despite Sunday’s play having to be rescheduled to Monday due to weather.
Both McIlroy and Woods shot 62 on Thursday to jump out to the first-round lead at 8-under par. For Woods, this was his best opening round in five years. However, Schauffele was just one stroke behind after posting a 63 of his own, and four golfers were two shots back at 6-under, including Justin Thomas, the defending FedExCup champion.
Schauffele followed up his opening-round 63 with a 64 on Friday to own the 36-hole lead all by himself at 13-under par. Rose posted a 63 to move up to second place, two shots behind Schauffele. Four players were tied at 10-under, including Bradley, while McIlroy and Thomas were in a group of five golfers to finish the day at 9-under par. Woods was one shot behind that group.
Rose finished Saturday play with the third-round lead at 17-under, after posting a 64. McIlroy and Schauffele were both one stroke behind, while Tommy Fleetwood and Rickie Fowler were tied for fourth at 15-under par. Fleetwood’s round of 62 was the best of the day, with Bradley lurking three shots back of Rose.
Despite Rose shooting 67 on Monday, Bradley came through with the 64 to force the playoff. Even with the playoff loss, Rose managed to take over the No. 1 ranking in the world, claiming the top spot from Dustin Johnson, who finished in a tie for 24th at the BMW.
Bryson DeChambeau, who had won the first two legs of the FedEx Cup playoffs, finished tied for 19th at Aronimink and enters the Tour Championship with the overall FedExCup points lead.
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Next On The Tee: Tour Championship
It all comes down to this now, a week from now, as the top 30 players on the PGA Tour come together at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta from September 20-23 to decide the 2018 FedExCup title. Last year, Schauffele won this event while Thomas won the overall FedExCup championship.
Look for a full preview of this event next Monday.
Sam McPherson is a freelance writer covering baseball, football, basketball, golf and fantasy sports for CBS Local. He also is an Ironman triathlete and certified triathlon coach. Follow him on Twitter @sxmcp, because he’s quite prolific despite also being a college English professor and a certified copy editor.