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Keegan Bradley Not The Only Winner At The PGA

Keegan Bradley may be an unlikely winner of a major championship, but so were Shaun Micheel, Rich Beem, Ben Curtis and Todd Hamilton, just to name a few.

All kidding aside, Bradley was 125-1 to win with the odds makers in Las Vegas when the PGA Championship started on Thursday.

Bradley started the year 329th in the world rankings, was 108th in the world when the week started and after his second victory on the PGA Tour in his rookie campaign, the St. John's grad is now 29th.

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That position may not be significant until you hear who is behind him in the rankings.

For starters Tiger Woods, British Open Champion Darren Clarke, Japanese teenage sensation, Ryo Ishikawa, Sergio Garcia, Sean O'Hair and Anthony Kim, just to name a few of the marquee names.

One other little tidbit to Bradley's victory; he became the first player since Ben Curtis (2003 Open Championship) to win his first start in a major championship. But he is the first to win his first major start on U.S. soil since Francis Ouimet (1913 U.S. Open).

So what can you make of a 25 year-old that no one has really heard of before going forward?

You can take the fact that he double-bogeyed the first hole in Saturday's third round and came back to shoot a 69.

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But maybe more impressive was the fact that Bradley triple-bogeyed the 15th hole to fall four shots behind Jason Dufner with three holes to go and birdied the 16th and 17th holes in the final round to force a playoff that he controlled from the get go with a birdie on the 16th hole.

"I remember walking off that green going, you know, the last four holes are so tough here that somebody be could have a five‑shot lead. It doesn't matter," Bradley said after his triple bogey on the 15th hole. "I just tried to steady myself on the tee and I hit the best drive of the week on 16. I absolutely hammered it. I only had 153 yards to the pin and that's the least I've had by 20 yards. Then on 17, it would be a putt that I'll never forget the rest of my life. I scared it twice from long range earlier in the day, and I hit that putt and I kind of moved over and got in good position and that thing went in dead center. It was unbelievable."

Bradley's right, the whole final round was unbelievable, but in the end Bradley was on top. Which means a lot to a rookie, but may mean even more to golf as the pendulum seems to be swinging away from the proven names to the new and possible improved like Bradley.

Stuart Hall is editor of the Golf Press Association.

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