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August 11 2013

4:06 PM

Bradley wanted bragging rights

Keegan Bradley hopes to make a strong run through the FedExCup Playoffs.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Keegan Bradley knew he had a chance. He would have loved to have stolen the course record from his buddy Jason Dufner, too.

But no sooner did Bradley make his third straight birdie to get to 6 under through 13 holes on Sunday, he bogeyed the next hole. Another bogey at the 18th hole brought Bradley home with a 66 so Dufner still had bragging rights.

Dufner had set a new Oak Hill record with a 63 on Friday -- marking the 26th time that score had been shot in a major championship. He had a chance at uncharted territory with a 62 but left a 12-footer for birdie short at the 18th hole.

"I wanted to beat's Duf's course record for sure," Bradley said. "On 14, I didn't hit that bad of a drive and it hit the tree and kicked it 60 yards right.  Could have just as easily kicked it left and been right in front of the green. But that's how it goes.
   
"I'm proud of the way I played today. I've played the British Open and PGA good on the weekends ... so I'm happy."

Bradley may not have gotten the record he wanted but he proved there are birdies to be had at Oak Hill on Sunday. You've better make them early, though.

"The first 13 holes or 14 holes are gettable, but the last four are playing really tough," he said. "17 and 18 are going to be brutal come the end of the day."

Bradley, who beat Dufner in a playoff to win the 2011 PGA and tied for third last year, feels his game is peaking at the right time. In his last two starts, he tied for 15th at The Open Championship and shared second at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last week.

"I feel great," Bradley said. "I haven't won this year, so I would love to get one before the year is over. I've got a bunch more chances a bunch of really big tournaments to come. This is going to be a good help going into the Playoffs."

Bradley is finishing up his third year on the PGA TOUR. He's already won three times -- including that surprising PGA in a Rookie of the Year campaign -- and played on last year's U.S. Ryder Cup team. He relishes the big events and has already proved to be a threat.

"I feel like I've validated that win," Bradley said. "Not that I feel like I needed to, but I feel like my career has steadily been rising. And you know, I hope to continue to contend in majors for forever hopefully."

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