By Ann Liguori
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Welcome back America…to the Majors! It has been a good year and some change since someone from our own soil won a golf Major and on Sunday at the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club, golf fans were treated to a good ol’ fashion American finish! What a show the dynamic Keegan Bradley and the ultra-mellow Jason Dufner put on with their sticks! Thank you! You showed the critics that a Tiger or a Phil does not have to be duking it out to provide the kind of drama we come to expect at Major Championships!
And fans love an animated golfer. Bradley provided both the shots and the fist pumps to please the public when he birdied the 16th and the 17th after triple bogeying the 15th and when he went on to win in the three-hole play-off.
Bradley is the first player in history to win a Major after making a triple in the final nine holes!
And the fact that the 25-year-old from Vermont was playing in his very first Major also added to the theatrics. He’s only the second player since 1913 to win a Major in his first try!
And Jason Dufner’s emotionless demeanor was intriguing to watch as his five-shot lead evaporated. Would he reveal any emotion after his tee shot on the par 3, 15th found the pond? As his game unraveled with three straight bogeys, one could not see any signs on his face that he was distressed. He outwardly maintained his composure and emotions despite the melt down. On 16, he hit what he called his “worst iron shot of the week.” His 4 iron approach shot landed in a bunker. Still, no sign of anguish.
On 17, his birdie putt went way past the hole and he ended up three putting there for another bogie. In the play-offs, even after Dufner missed a 5-footer for birdie on 16 and three-putted 17, he kept his disappointment pretty well under wraps. One could not help but feel for the 34-year-old who was so close to winning his first tournament in 148 tries, a Major Championship no less. But his superb play over-all will certainly be remembered. Maybe we’ll see a smile from him in the Fed-Ex Cup play-offs and at the Majors in 2012. He earned exemptions to play in all of the Majors next year.
Chalk up a victory for the USA. Legendary LPGA player Pat Bradley, Keegan’s Aunt, must be very proud! And what a week for St. Johns University! Chris Mullin is inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and Keegan Bradley wins the PGA Championship, taking the golf world by storm. A Red Storm!
Be sure to visit Ann’s web site at www.annliguori.com to listen to her radio shows or to order a DVD copy of her interviews with legends in sports.