JOHNS CREEK, Ga. -- Keegan Bradley, a 2004 graduate of Hopkinton High School, is the 93d PGA champion, beating Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff today at Atlanta Athletic Club. Bradley birdied the first extra hole, the 16th, for the second time in an hour. He made par on the 17th but doubled his lead when Dufner made bogey, then made another par. Dufner's closing birdie left the final three-hole difference one small stroke.
Bradley's win, though, is certainly big.
7 p.m.: We're heading to a playoff at the 93d PGA Championship, with Hopkinton High School graduate Keegan Bradley facing Jason Dufner in a scheduled three-hole playoff on holes 16, 17, and 18. If a tie still remains, a sudden-death playoff would continue to No. 18.
Bradley, who was five shots back when he walked off the 15th green, responded with birdies on the 16th and 17th, the latter coming on a 35-footer. Dufner, meanwhile, bogeyed three straight holes -- he dumped his ball into the water on the 15th, failed to save par from a greenside bunker on 16, and three-putted 17. Both players made par on the 18th, two-putting from about the same distance.
Dufner has never won on the PGA Tour. Bradley has won, in May, but this is his first appearance in a major championship.
6:30 p.m.: In what's been a heart-pounding final nine holes of the 93d PGA Championship, Keegan Bradley trails Jason Dufner by one shot while playing the 18th hole. Dufner faces a lengthy birdie putt on the 17th green, while Bradley is getting set to hit his approach from the 18th fairway.
Not long ago, Bradley trailed Dufner by five strokes, after hitting his second shot on the par-5 15th into the water, which led to a triple bogey. Dufner, though, surprisingly hit his tee shot on the 15th into the water, but made a gutsy 15-footer to save bogey, making his lead four. Bradley responded with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 16th, and Dufner bogeyed when he bunkered his approach and failed to save par, cutting his lead from four to two. Bradley then buried a 40-foot birdie bomb on No. 17 with Dufner watching from the tee box, making it a one-shot margin.
Great, great stuff.
4:30 p.m.: Keegan Bradley is still tied for the lead at the 93d PGA Championship, trying to become a champion in his very first major appearance. Bradley just birdied the eighth hole and is tied with Jason Dufner at 8-under, with the duo two shots clear of Robert Karlsson.
Bradley has birdies on the first, fifth, and eighth holes. Dufner is bogey-free through eight holes, with a birdie on No. 6, a par-4 which is playing just 289 yards today.
Luke Donald, Anders Hansen, and Scott Verplank are three shots back at 5-under, with Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, and David Toms in the pack at 4-under.
2:40 p.m.: The final twosome of Jason Dufner and Brendan Steele just began their rounds, but they've been joined at the top by Hopkinton High School graduate Keegan Bradley, who birdied No. 1 to reach 7-under-par at the 93d PGA Championship. For the second day in a row, Bradley bunkered his tee shot, but recovered nicely and holed a 25-footer.
Steve Stricker also birdied his first hole to join Scott Verplank at 5-under, two behind the leaders. Among those who have played a good chunk of their final rounds, the biggest moves have been made by Gary Woodland and Trevor Immelman, both of whom are 3-under for the day to reach 2-under, which is tied for eighth.
Best score of the day so far is a 4-under-par 66 by Pablo Larrazabal
11 a.m.: Someone's life will change here today, and we'll dust off the crystal ball in an attempt to find out which player that will be. The final round of the 93d PGA Championship has already begun, but the last twosome of Jason Dufner and Brendan Steele won't tee off until 2:40 p.m.
1) Will the American drought end? With the top five players through 54 holes all from the US, it seems likely that the streak of six consecutive majors won by non-Americans will come to a close. If you had Anders Hansen as low international player after three rounds, please cash your ticket at the betting window. But the 40-year-old from Denmark is four shots behind, so he's got some ground to make up.
2) Will the first-timer streak continue? Not only have the last six majors been won by non-Americans, but they've also been first-time winners in golf's Big Four tournaments. The top 19 names on the leaderboard include only three who have won majors: David Toms and Charl Schwartzel, who are tied for eighth, and Jim Furyk, who's tied for 13th. Expect the first-time trend to stretch to seven.
3) What hole(s) might be pivotal? Atlanta Athletic Club's last four holes have been discussed all week, for good reason. All are tough, with three of the four (except the 16th) including a water hazard that comes into play. The tees have been moved up on the 17th (it'll play 160 yards today) and 18 (a week-short 471 yards), but they've been stretched to 258 yards for the par-3 15th. Keep an eye on No. 6 today: The tees have been moved up in an effort to entice players to go for the green off the tee on the par-4. Played at least 417 yards the first three days, it's only 289 yards today.
4) What if there's a tie after 72 holes? Unlike the US Open, which conducts an 18-hole playoff on Monday, and the Masters, which features sudden death, the PGA uses a three-hole aggregate score format to break a tie at the top. A playoff has been required three times since the current system was implemented in 2000: Tiger Woods beat Bob May that year, Vijay Singh topped Justin Leonard and Chris DiMarco in 2004, and Martin Kaymer edged Bubba Watson last year. If a playoff is required, the order of holes will be Nos. 16, 17, and 18. If there's still a tie after that, sudden death follows, starting on No. 10, then continuing to No. 18.
5) OK, who wins? Lots of possibilities today. Does Steve Stricker, who begins three shots back, finally break through? Does someone like Adam Scott (five back) or Lee Westwood (six back) have a super-low round in them? Can 2001 winner David Toms (five back) make it two straight PGAs on this course? Or can one of the top three -- Jason Dufner, Brendan Steele, and Hopkinton High School graduate Keegan Bradley -- make this their moment? Bradley and Steele had never even played in a major before this week. That seems like too tall of an order. Dufner came close to winning in Phoenix this year, losing to Mark Wilson in a playoff. The guess here is that Dufner shoots 68 and beats Bradley by a stroke.