PHILADELPHIA • American Keegan Bradley was glad that his hard work finally paid off after he ended a six-year drought by winning the BMW Championship in a play-off with Justin Rose on Monday, although the Englishman's consolation was to become world No. 1 for the first time in his career.
Bradley parred the first extra hole to edge Rose after the pair had finished regulation on 20-under 260 at a waterlogged Aronimink Golf Club in Philadelphia. Rose missed a four-foot putt that would have extended the play-off.
"I can't believe this. It's so great, it took a lot of hard work," an emotional Bradley said after securing his fourth PGA Tour victory.
Bradley, 32, burst onto the scene with a Major victory at the 2011 PGA Championship, but had not won since 2012 before Monday.
"A lot has happened to me over these six years," he added.
"It has been tough to go from being on Ryder Cup teams, being on Presidents Cup teams, to outside the top 100 in the world.
"It's so gratifying to get what comes with hard work. To be back here and win this tournament is just incredible."
His victory capped a long week that stretched to Monday after persistent rain left the course unplayable for the scheduled final round on Sunday.
Bradley carded a closing six-under 64 and hardly put a foot wrong until he bogeyed the final hole, a mistake that looked set to cost him victory.
But Rose subsequently dropped a shot at the par-four 18th, where his 15-foot putt for the win lipped out.
The pair finished one shot ahead of Xander Schauffele (67) and Billy Horschel (64). Rory McIlroy (68) finished two shots behind, while Tiger Woods (65) was three back.
"Just a poor play-off. I under-read the putt a little bit. It's over before you know it," Rose said.
But he was thrilled after becoming the 22nd man to hold the top spot since rankings began in 1986.
"That's an amazing achievement, something I'm extraordinarily proud of," he said. "I would love to have got there by winning... Delighted to be world No. 1. It's (the stuff of) boyhood dreams."
The BMW Championship was the third of four FedExCup season-ending play-off events on the PGA Tour. The top 30 on a season-long points list advance to next week's Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Tony Finau, who carded a final-round 65 and finished tied eighth on 16 under, was named to the final vacant spot on the US Ryder Cup team on Monday by captain Jim Furyk.
The 28-year-old completes the 12-man American line-up that will defend the trophy against Europe in the biennial team golf showdown from Sept 28-30 in France.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS