Bradley fires 64, leads by two
Only this was the FedEx Cup finale, not the final major of the year.
And they were on East Lake, not 40 minutes up the road at Atlanta Athletic Club.
Bradley, who won the PGA Championship last month in a playoff over Dufner, ran off four birdies on the back nine Thursday for a 6-under 64 to build a two-shot lead in the Tour Championship.
Dufner was surprisingly crooked off the tee, yet still managed a 66 and was tied for second along with Chez Reavie and Luke Donald, the No. 1 player in the world and one of five players in prime position to win the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.
Bradley and Dufner will be in the last group today, and it was impossible to ignore the coincidence.
“Yeah, I don’t think there’s any big surprise,” Bradley said. “He likes this grass, too. He likes these courses, and I hope I get to play with him tomorrow. I think that would be a lot of fun.”
It would bring back great memories for Bradley, a 26-year-old rookie. Not so much for Dufner, who had a four-shot lead with three holes to play until he made three straight bogeys and wound up losing in a three-hole playoff.
Along with this being the end of the FedEx Cup, there’s another cup on Bradley’s mind. He is not a lock to be a captain’s pick for the Presidents Cup, despite having won twice this year, including a major.
He is a long shot to win the FedEx Cup—especially with Donald playing well—but the Presidents Cup is right in front of him, and Bradley feels it.
“The cliché is to say that I’m not thinking about it, but literally probably every third hole—or maybe even less—it pops into my mind,” Bradley said. “I really want to be on the team.”
Charles Howell III was at 67 along with Adam Scott, Hunter Mahan, Jason Day and Matt Kuchar.
The group at 68 included Edgerton native Steve Stricker and Phil Mickelson, who has won the Tour Championship twice at East Lake.
, along with three Masters and three regular PGA Tour stops in the Atlanta area.
Webb Simpson, No. 1 in the FedEx Cup, bogeyed the last hole for a 69. Of the top five players in the FedEx Cup — all of whom only need to win to collect the $10 million — Dustin Johnson (No. 2) was the only player not to break par. He shot 70.
Last updated: 6:17 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012