PGA Tour Confidential: Bradley captures Bridgestone after Furyk meltdown

Keegan Bradley
Chris Condon / Getty Images
Keegan Bradley won the Bridgestone by one shot after Jim Furyk doubled the 72nd hole.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

BRADLEY WINS, FURYK CRUMBLES
John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: "So," my wife asked me, "who lost?" Which was pretty astute of her, because in 2012 the victor is usually some guy talking on the phone behind the clubhouse or grabbing a Caesar salad with his agent. This week the role of Adam Scott was played by Jim Furyk, who looked invulnerable for 71 holes before making a sloppy double-bogey at the end, handing the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to an excited Keegan Bradley. Or am I not giving Bradley enough credit for his clutch up and down for the win?

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Pat has it exactly right. Jim lost. He needs to dump the hat. Ghost of Hogan hates it.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Furyk said it best. When he didn't put his third shot on the green, he made Bradley's par putt a heck of a lot easier. Keegan did shoot a final-round 64, and he rolled in that birdie at 16 right on top of Furyk's, but we should have been going to a playoff.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: I think he needs to do a better job with the timing of his 5-Hour Energy doses. First the late U.S. Open meltdown, now this on the 72nd hole. Those are two tough beats, especially for a guy in his 40s.

Alan Shipnuck, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Keegan did what he had to do, but this tourney was Furyk's all the way, and it will be remembered for his collapse.

Godich: Here's my question: If Furyk doesn't earn an automatic Ryder Cup spot, does Davis Love III use a captain's pick on him? The experience is great, but Furyk's inability to close the deal has to be a concern.

Bamberger: He picks him. The team is trending young.

Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: No doubt. Picks are about filling holes on your team. Hard to see Furyk not being picked.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: Yeah, Furyk is a leader and a fierce competitor. I'd want him in the team room and even as a partner.

Garrity: Yes, and it's match play. You don't need 5-Hour Energy if you can close out your opponents in four.

Shipnuck: Furyk's career playoff record on Tour is 3-8, and his Ryder Cup record is awful. And for all the majors at which he's contended, he's snagged only one, on a weak course. His rep is vastly inflated, and it might be time to look elsewhere.

Bamberger: Alan kills it. I rescind my earlier endorsement. Why did you not become a lawyer?

Garrity: I take your point Alan, but then I look at your stat and think, Wow, Furyk's been in 11 playoffs? That's a Hall of Famer stat.

Shipnuck: It does speak to his consistency. But only prevailing three times speaks to something else.

David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: If you're Davis Love, you can't be super confident that Furyk will make the hole-winning putt when the U.S. really needs it. Two near-wins do not a captain's pick make.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Did Bradley win the Bridgestone, or did Furyk lose it?

BOMBS AWAY AT FIRESTONE
Garrity: Along with Furyk's fumbling finish I'll remember the way Firestone's South Course played for the first three rounds -- as firm and fast as a parking lot. Matt Kuchar, hardly a bomber, hit a 240-yard 6-iron, while strongmen like Bradley blasted 440-yard-plus drives. Did you find this to be entertaining? Or just silly?

Bamberger: It is the death of the game I grew up with. R.I.P.

Godich: And Furyk hit it 384 yards at 18 on Saturday. Sorry, but that's just plain silly.

Wei: Well, the 18th was playing downhill and downwind, so you have to factor that in.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Remember, the holes go back and forth (and up and down) a lengthy slope. Guys have been hitting 400-yard drives at the 16th for years. Nothing new.

Shipnuck: As one of our great thinkers might say, it is what it is. You have to adapt to the course that is presented. It was fun to watch such a racetrack, and interesting to see who could or couldn't deal with a radically different course on Sunday.

Godich: At least the boys in the broadcast booths have stopped ooh-ing and aah-ing every time it's reported how far someone is hitting a nine-iron.

Dusek: On a course that has so many nearly straight holes, and in hot, humid conditions, this is what technology and the modern athlete can do. Silly? A little. Entertaining? Yes. A problem? Not necessarily, just different from what we're used to.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Did you find the big drives at Firestone entertaining, or silly?

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