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PGA Tour Confidential: The PGA Championship

Keegan Bradley, 2011 PGA Champion
Matt Slocum/AP
Keegan Bradley won the PGA Championship in his first-career start in a major.

Every week of the 2011 PGA Tour season, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group will conduct an e-mail roundtable. Check in on Mondays for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

BRADLEY WINS PGA IN PLAYOFF
David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: Welcome one and all to the PGA Championship edition of Confidential. The story of the weekend for a lot of people was, "Who are these guys?" But there was certainly plenty of drama down the stretch. Keegan Bradley defeated Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff to go one-for-one in majors. Which do you like more about his game, the shots or the mental toughness he showed?

John Garrity, contributing writer, Sports Illustrated: It has to be his toughness. How often do you see somebody bounce back from a triple-bogey on the 69th hole?

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I have to go with his length and accuracy off the tee. It sure didn't look like he was playing a 7,400-yard-plus golf course.

Jim Gorant, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I like the charisma, which is a combination of the shots, emotion and fierce determination he showed. Player.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: I like his enthusiasm and guts. He's a fun guy to watch; another very promising development for golf.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Bradley reminds me a little of Mickelson, as Cameron has pointed out. Lots of smiles, lots of aggressive shots, and even more emotional displays than Phil, which fans love.

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: I loved Bradley's resilience. Overcoming a triple — that's huge. He also has a lot of game. Great to see a young, charismatic American break through. A good way to end the majors season.

Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: That triple at 15 would've been all she wrote for most golfers. To bounce back from that is downright amazing. Granted, he got a little help from Dufner, but that was seriously impressive intestinal fortitude.

Godich: Just to play devil's advocate: Maybe that triple freed him up. He was five back at that point and probably thought he had no shot at winning. Just sayin'.

Garrity: Or maybe he's a master of "strategerie" and made the triple just to slow Dufner's momentum. Jason didn't start giving away strokes until he had to watch and wait.

Godich: Brilliant!

Hanger: That triple did take a long time to play out, and I bet it did have at least a little something to do with Dufner's dunk on 15.

Godich: Sorry, but Dufner still managed to make bogey, and with such a big lead he gladly would have signed for that and walked to the 16th tee. Dufner lost this thing on 16 and especially 17, where he gunned that birdie putt about 12 feet past.

Garrity: I like Bradley's body English. The way he leans on every follow-through reminds me of Arnie, and it adds a little drama.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: Toughness, for sure. He tripled the 15th in regulation, then rattled off back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 and a gritty par on 18 to force the playoff. Impressive.

Morfit: In his presser he said he absolutely smashed his drive on 16, about 20 yards farther than he'd hit it there all week, after the triple. Left himself only 153 in and of course knocked it tight. And guess who he credited for his mental toughness? Bob Rotella, Phil Mickelson and Camilo Villegas. They apparently all came to his rescue after Keegan worked his way into contention but cratered on the back nine at Bridgestone.

Rick Lipsey, writer-reporter, Sports Illustrated: Kid's got serious game, but even more, I love his spunk and apparent zeal for laying it all on the line with every shot.

Garrity: Do you think he was "laying it on the line" with his approach to 18 in the playoff? With a two-stroke lead, I've got to think that anything left of the flag was pulled. Still, great stuff.

Morfit: Yes, he said in one of his interviews that it had been so long since he missed a shot, he and Steve Hale, his caddie, figured he may as well just rip it. And yes, he admitted he pulled it a hair.

Lipsey: He basically stiffed all three approaches in the playoff, on three of the hardest finishing holes in major championship golf. That speaks for itself.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: He kept firing at pins and pulling off the shots. I've watched him play since the first tournament of the season, and more recently, I've noticed that he doesn't let a bogey get to him, rather it fires him up and he comes back with a birdie. He described himself to me as a "wicked loner" during tournament weeks. He credits good friend Jamie Lovemark for bringing him out of his shell in the last year. Keegan used to play practice rounds by himself, but his friendship with Lovemark, along with other rookies like Nate Smith, helped him feel more comfortable at the beginning of the year.

Tell us what you think: What most impressed you about Bradley's victory at the PGA?

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