PGA Championship 2011: Results and Reaction from the Tournament

Matt FaulconerFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2011

PGA Championship 2011: Results and Reaction from the Tournament

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    The 2011 PGA Championship will be coming to us from the Atlanta Athletic Club and will run from August 11th until August 14th.

    The PGA Championship is one of the four major championships in professional golf and is the fourth and final major of the year.

    The tournament was established in 1916 with a match play format and was then switched over to stroke play in 1958.

    Jack Nicklaus has won the event more times than any other golfer as he has five victories, while Tiger Woods is in second place on the all-time list with four victories.

    Tune in as Bleacher Report will be here every step of the way for updated results, scores and reaction from Atlanta Athletic Club.

Keegan Bradley Uses Improbably Late Comeback to Win Championship

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    Keegan Bradley's green side chip on the difficult par-3 No. 15 landed on the green, rolled past the hole, past the green, past the fringe and then past the ground as it splashed down into the water. And that soggy outcome led to a double bogey.

    His double bogey handed Jason Dufner a four shot lead, and the tournament seemed all but over. Especially for Bradley. It seemed that the double bogey would result in a quick unraveling for the tour rookie. The exact opposite happened.

    Bradley earned those two strokes back with birdies on No. 16 and 17. He was just the third player all tournament to card back-to-back birdies on those difficult holes.

    Meanwhile, Jason Dufner was not fairing as well. After not recording a single bogey all week on the difficult four closing holes, he picked up two. And the two men finished tied, and off to a three hole aggregate playoff they went.

    Bradley's torrid play continued as he played holes 16-18 at 1-under to beat Dufner by two strokes and claim the Wanamker trophy.

Brendan Steele and Jason Dufner Surge to Top of Leaderboard

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    Brendan Steele has surged to the top of the PGA Championship leaderboard with a -4 on the day.

    Not many people would have expected Steele, a 28-year old with just one PGA Tour Victory, to make this sort of surge to the top of the leaderboard, however, him and Jason Dufner are now tied for the overall lead. Dufner still has a couple holes left to play, but both golfers find themselves in perfect position entering the final day.

    Adam Scott was one of the favorites entering the day but he disappointed with an even par performance.

    Phil Mickelson began an early surge but fell off and finished the day eight shots off of Steele.

    The big movers on the day were Charl Schwartzel and David Toms. Both golfers climbed into the top 10 with Toms shooting a 65 and Schwartzel shooting a 66 on the day. Both golfers trail the leaders by six strokes and are going to need another big day tomorrow to have any shot at advancing.

    Here is the current leaderboard with the day coming to a close:

    PositionGolferRound 3 Score
    ThruOverall Score
    T1 Brendan Steele -4 F -7
    T1 Jason Dufner -2 16 -7
    3 Keegan Bradley -1 16 -6
    4 Scott Verplank -1 17 -5
    5 Steve Stricker -1 F -4
    T6 Anders Hansen E F -3
    T6 Jim Furyk +1 17 -3
    T6 D.A. Points +1 17 -3
    T6 John Senden +1 17 -3
    T10 David Toms -5 F -2
    T10 Charl Schwartzel -4 F -2
    T10 Robert Karlsson -3 F -2
    T10 Adam Scott E F -2

Jason Dunfar Comes out of Nowhere to Take Top Spot and Happenings from Day 2

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    Jason Dufner came out of nowhere to take the lead at the PGA Championship. He's currently sitting on -5, but as we witnessed today with Steve Strickler, one bad day can send him toppling out of the top spot in a hurry.

    As anticipated, the top of the leaderboard doesn't begin to resemble what it was yesterday. Some players, fell out of the top 5, while others fell completely out of contention.

    Rory McIlroy's wrist seems to be affecting his play still, as he shot a +3 today. He still made the cut, which speaks to his resiliency.

    Other big-name players weren't so lucky though. Jason Day, Martin Kaymer, Graeme McDowell, Louis Oosthuizen and of course, Tiger Woods, all fell below the cut line today.

    Even with promising names falling on the second day, compelling figures like Lee Westwood and Adam Scott are within striking distance. Both are situated in the top 15 and are methodically working their way into the top end of the leaderboard.

    It's been a wild ride thus far an with 14 players less than five strokes away from the leader, we are bound to see a completely new set of faces atop the leaderboard tomorrow.

Steve Stricker Stuns the Field and Happenings from Day 1

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    On a day that was supposed to be about Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, all we got was Stever Stricker. 

    Posting a 63 and bolting out seven under par it appears we have a front runner for the PGA Championship. You'd have to do a double take when it comes to Stricker. His name rings familiar but he's certainly not considered an elite level golfer.

    As for the poster boy of elite, Rory McIlroy, for him it's going to take more than skill to win a PGA Championship, it's going to take moxy and plain ole' toughness. The Ireland phenom jammed his wrist on the course today. While he valiantly played through pain there is no doubt that the injury seemed to be serious enough to hamper his play for the rest of the weekend. 

    And then there was Tiger. What started out so well for Tiger ended so poorly so quickly. While he hit a series of solid shots early, he tanked it on the back nine finishing at seven over for the tournament and putting himself 14 shots back of Stricker. 

    Tiger is known to erase big leads, but if wants to right the ship, this is likely going to be the way he has to do it.

Tiger Hits the Course Than the Media Room Wednesday at the PGA

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    Tiger Woods hasn't won a tournament in two years, but he is still the star of the show. And this week is no different. In fact, the attention on Tiger leading up to the 2011 PGA Championship is amplified. Tiger can thank his former caddy Stevie Williams for that.

    On Wednesday, Tiger played a practice round and held a press conference. And not surprisingly, Woods downplayed Williams recent comments. And if Tiger is upset about it, he is not letting on. Woods

    "I was happy to see Stevie and Adam win. Adam's been a friend of mine. Same with Stevie. I sent him a text. It was great to see them play as great as they did."

    It sounds like Williams may not have returned Woods text. And if he did, it probably wasn't pleasant. Williams issued an apology, but it had nothing to do with Tiger. He actually reiterated his dig at Tiger. Williams:

    "My emotions following Adam's victory were running very high and at the time I felt like my emotions poured out and got the better of me. I apologize to my fellow caddies and professionals for failing to mention Adam's outstanding performance. I would like to thank all those fans at Firestone who made this victory the most special of my career."

    With all of the reality TV type of drama it is easy to forget that there is a major to play starting tomorrow. And to that end, Tiger did answer a few questions about golf. And questions about his game and season produced the most interesting sound-byte. Tiger told reporters that he could consider this season a success even if he doesn't pickup a victory. 

    And that is a sentiment Tiger has never uttered before. This is a guy whose career has been judged solely on wins and not on moral victories. Lately it has been measured mostly with tabloid headlines. We'll see if he can reverse that trend this week. 

Adam Scott's Bridgestone Win Creates a Huge PGA Championship Storyline

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    "I've been a caddy for 33 years and that's the best week of my life. I'm not joking. I'm never, ever going to forget this week."

    In case you missed that little gem of a quote that was none other than Tiger Woods' former caddy Stevie Williams. Williams had just helped Adam Scott win the Bridgestone Invitational. It is pretty clear that the comments were meant as a direct shot to Tiger Woods.

    William also disputed Tiger's recounting of the events that led to his dismissal. Both seem to agree that Williams decision to caddy for Adam Scott was at the point at which Tiger decided to end this relationship. However, Tiger had previously made it known that he let Williams know of his dismissal in person. Williams publicly disputed the details. Here is Williams from ESPN:

    "He didn't agree with it and thought it was time to take a break. I was told on the phone that we needed to take a break. And in caddie lingo, that means you're fired. Simple as that."

    Williams isn't the only part of this party to get their panties in a bunch over these events. Tiger Woods, who is typically as guarded about his inner workings as the gold at Fort Knox, allowed his agent to issue a rebuttal. Tiger's agent Mark Steinberg from the above linked ESPN ariticle:

    "Tiger flew from Florida to Philly to visit AT&T National and also for the express purpose of PERSONALLY and officially telling Steve that they would no longer be working together. Tiger felt strongly about meeting face to face. Any assertions to the contrary are simply false."

    And while these disputes seem to fall in the petty department—who cares? This is some serious table setting for what could be some great theater if these guys get paired at the PGA Championship.

Previewing the 2011 PGA Championship

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    The 2011 PGA Championship will feature another wide open field as Tiger Woods returns to the PGA Championship in an attempt to earn his fifth title.

    Rory McIlroy will likely enter the tournament as the favorite to win his first ever PGA Championship, but he sputtered out at the Open Championship.

    Luke Donald is the No. 1 ranked golfer in the world but has never won a major in his career so it will be interesting to see if he can finally get over that hump.

    The No. 2 golfer in the world, Lee Westwood, also has yet to win a major in his career.

    Anyone of the golfers at the event will have a legitimate chance of coming away with the victory at the Atlanta Athletic Club.

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