Golf Roundup

Hopkinton’s Bradley earns first PGA win

Associated Press / May 30, 2011

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Walking down the 18th fairway during a playoff and realizing he was about to get his first PGA Tour victory, Hopkinton’s Keegan Bradley got emotional thinking about a cowbell.

The one that is in the World Golf Hall of Fame. The one his grandmother rang after every win by his famous aunt, LPGA Tour great Pat Bradley, whose 31 victories included six majors.

“It was like, ‘Pull it together, don’t start thinking about the cowbell,’ ’’ Bradley said. “The cowbell in my family is an iconic thing.’’

Bradley settled himself and won the Byron Nelson Championship yesterday in Irving, Texas, parring the first hole of a playoff with Ryan Palmer. Bradley sank a 2-foot par putt at the 419-yard 18th hole in the playoff, while Palmer’s approach went into the water before a 13-foot bogey putt.

Bradley, a rookie who never won on the Nationwide Tour, got his first professional victory nine days before his 25th birthday. Bradley, the Globe’s Division 2 golfer of the year in 2003, said he looked forward to talking with his aunt.

“She is a lot calmer on the golf course than she is watching me. I’m sure she was by the TV going crazy,’’ Bradley said.

Bradley (68) and Palmer (72) finished at 3-under 277, the highest winning score on tour this year — and the highest in relation to par in a non-major since 1999.

European — Luke Donald won a duel for the No. 1 world ranking with a playoff victory over fellow Englishman Lee Westwood in Virginia Water, England.

Westwood entered the BMW PGA Championship at No. 1, but Donald’s approach shot on No. 18 — the first extra hole — will send him to the top when the new rankings are released today.

While Donald’s approach landed a few feet from the hole, Westwood sent his shot into a water hazard. And just like that, Donald was a winner and No. 1 in the world.

“Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?’’ said Donald, who joins Westwood and Nick Faldo as the only Englishmen to hold the No. 1 spot since rankings were introduced in 1986.

Having trailed co-leaders Matteo Manassero and Donald by two strokes entering the final round, Westwood shot a 3-under 68.

Champions — Tom Watson holed a 3-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat David Eger in the Senior PGA Championship in Louisville, Ky. The 61-year-old Watson, down a shot with four holes left in regulation, became the oldest player to win a major since the senior tour was created in 1980.

LPGA — Mariajo Uribe won the Brazil Cup in Rio de Janeiro, closing with a 6-under 66 in rainy conditions for a one-stroke victory over Lindsey Wright in the 36-hole exhibition tournament.