JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — It was late Saturday in the gloam and stifling heat enveloped Atlanta Athletic Club and Adam Scott had just come off the golf course after another fair but somewhat frustrating round.
“Yeah, you can make up six shots in the last four holes,” Scott said with a wry smile.
But the Aussie wasn’t referring to someone putting on the kind of charge that Charl Schwartzel did in the year’s first major when he closed out his Masters win with four straight birdies. He was talking about someone going in the other direction.
In the case of Keegan Bradley, it was only four shots that he made up on his way to his first career major win in his first ever appearance in a major.
For 68 holes, the PGA Championship seemed to be stuck in the thick heat of the Atlanta summer. In the end, though, the final four holes played a pivotal role in determining the winner.
“They are tough holes,” Jason Dufner said. “Everybody struggled on them.”
Everybody except Dufner that is, until the final round anyway. He came into Sunday having played the last four at AAC in a collective 3 under. He left there having played them in 3 over with three straight bogeys on 15, 16 and 17.
Even Bradley didn’t get through there unscathed. It looked like he’d blown his own chance when he chipped into the water and made triple bogey on the 15th hole.
“The course is so tough that no lead is safe,” Bradley said. “And I kept trying to tell myself that because I knew that that was the case, especially if you got a big lead, you might get a little tight coming down the end.”
That’s exactly what happened to Dufner and so many others’ whose scorecards were wrecked by AAC’s final four.
So there you have it. The year’s first major was all about who could make a Sunday charge while the last was decided by who could avoid a Sunday slide, and both were equally memorable for different reasons