Rapid reaction: Bradley's win in Puerto Rico
Monday, March 14, 2011
RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico – The Puerto Rico Open has only been held four times. Michael Bradley has already won it twice, in 2009 and 2011. He shot four consecutive 68s this year, then made par on the first playoff hole, the par-5 18th, to beat Troy Matteson this year.
1. THREE’S COMPANY: Bradley fell into the playoff after three-putting the final hole of regulation from about 20 feet. He threw down his hat in disgust after missing a 2-foot par putt. Bradley won the title when Matteson three-putted for bogey on the first playoff hole. Matteson missed a 4-foot par putt. After finishing 22nd in his first start of the season, the Bob Hope Classic, Bradley missed four consecutive cuts entering this event. Next week’s Transitions Championship is Bradley’s hometown event.
2. MISSED OPPORTUNITY: Matteson, a two-time Tour winner, started the final round with a three-shot lead, but his final-round 72 wasn’t enough. The last time Matteson was in a playoff was the 2009 Frys.Com Open, when he beat youngsters Jamie Lovemark and Rickie Fowler in a playoff. Matteson’s runner-up finish on tour is his best since that 2009 victory.
3. ON THE FENCE: Fan favorite Angel Cabrera made a spirited run at the title. The two-time major champion was 4 under through 14 holes Sunday to get to 14 under for the tournament. But Cabrera bogeyed three of his final four holes. His troubles started when he hit his second shot at the par-5 14th next to an out-of-bounds fence. He hit his next shot left-handed, only advancing it a couple yards. He went on to make bogey.
4. SUNDAY CHARGE: Stephen Ames, a Trinidad and Tobago native, shot Sunday’s low round, a 6-under 66, to finish third, two shots out of the lead. He tied Nationwide Tour grad Hunter Haas, who’d never finished better than 10th in a PGA Tour event.
5. NO SUBSTITUTE: Chris Tidland has limited PGA Tour status this year after finishing 148th on last year’s money list. The Puerto Rico Open was only the second event Tidland gained entry into this year. He made the most of it, tying for seventh to earn a start at next week’s Transitions Championship. Not all went smoothly, though. Tidland left his Ping B60 putter at home in Stillwater, Okla. It arrived Wednesday night after his wife shipped it to Puerto Rico. “It’s the only putter I’ve ever used my whole life, since I was 12 years old,” Tidland said, “so I’m kind of lost without it.”