sunny.png
Tuesday July 5th, 2022 9:20PM

Bradley goes low in mud again, leads Wells Fargo by 2

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

POTOMAC, Md. (AP) — Keegan Bradley did nothing special on the only easy scoring day this week at the Wells Fargo Championship, opening with an even-par 70 that left him around the cut line.

Since the conditions got tougher, Bradley has been the best player at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm.

Bradley shot the lowest score for the second straight day Saturday, a 3-under 67 that gave him a three-day total of 8-under 202 and a two-shot lead over Max Homa in British Open weather on a U.S. Open-style course.

About 2 inches of rain has fallen since Friday morning, yet the low-lying course near the Potomac River has held up well enough to avoid any delays in play. Temperatures dropped into the low 40s Fahrenheit on Saturday.

“It felt like a Patriots playoff game out there in December,” said Bradley, who grew up in New England. “It was fun, but I'm glad to be done.”

Bradley was one of four players to shoot in the 60s. The scoring average was 73.7, the highest relative to par on the PGA Tour since the final round of the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Although he has only one win in the past nine years, the 35-year-old Bradley has been solid recently, with top-10 finishes in three of his last five events, including fifth at the Players Championship during another week of bad weather.

The eye-popping number for a player whose putter has held him back: Bradley ranks second in the field this week in putting by the PGA Tour's “strokes gained” metric. His key makes on Saturday: 14 feet for birdie on the par-3 ninth hole, 21 feet for birdie on the tough par-4 11th, 9 feet for birdie on the 16th and, finally, 8 feet to save par after going bunker-to-bunker on the closing hole.

“Today and yesterday were just really good ball-striking and really good putting. It's rare that we match those up and I've matched that up these last two days,” Bradley said. “If I can just keep that going a little bit, I'll like my chances.”

A win by Bradley would move him into the top 60 in the world, making him exempt for the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts.

“It’s on my mind,” he said. “I know what’s at stake.”

Jason Day's retooled swing couldn't hold up for a third straight day. The leader after 18 and 36 holes, Day began struggling with his driver before it spilled over to the rest of the bag. He found the same pond on consecutive holes — a driver that never crossed dry land on the par-4 fourth, leading to triple bogey, and a 3-wood that hooked violently on the fifth.

Day appeared to lose his grip on the club when he hit another hook into a water hazard with his second shot on the par-5 10th, even though he had half a dozen gloves hanging from the ribs of his umbrella. He shot 79 to fall seven shots off the lead.

Homa shot a steady 71 while playing partners Day and Luke List struggled, finding fairways and hitting conservative approach shots for routine pars. He went from trailing Day by two to leading by two in a span of two holes that he played in even par. But consecutive bogeys on the back nine allowed Bradley to pass him.

The day's second-best score belonged to Rory McIlroy, who made the cut on the number and played on the opposite side of the course from the leaders. The highest-ranked player in the field at No. 7, McIlroy bogeyed his first two holes, made four birdies before the turn and closed with nine straight pars for a 68 that moved him into a tie for sixth at 2 under.

“I think when you see conditions like this, you have to have a pretty upbeat attitude towards it and for me it was just grateful to be here,” McIlroy said.

Anirban Lahiri shot 70 and was four shots back alongside James Hahn (72), a former champion of this event at its regular home, Quail Hollow, which is taking this year off because it's hosting the Presidents Cup in September. Matt Fitzpatrick was 3 under after a 71.

“It feels like I’ve just gone 12 rounds in a pro boxing match,” Lahiri said. “You’re fighting everything. You’re fighting your body, the elements, the water, the cold, the conditions. Yeah, it’s tough work and you just have to grit your teeth and kind of grind it out.”

___

Follow Ben Nuckols at https://twitter.com/APBenNuckols

___

More AP golf: https://apnews.com/hub/golf and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Golf, AP Sports - PGA
© Copyright 2022 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Bradley goes low in mud again, leads Wells Fargo by 2
Keegan Bradley shot the lowest score in bad weather for the second straight day at the Wells Fargo Championship
6:58PM ( 5 minutes ago )
Kentucky Derby Updates | Trump appears at Churchill Downs
Former President Donald Trump arrived at Churchill Downs for his $75,000-per-person fundraiser around 6 p.m. His entrance was shielded from the general public and the press
6:55PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Bucks edge Celtics 103-101 after frantic final second
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 42 points and made the go-ahead basket with 44.3 seconds left and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood a frantic flurry of shots in the final seconds to beat the Boston Celtics 103-101 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal
6:50PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Avs goalie Darcy Kuemper leaves game after stick hits face
Colorado goaltender Darcy Kuemper yanked his mask off and fell to the ice holding his head after being struck by a stick Saturday
5:30PM ( 1 hour ago )
Capitals rout Panthers 6-1 in Game 3 to take 2-1 series lead
Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves as the Washington Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 6-1 in Game 3 to take a lead in their first-round playoff series
5:11PM ( 1 hour ago )
Red Sox lefty Sale dealing with setback after rib fracture
Boston Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has suffered a setback in his recovery from a fractured rib cage suffered in late February
5:06PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
Jason Day handles rain, expands lead at Wells Fargo
Jason Day expected a grind on a rainy day at the Wells Fargo Championship
7:41PM ( 23 hours ago )
Jason Day 'obsessed' with new swing, leads Wells Fargo
Jason Day describes himself as “obsessed” with the new swing he's working on with instructor Chris Como
9:44PM ( 1 day ago )
With no expectations, Wolff shares early lead at Wells Fargo
Matthew Wolff had no expectations heading into the Wells Fargo Championship
2:57PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Golf
Hannah Green takes 1-shot lead into Palos Verdes finale
Hannah Green held onto the lead Saturday in the Palos Verdes Championship after a frustrating start on the hilly, windswept course perched above the Pacific Ocean
9:57PM ( 6 days ago )
Rahm closes with birdie to build 2-shot lead in Mexico Open
Jon Rahm has a two-shot lead going into the final round of the Mexico Open
7:07PM ( 6 days ago )
Hannah Green opens 3-shot lead in Palos Verdes Championship
Hannah Green took the lead into the weekend in the Palos Verdes Championship, rebounding from consecutive bogeys Thursday in gusting wind to birdie the two late par 5s in a 5-under 66
10:35PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Sports - PGA
Kentucky Derby Updates | Trump appears at Churchill Downs
Former President Donald Trump arrived at Churchill Downs for his $75,000-per-person fundraiser around 6 p.m. His entrance was shielded from the general public and the press
6:55PM ( 9 minutes ago )
Bucks edge Celtics 103-101 after frantic final second
Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 42 points and made the go-ahead basket with 44.3 seconds left and the Milwaukee Bucks withstood a frantic flurry of shots in the final seconds to beat the Boston Celtics 103-101 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference semifinal
6:50PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Ukraine evacuates civilians from steel plant under siege
The war in Ukraine has wracked the country’s southern coast as Russian forces fire cruise missiles at the city of Odesa and bombard a steel mill in the port of Mariupol housing Ukrainian civilians and fighters
6:15PM ( 49 minutes ago )
Brewers' McCutchen tests positive for COVID-19, placed on IL
Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Andrew McCutchen has tested positive for COVID-19
6:05PM ( 58 minutes ago )
Scorsese presents a buried gem and a pitch for cinema's past
On Monday, Martin Scorsese and the Film Foundation will launch a new virtual theater to screen restored classic films
5:59PM ( 1 hour ago )