Keegan Bradley putts his way to first round lead at the BMW Championship

By Sports Desk August 18, 2022

Keegan Bradley rode a hot putter to the outright lead after 18 holes of the BMW Championship, finishing Thursday's play with a seven-under 64.

Bradley entered the week ranked 44th in the FedEx Cup standings, outside the top-30 who will qualify for next week's Tour Championship, but put himself in a great position thanks in large part to his work on the greens.

He collected six birdies on the front nine, and according to Data Golf's strokes gained stats, Bradley was the top overall putter in the opening round, picking up 4.00 strokes with the flat stick, while also coming in seventh in the approach category (2.02 strokes gained).

It was a similar story for Adam Scott in outright second at six under, finishing third in putting (3.30 strokes gained) and 11th in approach shots (1.82 strokes gained).

In a tie for third at five under is the trio of Harold Varner III, Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas – but they all made it there in different ways.

Varner excelled in the tee-to-green category, putting a gap on the field as he gained 5.28 strokes, with Lowry in second-place at 3.32. While Varner was the third-best driver on the day, Lowry was actually a negative off the tee, but led the field in the approach category.

Meanwhile, Thomas was solid just about everywhere, finishing on the fringe of the top-10 in tee-to-green, around the green and putting categories – despite lipping out a four-footer for his only bogey on the 15th hole.

The logjam at four under includes Collin Morikawa, Xander Schauffele and Cameron Young, and there is a star-studded group one further back at three under featuring Patrick Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth. McIlroy will be left ruing a calamitous showing at the par-three 15th hole, where he found the water to triple-bogey when he was one stroke off the lead.

U.S. Open champion Matt Fitzpatrick headlines the group at two under, Hideki Matsuyama and Will Zalatoris are at one under, and recent 20-year-old winner Joo-hyung 'Tom' Kim is at even par.

Viktor Hovland and Jon Rahm will be disappointed with their rounds at two over, and the previously red-hot Tony Finau is likely out of the hunt as only two players shot worse than his six-over 77.

Related items

  • Wet weather suspends play in Florida with Shane Lowry three shots off the pace Wet weather suspends play in Florida with Shane Lowry three shots off the pace

    Wet weather suspended play on the final day of the Cognizant Classic with 26 players to return on Monday, including Ireland’s Shane Lowry who sits three strokes off the pace.

    After sharing the lead on the third day with American Austin Eckroat and England’s David Skinns, Lowry played five holes on Sunday at Palm Beach Gardens in Florida before play was suspended, hitting one bogey and dropping to equal fourth place.

    Eckroat picked up two birdies in his first seven holes to take the outright lead, while Skinns  dropped two shots in his five holes to sit tied for eighth.

    South African Erik van Rooyen finished one shot behind Eckroat after he shot nine birdies through 18 holes, while American Jake Knapp sits in third place and two shots off the lead after 15 holes.

    The severe weather in Florida caused a three hour delay to play with officials having to suspend play because of dangerous conditions for players and spectators, after lightning struck near the course.

  • James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken' James after reaching 40,000 NBA points: 'Records are always meant to be broken'

    LeBron James cannot discount another player going on to reach 40,000 NBA points, as he celebrated reaching the milestone despite a Los Angeles Lakers loss.

    The Lakers lost 124-114 to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, though with a haul of 26 points, James reached 40,017 points.

    When James reached nine points, he was presented with the game ball and received an ovation from the crowd at the Crypto.com arena.

    Coincidentally, James surpassed the 40,000 mark on the 62nd anniversary of Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game for the Philadelphia Warriors against the New York Knicks.

    While teammate Anthony Davis believes no other player will come close to matching James' points haul, James himself warned records are there to be broken, even though no other active player has yet reached 30,000 career points.

    "Obviously we have a lot of great guys in our league that can score the ball, and if they were to stay healthy and they would play a long time, then they can eclipse it," James said.

    "And then, records are always meant to be broken. You can never say never for any record. At one point we said that Big O's [Oscar Robertson's] triple-double record would never be broken and Russ [Westbrook] did it, and now looks like Joker [Nikola Jokic] and Luka [Doncic], they're doing it every night.

    "I feel like I'm still that threat out on the floor and I am still able to do the things that I was doing 10 years ago. And some things I was doing 20 years ago, which is weird to say."

    Davis did joke, though, that James' record-setting games usually come in defeats for the Lakers.

    "I was just telling him in the locker room he might have to stop breaking records because we always lose any time he breaks a record," Davis said. "And he said the same thing."

    Indeed, that streak is quite something. James was on the losing side when he reached his 30,000th and 35,000th career points. When he became the all-time leading NBA points scorer last year, the Lakers lost to the Oklahoma City Thunder.

    "For me, the main thing is always the main thing, and that's the win," James said.

    "I hated that it had to happen in the defeat, especially versus the team that plays extremely well. We played some good basketball tonight, but weren't able to close it out. So, bittersweet but enjoyed every moment tonight on the floor."

  • ‘Collective’ global tour is inevitable and best for golf – Keith Pelley ‘Collective’ global tour is inevitable and best for golf – Keith Pelley

    Outgoing DP World Tour chief executive Keith Pelley says unification between between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf is “inevitable”, even if it takes 10 years.

    Golf’s civil war has rumbled on for two years since LIV, the big-money Saudi breakaway venture, began tempting a host of top names with lavish paydays.

    “Whether it be in six months, a year, two years or 10 years, I think people are coming to the realisation that a collective product is in the best interest of global golf,” Pelley told the Sunday Times.

    “It is the only way growth and prize funds continue at this level. It is inevitable.”

    Rory McIlroy said recently he fears golf will remain “fractured forever” unless the opportunity to create a more global game is embraced.

    The four-time major winner, initially an outspoken critic of LIV, has suggested a world tour incorporating “corporate America” and Saudi Arabian investment, but one which also elevates historic national Opens in the likes of Australia and South Africa.

    “I’m very much aligned with Rory,” added Pelley.

    “Rory is the player I have leant on the most, going back to the beginning. You need people who aren’t afraid to say what they really think.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.