Bradshaw can’t overcome flawed opening round
Professional golfers have a saying that usually proves true.
The adage goes, “You can’t win a tournament on the first day, but you can lose it with a poor first round.” For former Shepherd athlete David Bradshaw, his attempt at winning his eighth West Virginia Open title was all but compromised during the opening round of the three-day event held last weekend at the Berry Hills Golf Club South in Charleston.
Bradshaw opened his tournament with a two-over-par 72 to fall nine strokes behind the first-round leader.
Despite returning the second day to card a six-under par 64, Bradshaw found himself still behind by four strokes with only one round to play.
On the last day, Bradshaw rallied strongly to slowly move toward the lead held by the 2014 Open winner, Christian Brand. Bradshaw trailed by three strokes moving to the back nine of the third and final round.
Carding birdies on the 12th and 13th holes while Brand was recording pars on each of those holes had Bradshaw only a shot out of the lead going to No. 15. Another Bradshaw birdie on that par-4 hole, coupled with another Brand par, had the twosome deadlocked at the top of the 60-player leaderboard.
Both competitors made pars on the next two holes. And then both had birdies on the 54th and final hole of the 82nd Open.
A three-hole, aggregate score playoff ensued.
Brand prevailed by one stroke after the three playoff holes were completed.
Bradshaw’s stellar second and third rounds had left him at eight-under-par 202. Brand had used his long, first-round advantage to successfully defend the Open championship he won in 2014.
Of the 60 golfers left in the event after the field was cut following the first two rounds, only Bradshaw and Brand were able to card under-par rounds on the final day.
Bradshaw had trailed by a telling nine strokes after the first round. His stellar rounds the next two days got him into a playoff, but he still fell one shot short after his over-par round to open the event.