PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley held off a charging Charl Schwartzel to win the elite, end-of-season PGA Grand Slam of Golf by one shot in Southampton, Bermuda on Wednesday.
American Bradley fired a level-par 71 for a four-under total of 138 in strong winds at Port Royal Golf Course, just enough to pip Masters champion Schwartzel to the title.
It was a very tough day, Bradley told reporters after winning his third tournament this year. But I played very well on the back nine, which is very important on this course.
I had a lot of fun, and this is a really very nice way to top off the season.
South African Schwartzel, seven strokes behind co-leaders Bradley and Rory McIlroy overnight in the two-round stroke-play event, signed off with a sizzling seven-birdie 65.
He raced to the turn in five-under 31 with five consecutive birdies from the fifth to briefly hold a share of the lead before dropping his only shot of the day at the par-three 13th.
The slender South African then picked up further shots at the 15th and 17th to end up a stroke behind Bradley.
I was happy to see the wind up, Schwartzel said. I know I can play well in the wind. It's just a matter of making a few putts out there, and I started getting it going.
I could see Keegan and Rory, they weren't making as many birdies as yesterday, and they were coming back a little bit.
Bradley, who became the first player to win a major title using a long putter with his PGA Championship victory at Atlanta Athletic Club in August, was stunned by Schwartzel's display.
What he did in the middle part of that round was pretty amazing, the 25-year-old said. It felt like he was going to birdie every hole. It was pretty spectacular golf.
Bradley kept the South African at bay with birdies at the 10th and 17th as he covered the back nine in two under to clinch the title.
It was a lot more intense than I thought it was going to be, the American said. And coming down the stretch, it felt like any other tournament that I played in. I was nervous over that five-footer to win.
U.S. Open champion McIlroy followed his opening 67 with a disappointing 75 to finish third at even par with fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke (74) a distant fourth at nine over.
I didn't quite have control of the golf ball like I did yesterday, said McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club in June by a staggering eight shots.
It was tough, with the wind out there. I got off to a decent start but bogeying the seventh, a pretty easy par-five, wasn't ideal. And then I followed that up with two other bogeys.
I still had a chance going into the back nine. I just didn't do enough when I needed to.
The Grand Slam of Golf, billed as the most exclusive tournament in golf, traditionally brings together the winners of the year's four majors.