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More putting woe for Rory McIlroy at BMW Championship but Rose on top of the world

Differing fortunes: Rory McIlroy couldn’t do enough to trouble eventual winner Keegan Bradley
Differing fortunes: Rory McIlroy couldn’t do enough to trouble eventual winner Keegan Bradley

By Adam McKendry

Rory McIlroy's BMW Championship charge was washed away by the Pennsylvania rain as he finished two shots off eventual winner Keegan Bradley in fifth at Aronimink Golf Club.

Returning for a rare Monday finish due to the weather - for the second week in a row after the traditional Labor Day conclusion to the Deutsche Bank Championship - McIlroy started one shot off Justin Rose.

However, a steady round proved not enough around a soaked Aronimink, with McIlroy's two-under 68 bettered by Rose, who shot a three-under 67, and eventual winner Bradley, whose six-under 64 took him into a play-off with the Englishman.

On the first play-off hole, Rose's inexplicable par miss from all of four feet handed Bradley his first PGA Tour victory since August 2012.

There was a silver lining for Rose, however, who moved to the top of the world rankings for the first time in his career after his top-two finish, replacing Dustin Johnson at the summit.

"It's boyhood dream stuff, it's something I'm incredibly proud of," Rose said.

"When you talk about your career, those are the three highlights (winning a Major, playing in the Ryder Cup and being World No.1).

"It's been a good stretch of golf, I've played really solidly for the best part of a year. I'm delighted to have got to the top."

It was incredible there was any play possible at all in Philadelphia, with an inch of rain overnight saturating the course, but officials deemed that play was possible and the first groups took to the course just after 7.30am local time.

For McIlroy, perhaps it would have been better if they did call it off. Not that he played poorly, more that his reward would have been greater had it ended after three rounds.

His final round was steady in the extreme, nine greens in regulation on the front nine, nine pars. In the conditions, it wasn't bad. In the tournament, it wasn't enough.

By this stage Bradley was making his charge at 18-under for the tournament, while playing partner Rose was stretching away at the same mark and Xander Schauffele had moved one ahead.

A birdie did fall for McIlroy at the 10th after a sublime approach before normality resumed. Five straight greens in regulation, five pars, all of which could have been birdies.

By the time he did finally pick up another shot, it was too late. Once the putt fell on the 16th after another great approach, Bradley and Rose were almost out of sight, three shots ahead of the Ulsterman at 21-under.

Going up the last, McIlroy still had a chance after Bradley found the grandstand and bogeyed, while Rose too was facing a tough up-and-down.

But it was always going to be a tall ask to hole out from the fairway from 186 yards, and when the shot came up short, so did McIlroy.

There was disappointment too for Rose, whose chip shot came up woefully short, and when his putt agonisingly lipped out, he and Bradley headed back down the 18th.

Both missed the green right with their approaches, facing similar shots, and though Bradley left himself within tap-in range, Rose watched in despair as his short putt for par slid by, leaving Bradley to finish out for a huge win.

• IT was also a big day for Tony Finau who, as well as shooting a final round 65 to finish tied-eighth, was named as the final wildcard pick for the US Ryder Cup team.

In an announcement video on Twitter, Finau said: "I'm so excited to be on the Ryder Cup team and I can't wait to get to Paris. Thanks for all the support, go USA!"

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