Keegan Bradley wins Zozo for first PGA Tour win in 4 years

INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) — It was worth the trip to Japan for Keegan Bradley, who won the Zozo Championship with a final 2-under 68 on Sunday to finish one shot ahead of Rickie Fowler and Andrew Putnam for his first PGA Tour win by just over four years.

Bradley raised both hands to the sky and cried after clinching the victory by scoring 18. Thirty minutes later, he was still choking back tears.

“I’ve been crying since I finished,” Bradley said. “I can’t remember the last time I cried.”

He said he spoke to his wife Jillian and his mother Kaye in the United States on FaceTime after securing the long-sought victory.

“I couldn’t keep things together. I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he said.

Bradley finished with a 15-under total of 265 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on the outskirts of Tokyo, which hosts the only PGA Tour event in Japan.

He bogeyed two of the final five holes but dropped a 20-foot birdie putt at the 17th to give him a two-shot lead at the 18th ahead of playing partners Fowler and Putnam.

“I figured I’d have a two-shot lead if I made this shot,” he said. “And I just buried it. Perfect shot. It was meant to be and I’m proud of the way I handled that hole.

A birdie followed a bogey at 16, where he hit a bunker shot from the side of the green, but still managed to share the lead with Putnam by two shots. Fowler was one shot.

“It’s not going to be easy, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” Bradley said. “Things are not easy for me… I have never experienced such emotions after a tournament.”

Bradley won the PGA Championship in 2011 to get his career off to a flying start. The rest was a bigger challenge.

“This (win) is up there,” he said. “I really put in a lot of work this offseason and this is what I want to do. I want to win tournaments. I want to play Ryder Cups. I want to be in the conversation and this is a good start.”

Bradley said he took a lesson from Tiger Woods after playing 36 holes with him in the 2019 tournament, which Woods won.

“Watching him win up close was spectacular,” Bradley said. “I’ve been thinking about it all day today, just thinking back to Tiger, how he walked a little slower back then. So I just tried to do it.”

Bradley’s last PGA Tour win came in 2018 at the BMW Championship. This is his fifth victory on the Tour, and he won this one from the front.

“Out of my five, I haven’t really won as much leading all day as I did today. I really learned a lot and I think I can carry a lot for the rest of the year,” he said.

Fowler also hasn’t won on tour in more than three years, and Putnam is winless in four.

“A little bittersweet,” said Fowler, who led by one shot after three rounds. “Obviously, I wanted to get the job done.”

“Last round,” he added. “I haven’t been there much in the last few years.”


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