Keegan Bradley tops Rickie Fowler to win ZOZO Championship, first win in 4 years

Keegan Bradley ended a 1,498-day wait for his fifth win on the PGA Tour after carding a final-round 68 to beat Rickie Fowler by one shot.

Keegan Bradley tops Rickie Fowler to win ZOZO Championship; first win in 4 years
Keegan Bradley tops Rickie Fowler to win ZOZO Championship; first win in 4…

Everyone was waiting for a certain player to end their win drought on the PGA Tour on Sunday, which eventually happened. But it was Keegan Bradley instead of Rickie Fowler with a smile on his face at the ZOZO Championship.

Bradley, 36, ended a stretch of 1,498 days and four years from his last win at the 2018 BMW Championship with a solid 68 in the final round at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, beating Fowler by one shot.

The former USPGA Champion started the round one shot behind his fellow American and he started fast with birdies on holes 5 and 6 which gave him the outright lead on 15-under in Japan.

Despite making bogeys on the 14th and 16th holes, Bradley crucially birdied the 17th to reach 15-under again and take a two-shot lead into the 72nd hole. He made one final par to seal the deal.

Fowler could only manage a level-par 70 on the day which included a birdie on the 18th hole to share second place with Andrew Putnam. The 33-year-old was bidding to become the first player to win on the Tour using a sponsorship exemption since Martin Laird in 2020.

Ahead of the event, Fowler admitted he missed his old caddie, Joe Skovron, who now carries for Tom Kim. Nonetheless, he has made two top-10s in his last three events on Tour and things appear to be looking up.

It is a welcome return to form for Bradley who made six top-10s in 26 starts last season and he held back the tears when discussing his victory afterwards.

"I'm trying to keep it together, but I really want to thank my wife, Jillian, for all the sacrifices she made for my family," Bradley said.

"That's why I practised so hard. It's not going to be easy, I knew it wasn't going to be easy. That two-putt on 16 was major and things aren't easy for me normally.

"So I was ready, that birdie on 17 goes down as one of the best holes of my life and this is so special. I played in the final group here when Tiger won and I got to watch him do that.

"I'm so proud to win this tournament, thanks to Japan and ZOZO, just a first-class event and an amazing golf course."

Keita Nakajima and Ryo Hisatsune flew the flag for the home nation with respective rounds of 69 and 70 to finish in tied 12th place. Xander Schauffele shot a superb closing 65 to finish one better on 10-under.

ZOZO Championship final leaderboard:

-15 K Bradley

-14 R Fowler, A Putnam

-13 E Grillo

-12 H Buckley, S Theegala, V Hovland

-11 C Champ

-10 X Schauffele, M NeSmith, T Hoge



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