ENZAI CITY, Japan – It was worth the trip to Japan for Keegan Bradley, who shot a final round of 2-under 68 to win the Zozo Championship on Sunday, one shot ahead of Rickie Fuller and Andrew Putnam on the PGA Tour. Just over four years.
Bradley raised both arms to the sky and was tearing up after clinching the victory with a touchdown on the 18th. Thirty minutes later, he is still choking back tears.
“I was crying from the moment I finished,” Bradley said. “I don’t remember the last time I cried.”
After securing the long-sought victory, he said he spoke to his wife Jillian and mother Kay in the United States on FaceTime.
“I can’t keep things together, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” he said.
Bradley finished with a 15-over total of 265.
He bogeyed two of the final five holes, but came up with a key birdie on the 17th to give himself a two-shot lead going into the 18th before playing partners Fowler and Putnam.
“I realized if I made that putt, I’d have a two-shot lead,” he said. “And I just buried it. Perfect putty. It was meant to be and I’m proud of the way I patched that hole.”
“It’s not going to be easy, I know it’s not going to be easy. Things are not always easy for me… I’ve never had such feelings after a race.”
Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship to jumpstart his career. The rest was not easy.
“This (victory) is up there,” he said. “I’ve done a lot of work this season 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 Woods says he took inspiration from Tiger Woods after playing 36 holes in the 2019 event he won.
“It was amazing to watch him up close,” Bradley said. “I’ve been thinking about it all day today.”
Bradley’s last PGA Tour victory was at the 2018 BMW Championship. This is his fifth tour win.
Fowler hasn’t won on the tour in more than three years and Putnam hasn’t won in four.
“Kind of bitter,” said Fowler, who led by one shot after three rounds. “I really wanted to get the job done.”
“The last round,” he added. “I haven’t been there much in the last two years.”
Played at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club on the outskirts of Tokyo, Zozo is the only PGA Tour event in Japan.