Bradley ends lengthy PGA Tour winless streak as he defeats Fowler in Japan duel

Adam McKendry
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Keegan Bradley (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley ended a winless streak on the PGA Tour that lasted almost 1,500 days as he claimed his fifth title by triumphing at the Zozo Championship in Japan.

The former PGA Championship winner signed for a two-under 68 in his final round at Narashino Country Club to edge Andrew Putnam and people’s favourite Rickie Fowler by a shot at 15-under-par.

Bradley hadn’t tasted success since the 2018 BMW Championship, two days shy of 1,500 days without a win, and had since endured a loss of form and struggles on the greens after the USGA banned belly putters.

But the 36-year-old finally got his hands on silverware again with a polished final round, starting the day one shot behind overnight leader Fowler but carding four birdies and two bogeys on his way to victory.

The winning moment came at the par-four 17th when, having bogeyed the par-five 14th and par-three 16th, he rolled in a birdie putt that gave him a two-shot cushion going down the 18th.

“That was one of the best holes in my life,” said Bradley, reflecting on his birdie at 17.

It seemed like the stars were aligning for Fowler, who was seemingly willed on by the vast majority of the fans watching on, but he looked unconvincing in his final round and would finish one back after just two birdies and two bogeys in a 70.

However, that is the second top-10 finish the 33-year-old has had in the 2022/23 season already and he looks to have rediscovered some of his peak form having switched back to swing instructor Butch Harmon.

He was joined in second by Putnam, who started well by birdieing two of his first three holes but then rattled off 13 pars before seeing his chance end with a bogey at the 17th. A birdie on 18 led to a 68.

Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo had the second-best round of the day, a six-under 66 securing fourth place at 13-under-par, with Hayden Buckley, Sahith Theegala and Viktor Hovland rounding out the top-five at 12-under.

SCORING

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