March 4, 2024

PGA Tour: Keegan Bradley Wins Zozo Championship

 PGA Tour: Keegan Bradley Wins Zozo Championship

Keegan Bradley won the 2022 Zozo Championship Sunday, firing a final round 68 to clip Rickie Fowler by one stroke and hoist his first PGA Tour trophy in more than four years.

Fowler led by one going into the day, but couldn’t manage his fourth round in the 60s, settling for a 70 to tie at 14-under with Andrew Putnam for his 15th runner up finish on the PGA Tour.

It was Putnam, looking for his second PGA Tour win, who snatched the early lead from Fowler, getting to 14-under on the week with birdies at the first and the third holes. Fowler, meanwhile, struggled from the outset, with a bogey on the par-3 third hole dropping him back to 13-under.

But Putnam played his next 14 holes in +1, while Bradley grabbed the solo lead for good with a birdie on the par-5 sixth hole to get to 15-under, as none of the leaders was able to gain any traction on the back nine.

Hideki Matsuyama shot a final round 71 to finish tied for 40th at -3 on the week in his bid to defend last year’s title at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club. Matsuyama was seeking to become the first multiple winner of the event in his native Japan, and to defend a title for the second time in his PGA Tour career, having won the Waste Management in 2016 and 2017. Matsuyama finished runner up in 2019 when Tiger Woods won the Zozo in the first edition of the event.

Keita Nakajima and Ryo Hisatsune tied for 12th at 9-under for the honor of low score among the 16 Japanese players in the field. For Nakajima, the former world #1 ranked amateur player, it was his debut as a professional on the PGA Tour, having played five events while he was an amateur, with his best finish a T28 in this event last year. Nakajima earned $222,310 for the week, and moved up 43 places to #311 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

With the win—good for $1.98 million—Bradley overtakes Mackenzie Hughes for the early lead in the FedEx Cup standings. It was Bradley’s fifth win on the PGA Tour, including his victory at the PGA Championship, playing in his first major championship. Bradley has not held the 54-hole lead in any of his five PGA Tour wins.

It has now been 1,352 days since Fowler’s last PGA Tour win at the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Fowler, who held at least a share of the 36 and 54-hole leads this week, falls to 2-for-9 and 1-for-11 respectively when sleeping on those leads. The T2 did help Fowler jump 54 places in the OWGR, moving to 106th.

Low round of the day belonged to Lucas Herbert, who fired a 7-under 63 to get to even par for the week. Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo shot a 64 to move up the leaderboard to finish in solo fourth place and earn $528,000.

The PGA Tour will head right back to the United States for the CJ Cup in South Carolina this week to be held at Congaree Golf Club in Ridgeland. Rory McIlroy will return to defend his title.

Be sure to check back with The Golf Spectator for more PGA Tour news.