Keegan Bradley wins Travelers Championship for 6th PGA Tour title
When Keegan Bradley first came out on the PGA Tour, his mind didn’t immediately jump to playing in golf’s biggest tournaments like the majors or Players Championship.
He thought about getting to play in the Travelers Championship, the closest thing the Woodstock, Vt., native had to a hometown Tour event.
Of course, Bradley got his first major out of the way early at the 2011 PGA Championship. That left the Tour’s only regular New England stop as one Bradley desperately wanted to win.
Sunday, he got it done.
Beginning the day with a one-shot lead, Bradley birdied three of the first six holes to pull away from and open up a six-shot advantage. Despite an up-and-down back nine, Bradley recovered and closed out the Travelers by three shots, with a 23-under total.
“This is for all the kids that grew up in New England. Got to sit through the winters and watch other people play golf,” Bradley said. “I just am so proud to win this tournament.”
It’s Bradley’s sixth-career PGA Tour title and second already this season after he was victorious at the Zozo Championship in Japan last October. The only other time Bradley won twice in a season was his rookie year when he captured the PGA Championship and HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Growing up about two and a half hours north of TPC River Highlands, Bradley said Saturday night this was the place where he got his first taste of what the PGA Tour was like when he was just 10 years old.
Years later on the same course, Bradley was nearly flawless through 66 holes as he had made just one bogey all week. But his confidence was derailed after he knocked his tee shot into the water on the par-5 13th. He made two consecutive bogeys, failed to birdie the short par-4 15th from right in front of the green and then made a third bogey on the 16th.
But as Bradley stood over his tee shot on 17, his closest pursuer, Patrick Cantlay, missed a six-foot birdie putt that would have cut the lead to just two. Bradley heard the crowd react, backed off, reset and then stripped a fairway wood into the heart of the fairway, ignoring the water right.
His easy par on 17 all but slammed the door as he took a three-shot lead to the 72nd. Bradley got to relish the moment as the New England fans gave their native son a standing ovation.
“I’m so lucky and thankful to be from this New England area,” he said. “I just can’t believe it. This seems like a dream.”
The win virtually guarantees Bradley a return trip to East Lake for the Tour Championship for the first time since 2018 when he won a FedEx Cup Playoff event. It also places him firmly in the mix for a spot on his first U.S. Ryder Cup team since 2014.