The clubs Keegan Bradley used to win the 2022 Zozo Championship
Entering the final round of the Zozo Championship one shot behind Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley was in familiar territory. After all, Bradley’s four previous PGA Tour wins had all been in come-from-behind fashion. What wasn’t familiar, at least recently, was winning at all, as Bradley had not claimed a tour title since the 2018 BMW Championship some 1,498 days before. Bradley ended that drought by emerging from a three-way day-long battle with Fowler and Andrew Putnam to win by one shot in Japan.
Bradley started well, rolling in a four-footer for birdie at the fifth at Narashino Country Club and grabbing another after hitting a lob wedge approach to seven feet at the sixth. Bradley then extended his new lead to two shots after a 6-iron approach to 20 feet at the par-4 11th was followed by a 20-foot birdie make.
A sloppy bogey at the par-5 14th, however, was followed by a wayward iron shot at the par-3 16th that led to another bogey to drop Bradley back into a tie with Putnam with Fowler lurking a shot behind. Out of that bogey, however, came a key moment.
After a self-described shank out of the bunker, Bradley had 40-plus feet down the slope but cozied the lag putt close. “That two-putt on 16 was major,” Bradley said afterward, noting the importance.
Then Bradley proceeded to play what he called “one of the best holes of my life” at the 491-yard par-4 17th. A 339-yard bomb off the tee with his new Ping G430 LST driver (a club just recently unveiled to tour players) was followed by a precise approach to 12 feet with his Srixon ZX7 pitching wedge. Bradley uses a split set of irons with the more forgiving ZX5 model in his long irons and the blade-like ZX7 in his short irons to flight the ball down with more control.
Those two shots were followed by one more key putt with his Odyssey Versa Jailbird mid-length mallet, a club designed to improve alignment via its alternating black and white stripes on the clubhead. The birdie gave Bradley a two-shot cushion when Putnam bogeyed and Fowler missed a makable birdie putt, allowing for a par at the par-5 last hole to secure the win.
“Things aren’t easy for me normally,” Bradley said after the win. Perhaps not, but good enough for yet another come-from-behind win.
Cleveland RTX ZipCore
WHAT IT DOES: The most important, paradigm-shifting aspect of this design is what you don’t see. A low-density compound fills up a section inside the lower heel. This removes the much heavier steel and redistributes that weight so that the center of gravity is more in line with the face center. This improves head stability for better spin and distance consistency across the face.
What Keegan Bradley had in the bag at 2022 Zozo Championship
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond
Driver: Ping G430 LST (Fujikura Ventus 6 Black), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max, 16.5 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW, 19 degrees
Irons (3-5): Srixon ZX5; (6-PW): Srixon ZX7
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore (52, 58 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Versa Jailbird Mid