Entering the final round of the Travlers Championship holding the 54-hole lead, Keegan Bradley was in unfamiliar territory. Not that Bradley isn’t used to being in contention. He had five PGA Tour wins to his credit. It was just that each of those were in come-from-behind fashion. And when holding 54-hole leads he was a troubling 0-for-4.
Sleeping on the lead, however, hardly seemed to faze Bradley. He rolled in a seven-footer for birdie at the third hole and grabed another after a nice iron approach to 12 feet at the fifth. Bradley kept pouring it on, hitting the par-5 sixth in two creating another birdie then tacking on two more at the par-3 11th and par-4 12th – a needed cushion when he gave two back with bogeys at the 13th and 14th, leaving Patrick Cantlay just three shots behind.
For the week Bradley ranked first in strokes gained/approach and strokes gained/putting. Bradley uses a split set of irons with the more forgiving Srixon ZX5 model in his long irons and the blade-like ZX7 in his short irons which helps him flight the ball down with more control on shorter approach shots.
On the greens Bradley used an Odyssey Versa Jailbird mid-length mallet, a club designed to improve alignment via its alternating black and white stripes on the clubhead.
While his work with the putter was noteworthy, his game off the tee should not be overlooked. Using a 10.5-degree TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver with a Fujikura Ventus Black 6X shaft, Bradley averaged 288.6 metres (315.6 yards) off the tee to rank sixth for the week, including one he tagged 327 metres in the first round.
Despite the fine play, Bradley struggled down the stretch, but Cantlay missed a couple of makeable putts and couldn’t catch Bradley, who achieved the unusual feat of winning on the PGA Tour while shooting progressively higher scores in each round (62-63-64-68).
Not a pretty finish, but a win is a win.
What Keegan Bradley had in the bag at the 2023 Travelers Championship:
Ball: Srixon Z-Star Diamond
Driver: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus (Fujikura Ventus Black 6X), 10.5 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max, 16.5 degrees
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW, 19 degrees
Irons (3): Srixon ZX MKII; (4-5): Srixon ZX5; (6-PW): Srixon ZX7
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore (52, 58 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey Versa Jailbird Midsize