Keegan Bradley Survives Late Wobble To Win Travelers Championship

The hometown hero set a new tournament record to win by three at TPC River Highlands

Keegan Bradley of the United States celebrates winning on the 18th green during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Keegan Bradley survived a late scare to win the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands and set a new tournament scoring record.

Bradley had never converted a 54-hole lead or co-lead on the PGA Tour in four previous attempts but put that right as he mixed five birdies with three late bogeys in a round of 68 to finish 23-under and win by three from Zac Blair and Brian Harman.

The 2011 PGA champion began the day one clear of Chez Reavie and extended that advantage to six shots with six to play before three bogeys in four holes briefly opened the door to Patrick Cantlay

But the 37-year-old hometown hero was able to hang on, finishing par-par to secure the $3.6 million first prize and put himself in contention for a Ryder Cup spot.

An emotional Bradley said: "This is for all the kids who grew up in New England, who had to sit through the winters and watch other people play golf. I'm just so proud to win this tournament. 

"Travelers and everybody involved puts on such a first-class tournament and it's been like this for a decade. I'm so happy to have my family here, they're my lucky charm and I love them so much.

"I'm so lucky to be from this New England area. This feels like a dream."

Blair finished in a tie for second on 20-under after a superb closing 62. The American is playing on a medical exemption following a string of injuries and looks set to regain his full card with his strong showing.

He was joined on that mark by Harman, with Cantlay, Scottie Scheffler and Chez Reavie a shot further back in a tie for fourth.

World No. 1 Scheffler continued his run of top-12s, which amazingly stretches back to the end of October last year.

Rory McIlroy had it going early and looked like he might threaten a sub-60 round when he fired in five birdies in his first seven holes. A bogey on the short par-4 ninth stalled his progress but the closing 64 earned him a T-7 finish just seven days on from his US Open heartache.

Travelers Championship Leaderboard 2023

  • -23 Bradley
  • -20 Blair, Harman
  • -19 Scheffler, Cantlay, Reavie
  • -18 McIlroy, McCarthy

Hello and welcome

TPC River Highlands is the venue for the final round of the 2023 Travelers Championship. Keegan Bradley leads by one from Chez Reavie with Patrick Cantlay a further four behind. Rickie Fowler, Adam Scott, Justin Thomas and Scottie Scheffler are also in the mix should the leaders falter. 

Rory McIlroy began nine behind and is already out on the course, having picked up his first birdie of the day at the short par-4 second. The scoring has been incredibly low all week, so expect another birdie-fest as players battle it out for the latest PGA Tour designated event. 

The final pairing are out at 1.55pm local time (6.55pm BST). 

List showing what's capable

Eight birdies in a nine-hole stretch have Luke List at 14-under. He's seven-under for the day with two to play and showing the leaders what is capable out there today.

JT and Scheffler underway

The former World No. 1 and current World No. 1 get their final rounds underway. Both are seven back so will need to go mega low today to have a shot of winning. However, for Thomas it's already been a great week after a disastrous US Open in which he missed the cut after a second-round 81. 

As for Scheffler, he is on course for another strong finish to add to his ridiculously consistent season. 

The pair hit pretty poor opening tee shots, with Thomas well left and Scheffler well right.

McIlroy on the move

McIlroy gets off to the perfect start, making his second birdie of the day at the fourth to get to -14.

McIlroy charging

Developing situation - my laptop is being a riot. It's back up and running for now, though.

As for the golf, it's now four birdies in six for McIlroy, who gets to -16 with a four at the par-5 sixth. He really is unbelievable to watch in full flow.

Elsewhere, Scheffler birdies the second to get to -15. 

Leaders off

Everyone is now on the course for this final round. Both Bradley and Reavie find fairway and green at the first so will have birdie putts upcoming.

Thomas bogeys, final group hold station

A bogey at the fourth takes Thomas back to -14 after an earlier birdie. Alongside JT, Scheffler makes par but still trails Bradley by six.

The final group have made a quiet start to the day, both opening with two pars.

McIlroy bogeys

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland watches his shot from the first tee during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Expect Twitter to explode, Rory McIlroy has taken a drop. He pulls his tee shot on the short par-4 ninth and it's tight to a boundary fence. 

The graphic says he's playing his third, meaning he's taken a penalty drop, and he leaves himself a long putt for par. He can't get it to fall and drops to -16. Very costly.

Bradley extends lead

The leader rolls in a 12-footer on the third for his first birdie of the day to get to -22 and two clear of Reavie.

Ahead, Scheffler hits a stunning tee shot to the par-3 fifth and misses from four feet. The story of his season.

Bradley goes back-to-back

A sublime second into the fourth sets up another birdie for Bradley, who all of a sudden leads by three from his playing partner. 

McIlroy hits a good tee shot into the par-3 11th to get back to -17. He needs to make that and reignite his charge to have a chance.

Birdie for Rory

McIlroy converts for birdie on the 11th to get back to -17 after he dropped a shot on the ninth. If he birdies in he might have a chance. 

In the final group, Reavie misses from 5ft for par at the fifth to slip to -19 so Bradley's lead is four.

Women's PGA Championship restarts

In other news, after a lengthy weather delay, the final round of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship is back underway. Leona Maguire led at the start of the day but now trails Jenny Shin and Xiyu Lin by one.

What of the chasing pack?

Here's a round-up of some selected other scores:

-15 Schauffele, Thomas, Scott, Fowler
-14 Lowry, Matsuyama
-13 Scheffler
-12 Hovland, Im
-10 Finau
-8 Fitzpatrick

Potential weather delay upcoming

There is some inclement weather in the vicinity of TPC River Highlands so there could be an interruption to the action soon. I'll keep you posted.

Bradley in command

Bradley finds the par-5 sixth in two and two-putts for another simple birdie. He's now -24 and making this look easy. 

Can Reavie respond? No, his birdie putt slips by the right edge and he's now five behind. It's Bradley's to lose.

Blair eagles to get to -17

The American holes from within 10ft to get to -17 and into a share of third. He's playing on a medical exemption so could really do with a strong finish here. Big few holes coming up.

Birdie for Rory

McIlroy makes sure to avoid the water up the right of 13 with his tee shot, pulling it into the fairway trap on the left. From there, he nukes a long iron to the right-hand fringe to give himself a good eagle look. He can't get it to go but makes the birdie putt to get to -18.

He's joined on that mark by Blair, who picks up another shot on 14 after his eagle on 13.

Bradley in trouble

The leader faces a tough up-and-down after blocking his tee shot on the eighth into the front-right trap. He splashes out well but will have 10ft for par.

Ahead, McIlroy has a good chance for birdie on 14 to get to -19. Could be a two-shot swing.

Bradley saves

Bradley's par putt 360s round the hole but it eventually drops. We could have done with that missing for the competitiveness of this final day. Alas.

McIlroy misses so stays -18 but Blair makes another birdie at the short par-4 15th to join Reavie at -19.

Another birdie for Blair

What a run Blair is on here. With a birdie on 16, he's five-under for his last four holes and eight-under for his last 11. He's now -20 and into solo second. Should he stay there, he'll pocked $2.18 million.

Behind, McIlroy is unable to take advantage of the short par-4 15th and has to settle for a par that leaves him on -18.

Reavie drops, Cantlay birdies

It's just not happened for Chez Reavie today. He must be the only player on the course not to have a birdie on his card so far. Another bogey at nine drops him to -18 and six back of his playing partner.

Ahead, Cantlay birdies the 10th to get to -18. It looks like these players are battling it out for second with Bradley in control but you never know.

Bradley stiffs it on 11

Keegan Bradley of the United States reacts to making his putt for birdie on the fourth green during the final round of the Travelers Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This is a clinic in front-running from Bradley. He's still in attack mode and lasers an iron shot into a couple of feet on the par-3 11th. He'll have that to restore his five-shot lead. 

WATCH: How Bradley moved five clear

Blair in the house at -20

What a round of golf that was. Blair finishes with a par on 18 for a round of eight-under 62. He leads in the clubhouse at -20 and currently sits on his own in second.

Harman to -19

The left-hander makes a ridiculously good up-and-down from the bunker right of the 15th green to get to -19 and within one of Blair in second.

He makes no ground up on Bradley with the leader birdieing the 12th to get to -26. Incredible golf, although it is making for a rather subdued atmosphere.

McIlroy closes with par

Sounds weird to say but McIlroy settles for a six-under 64 to finish. He had it going early with five birdies in seven holes as he looked on for a really low one but a bogey at the short par-4 ninth stalled his progress.

He picked up a couple more birdies to get to -18 but couldn't make up any more ground. Still, after the disappointment of last week, it's another solid showing for the Northern Irishman.

Bradley in the water!

He leads by six so no need to panic yet if you're a Keegan Bradley fan, but he has just launched one into the water on 13. It's a big wide so he'll be dropping a long way back.

Ahead, Harman joins Blair in a tie for second on -20 with his fourth birdie in a row.

Eagle for Scheffler

The World No. 1 is four-under for his last three holes after a stunning eagle on the par-4 15th. He's now -18 and in a tie for fifth.

Scheffler hasn't finished worse than tied 12th since last October. Ridiculous.

Bogey for Bradley

After hitting it in the water off the tee, the leader salvages a bogey on the par-5 13th to slip back to -25. He's still five ahead so little damage done. It's just his second bogey of the week and first since the 14th hole on Thursday.

Cantlay from downtown 

Patrick Cantlay of the United States plays his shot from the fifth tee during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

From almost 30ft, Cantlay drops a monster birdie putt on the 14th to join the group at -20. He's within five of Bradley and has the short par-4 15th next so could apply a little pressure.

Bradley in trouble again

The leader is looking very nervy. Bradley comes up short and right with his second into 14 and his third from off the green with his putter pops up into the air on impact and comes up well short. It's looking like another dropped shot.

Cantlay leaves himself 6ft for birdie on 15. 

Two-shot swing

Bradley makes bogey and Cantlay makes birdie to get to -21, meaning the lead is now three. Less than 30 minutes ago it was six. Huge moments coming up for the 2011 PGA champion - can he regain his composure?

Bradley misses birdie chance but Cantlay bogeys

The gap at the top is back to four. Bradley fails to take advantage of the short par-4 15th, missing from about 8ft for birdie. But he still makes up ground as Cantlay's par effort on the 16th is weak and pulls up short.

Scheffler closes with birdie

Scottie Scheffler of the United States looks on from the fourth green during the final round of the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The man is a machine. A birdie at 18 gets Scheffler to -19 and into a tie for fifth after a closing 65. One of the most incredible runs of golf ever. 

Another bogey for Bradley

Bradley comes up well short with his tee shot on 16, barely carrying the water. He chips to 9ft but can't save par and drops his third shot in four holes. He's back to -23 and three clear.

Cantlay misses great birdie chance

That is a huge miss. From 6ft on the 17th, Cantlay can't get his birdie putt to drop. It would've got him within two of Bradley, who is leaking oil, but that could now be his race run. 

Par for Bradley on 17

A nerveless tee shot on 17 with water tight right helps Bradley make an easy par on the 17th and take a three-shot lead to 18. He'll struggle to lose it from here now.

Closing bogey for Cantlay

What a poor finish that is by Cantlay. He had chances to put some pressure on Bradley coming down the stretch but instead closes with bogeys on 16 and 18 to finish in a tie for fourth on -19. He's sneakily quite poor when in contention to win.

The stage is clear for Bradley, who has pulled a great lie in the left rough.

Keegan Bradley is the champion!!

Bradley finds the green in two and a smile appears on his face for the first time all day - he knows it's done. He duly two-putts to seal his second win of the season and pick up the biggest paycheque of his career.

Thanks for joining

As ever, thanks for following along. It wasn't a classic final day by any means but it got a little exciting at the end. 

We'll be back next week for the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Until then, goodbye!