An Interview With: KEEGAN BRADLEY
KELLY ELBIN: Keegan Bradley, ladies and gentlemen, joining us at the 39th Ryder Cup. Earlier today Keegan and Phil Mickelson tied the all time record for largest 18 hole victory in a team match, winning 7 & 6. Keegan, 3 0, becoming the first Ryder Cup rookie since Loren Roberts in 1995 to go 3 0 in your first three team matches. Congratulations, incredible day.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it was. It was a great day. Phil was giving me a pep talk early in the round, saying we need to come out hot against these two great players. We were lucky enough to do that.
KELLY ELBIN: Can you talk a little bit about what got you all fueled right away? Looked like you obviously never let up.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's not very hard to get excited out there when you walk out onto that first tee and the crowd is going crazy. It's just an unbelievable event, an unbelievable experience as a player and as a fan.
Q. Did you know when you teed off this morning that it was going to be the only match you played today, and did you try and influence anyone to maybe change their minds?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I was talking a lot with Phil and Davis. I told them I'd do whatever they wanted. I wanted to make sure that guys got back out there that hadn't played. I would much rather sit and have a guy who didn't play go play because I want everyone to be ready for singles.
You know, I'm putting so much emotion into my rounds that it's probably a good thing that I'll be rested up for tomorrow's singles.
Q. If this was a stroke play you just talked about putting emotion into the entire day. If this was a stroke play event, you wouldn't be doing that, obviously. Could you do that in that circumstance, the interaction with the crowd, the response to the moment as we've seen over the two days? And when you get to singles tomorrow, do you have to sort of revert back to your stroke play personality because you're on your own?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yes, a little bit. No, I would never do that in a stroke play event. I mean, I do in my career I have had big moments where I've showed my emotion. But I think I always know that I had Phil there, whether I missed the green or hit it in the woods or did something, I knew Phil would somehow either get it on the green or up around the green, or when we were around the green, chip it up. Like the par we made on 12.
It's just very relaxing to know that I have a Hall of Fame partner that knows how to get it up and in from anywhere on the golf course.
Q. Before this week, what was the most emotional event you've ever been a part of? And how much more emotional has this been?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: The most emotional week for me was winning the PGA Championship and coming from behind and having my life change overnight. But this is a different type of emotion. You know, I went out and watched Bubba Watson tee off, and he got the crowd going, and I couldn't contain myself. I was just so excited and so proud of him.
It's just a great atmosphere for me because I love watching the Patriots and the Celtics play and all those teams, and I love when they get the crowd going. I love when they run up to them and get them excited, and for me that was kind of my mentality this week.
Q. Why did you go out to watch the first before the first groups teed off this morning? Why did you go to the first tee?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Before we went off?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I was on the putting green, it was a little early, and I heard the crowd, and I needed just a little shot of adrenaline from them. I knew if I went out there and got them excited it would help them, too.
It was just a fun experience for me, and they got me ready to play well today.
Q. At any point in the last two days has Phil asked you or recommended that you channel, conserve, tone down your energy, or has he just encouraged you to just sort of do what you've done?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, he wants me to get fired up and to get the crowd excited, to get him excited. There's been a few times where my caddie, Pepsi, and Bones, have reminded us it's time to calm down. That's one thing I'm very good at is I can get very excited, but I realize how important it is after that to really calm down.
You know, I've learned that watching Tiger play. He'd go crazy, and then you see him calm himself down, and that's kind of the mentality.
Q. Over the years one of the things that's been said about the Ryder Cup is that generally the Europeans have done better in some of the team formats like the foursomes, the Americans have done better in singles and not as much just team camaraderie. I'm wondering from your perspective even though this is your first Ryder Cup, do you see these matches changing that perspective of the Americans' ability to play as a team?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, absolutely. I think the last three years the guys have had the last three Ryder Cups have had a great team atmosphere. I don't think the team atmosphere has ever lacked for the Americans, I just think that they haven't played their best.
I know this team is very close. Everybody on the team gets along. It's just a great group of guys to be put together, a good mix of veterans and rookies and younger players.
Q. Now that you're done at least for this day, are you doing any serious scoreboard watching in terms of actually figuring out, okay, if we can do this and we can do this, we put ourselves in certain positions for tomorrow and into tomorrow?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: A little bit. You know, I'm looking forward to catching the boys on the back side later this afternoon. We're in a great spot. If we go out and win some points in this afternoon session, we're going to be in a great spot going into singles. But a lot of these Europeans all of the Europeans are amazing players, so we're not taking them lightly at all. They're going to come out this afternoon and tomorrow with a lot of competitiveness and wanting to beat us pretty bad.
Q. What's been the effect of the crowd, the noise, on the Europeans do you think?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, I think Chicago should be very proud of the way the fans have acted. There hasn't been much unsportsmanlike conduct from the crowd. I think the crowd has been very pro American obviously, and they're getting me and Phil very excited. I can barely contain myself out there.
But I think that they've done a great job. And you know, it's like playing on the road in any other sport; it's obviously a huge advantage to be in front of your home crowd.
Q. At any point in the last two days has Fred said that he wishes he would have picked you for the Presidents Cup last year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: No, he hasn't, but Freddie is one of the guys that I've felt like I've gotten to know the most this week in terms of somebody that I really had no contact with before this week. And I'm having such a great time with him because he's way into this. He's an intense assistant captain.
You know, that team that he picked, he picked Tiger Woods. I think that was a good choice. It all worked out the way it was supposed to, and I think it's kind of motivated me to play well this week.
Q. I followed you guys yesterday afternoon. Was your drive on No. 3 the longest that you had in the three rounds? And if not, which one was the longest? And what's the best shot that you hit in your mind in the three rounds that you played?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, that drive on 3 was I mean, it's pretty baked out firm on that left side of that hole, but as soon as I hit it, Phil looked at me and said, I think that's on the front of the green, front edge of the green, and here Phil is just talking about, I didn't think it had any chance. We got up there, and I couldn't believe where it was. It was ridiculous.
But the best shot that I saw didn't come from me. I mean, that shot Phil hit on 17 yesterday was the greatest shot I've ever seen in my life. It was just exactly what you'd expect from a guy like Phil Mickelson, from a Hall of Famer, from a major champion, and I was standing there right alongside him. It was a dream of mine.
Q. You've probably answered this before, but I'm curious, on your routine as you kind of set the club up against the ball and you're behind it and you take a step in and sometimes step out of it, what feeling or what are you looking for before you step in and then hit the shot?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I kind of equate it to a tennis player getting ready to receive a serve, how they're kind of bouncing around. I can't just stand there and look at the shot. It's kind of like when you're about ready to receive a serve in tennis and they're kind of hopping around back there, just trying to not stay still. And I realize it's very strange and it's very awkward and it's way different than everybody else. But that's kind of what I do.
It's a way for me to stay athletic and not stagnant.
Q. So it makes you kind of react to the situation as opposed to just staring at the ball?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Right, yeah, and I think that any time somebody does something that's drastically different, it's going to cause some weird reactions. But for me, it's always been something that I've done and I feel comfortable doing.
Q. Before the first match today, both Ian Poulter and Bubba Watson encouraged the fans to chant, make a lot of noise while they were actually hitting their first shots, and Olazábal later said he thought this might become a trend in the Ryder Cup. Were you aware of this, and what's your reaction? Do you think this is a good thing? Would you like to have that going on when you are ready to hit a tee ball?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, you know, I saw them do that. I was on the putting green. I thought it was great. And then I saw I was on the 1st tee this afternoon watching Bubba tee off, and it was one of the most exciting moments of my week so far. I mean, I was freaking out, I was so excited.
For me personally, I'd probably miss the ball. I'm already so jacked up on the first tee that if they started doing that, I don't know where it would go.
But certain players love that type of stuff, and Bubba Watson is one of those type of players. I feel like if they do that for every shot he hit, he'd be one of the best players out here, even though he already is.
It takes a unique type of player, and Bubba brings that every day.
KELLY ELBIN: Keegan Bradley, 3 0 0 in Ryder Cup play. Thank you very much.
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