IN JANUARY PGA TOUR ROOKIE Keegan Bradley teed it up at Waialae Country Club, well known among Hawaii golf courses as the venue for the Sony Open. When Bradley finished in an invisible tie for 68th, did anyone think the 25-year-old rookie was on his way to a two-win season that included a dramatic playoff victory over journeyman Jason Dufner at the PGA Championship?
It has been a phenomenal freshman season for the nephew of LPGA legend Pat Bradley. After winning his first major in Atlanta, “Glory’s Last Shot,” Keegan is now famous in his own right. Currently ranked 26th in the world, he is a virtual lock for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
But Bradley didn’t earn enough points to automatically qualify for the U.S. Presidents Cup team and captain Fred Couples didn’t pick him, selecting Tiger Woods early and going with Bill Haas after Haas won both the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup. Some think it’s an injustice that Bradley didn’t make the American squad—and I can’t disagree with them.
“If I’m not on the (Presidents Cup) team, I’ll be devastated,” Bradley said two weeks ago after completing play at the Tour Championship. “But at the same time, I didn’t earn my way onto the team.”
Then came the Haas pick and a call from Couples.
“Freddie was very nice on the phone and explained to me why he made the picks,” Bradley told Tim Rosaforte. “I totally understand Tiger and Bill are great players. And what Bill did at the Tour Championship was remarkable and he deserved the pick. That’s not saying I’m not very disappointed. I hope to be on many more teams in the future.”
And yet Bradley still might board that flight to Australia. World No. 4 Steve Stricker is ailing with a neck injury. If he can’t play, Couples has already named his replacement: Keegan Bradley.
It would be the perfect ending to a storybook year.
−The Armchair Golfer
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