Monday, May 30

Who Are Those Guys? Keegan Bradley Edition

IN “BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE Sundance Kid,” Butch (Paul Newman) and Sundance (Robert Redford) kept saying, “Who are those guys?” That line reminds me of the PGA Tour some weeks. Like last week, for instance.

Keegan Bradley beat Ryan Palmer in a sudden-death playoff to win the HP Byron Nelson Championship, his first PGA Tour victory. I didn’t see it, so I missed my chance to be filled in on Bradley’s bio by the CBS golf crew. I’m in total darkness. I know less about Bradley than I did about Gary Woodland, who won the Transitions Championship. I had at least heard of Woodland.

First of all, Bradley is to be congratulated. To win on the PGA Tour is a huge accomplishment under any circumstances. The 24-year-old Vermont native held it together down the stretch on a difficult golf course and beat a tour winner in a playoff. That says a lot. It has become a trend, too. Bradley is the sixth first-time winner on tour this year.

But, besides being young and from The Green Mountain State, who the heck is he? Well, he’s the nephew of LPGA Tour great Pat Bradley. I know that Bradley.

Keegan Bradley played golf at St. Johns University, not exactly a collegiate golf powerhouse. Apparently, he won his share of college tournaments. Last year he played on the Nationwide Tour, where he had a second and two thirds en route to a 14-place finish on the money list.

In his first full year on the PGA Tour, Bradley has three top tens in 16 starts. He drives it long. He’s a Boston Red Sox fan. He listed their World Series victory as his biggest thrill outside of golf. Ben Hogan and his father are in his dream foursome. And he accepts his phantom status. “Going under the radar is kind of my thing,” he said.

Bradley had done a great job of staying under the radar until yesterday’s big win on national television. Now it will be much tougher to sneak up on anyone, especially if he can keep mustering the game to close out wins on Sunday.

−The Armchair Golfer

Who Are Those Guys? Gary Woodland Edition

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