What they said: Michael BradleyMarch 16, 2011
PGA TOUR staff
MORE INTERVIEWS: Transitions Championship transcript archive
PHIL STAMBAUGH: We welcome Michael Bradley to the interview room. Michael picked up his fourth PGA TOUR win last week in exciting fashion at the Puerto Rico Open, your second title in Puerto Rico in three years. Congratulations on the win and maybe recap the victory, another special week coming back to Tampa.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Exactly, it is a great week coming back. I don't know what it is about Puerto Rico; comfortable down there. I enjoy the golf course. Fans are great. It's tropical like Florida where I was born and raised.
So, I don't know, no rhyme or reason but yeah, I wish the TOUR was there every week. Yeah, looking forward to playing this week. A little tired, played four out of the last five weeks, but I couldn't pull out of this event, just because it's Transitions; so go out there and give it a 110 percent.
Q. When you won Puerto Rico last time, you had to withdraw from this event, didn't you??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Yeah, I actually broke my ankle not long before and actually ended up turning into a hip issue, which unfortunately I'm still dealing with today. But I was told I could have possibly torn a labrum in my hit after winning and I didn't want to maybe possibly do something to make the situation worse.
So I went and had MRIs done and saw a hip specialist, etc., etc., just to double check because I didn't want to do possibly more damage than I had already done, so that was the reason why.
Q. How long did that keep you out??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It wasn't it really didn't keep me out. Just it's a nagging basically in a nutshell, when I broke the ankle, it's a big chain. And the smaller muscles in the hip that are not supposed to work as hard were working double time, and basically the big muscles in the hip that are supposed to absorb all of that, basically were shut down. I had basically no strength in the right hip.
So, that was the issue. And it's better today, but I still deal with it. I mean, I get worked on every day in the trailers.
Q. So there was no surgery??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: There was no yeah, it's just more therapy and just trying to get strength back into the hip because it would fatigue. It would fatigue so easily. You know, just with age, I'm going to be 45 in a couple months. Just a lot of wear and tear, and so I just deal with it how I can.
Q. Which hip??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Right hip.
Q. And it doesn't seem like it changed your golf swing very much, or did it??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I have difficulties a lot of times getting through. I don't have any problem getting back. It's getting through is where I have the issue. It's rotating through and clearing, a lot of times my lower body will just stop on me, and I'll hold or I'll flip or whatever, and that's the issues that I've been having.
I don't know if you watched the telecast but my caddie kept on saying, "Turn behind it and get through it" because that's what I have a problem with. Especially when it gets tight and fatigued, I physically cannot rotate through to impact to a good finish position. Just I can't do it. I physically can't do it, keeping it loose, and some days are better than others. Warm weather down there helps. Cold weather doesn't. It wants to tighten up.
But it is what it is. I'm not the only guy out here that's had ailments from I had back surgery to broken ankle, now my hip. Just how it goes.
Q. A torn labrum was your fear; what was the actual diagnosis??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: As I kind of stated previously, it just was a and I apologize, I can't remember the name of the muscle but basically when I broke the ankle, like I say, it's all a big chain, and the smaller muscles in the hip that are not supposed to be taking all the punishment were, and the big muscles in the hip that were, weren't. They basically shut down, and I want to say they atrophied but they basically shut down because of the ankle breaking, it basically affected the chain.
Basically my muscles are trying to relearn the sequencing. That's what the therapists tell me, it be through therapy, through exercise, through various whatever that they have set up for me. But that's kind of what I've been dealing with.
Q. General thoughts on the course??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: It is tough. You always think, Innisbrook, Copperhead is a good golf course and you get out there and go, "Man, this place is tough." It is. You have to drive your ball well. You have to hit it on the right parts of the green, because you forget how undulating these greens are, and they usually are pretty firm and they are fast.
So it tests every facet of your game. If you are not playing well, it will be a long week. It's just a good, it's a fair, tough golf course.
Q. Not that you didn't work for last week, but doing the quick math here, you're almost going to be 48 for your exemption.
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Sure.
Q. Again, not that you didn't work for it, but is last week a little gift for you??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Oh, it's a huge gift. Absolutely. Absolutely it's a huge gift. You know, I was discussing that with my wife, saying, this takes me to 48 and hopefully I can still continue to be successful out here, but if not, I'm obviously close to the Champions Tour, and I guess when you turn 48, I guess they give you those two years on the Nationwide Tour, which it's an option I guess.
But I would like to think that I can still somewhat be competitive out here if I'm healthy and my mind is right, and the desire is there.
Q. Did you go into last week thinking that you had the game to win last week??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: No you know, I take that back.
I don't think I've ever doubted my skills physically. I've doubted myself mentally between the ears. That's why I've always struggled. I think a lot of guys are like that out here, but you know, it's just my personality and like I said, I couldn't believe I was so calm the whole week, and then on that 72nd hole when I had that little 15 footer for birdie, it's like and I was like, whoa, wait a minute, getting a little bit nervous and on that short putt, I was so nervous and my hands were shaking so bad, I'm like, where was this all week. I'm like, I don't know what happened. It came out of nowhere.
And some weeks I feel really calm and relaxed and other weeks where I'm on edge and I'm edgy, and I'm like that. And those are the weeks usually I don't play well. But that's just me unfortunately.
Q. How are you this week??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: I think it will be tough on me because, you know what, I'm home and I want to play well. I have a lot of friends and family that are probably going to come out. You know, it will just my personality, I'm kind of a pleasing person and I want to come out and enjoy, and I probably want to play well more for them than myself and play good, but that's just me.
I'm just going to try to come out, enjoy the week, and I'm going to take next week off. I've played five out of six. I hate to miss Arnold's tournament, but I've got to take a week off somewhere. I can't play every week.
Q. What part of the mental process do you have a hard time with? I've got the idea of nerves but can you break it down?
MICHAEL BRADLEY: Just not trusting the swing, not being committed. When I step on that first tee, my biggest battle isn't with the golf course, it's not with my playing competitors, it's with me. That's my biggest battle every week.
If I feel like I've got through the round and I didn't beat myself up and I trusted it somewhat; if I shoot 82 or 62, as long as I don't feel like I just beat myself up and defeated myself, I'm like, okay, I can live with that, I'm human; I'm not going to play well every week.
Sometimes it's tough to take it from the range to the golf course, and like I said, I know I'm not the only person that can say that because there's a lot of guys like that. But I've kind of struggled with that my whole career I think. Why, I don't know. I thought as I got older, it would get easier and I wouldn't worry about that stuff, but that's not the case.
Q. What course did you grow up playing down here??
MICHAEL BRADLEY: You're talking from high school on? I would say from high school through college, my dad was a pro at Buckhorn Springs from '83 to '91. And then basically from '91 since I've been at Bloomingdale Golfers Club. I've been there since.