The top 30 in FedExCup points are headed to East Lake for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Here’s a look at Keegan Bradley, one of the 30 players who will contend for the FedExCup title.
SCENARIOS TO WIN FEDEXCUP: For Bradley to win the
FedExCup, he MUST win the TOUR Championship and have the following
scenarios fall into place:
> Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-8 or worse
> Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-4 or worse
> Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
> Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
> Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
> *Tie for the FedExCup
Click here for scenarios of every player
SEASON IN REVIEW: Two years into his PGA TOUR career, Keegan Bradley has three victories -- including last year's PGA Championship and the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational this season. He followed that win at Firestone, where he closed with a 64 and erased a four-stroke deficit, with a solid tie for third in his title defense at Kiawah Island. He admits to putting too much pressure on himself in the Playoffs -- missing the cut in the opener at Bethpage Black where the St. John's grad used to play in college and nearly doing the same at the Deustche Bank Championship in his native New England. He made the cut on the number there and shot 63-69 the final two rounds to tie for 13th. -- Helen Ross
PATH TO TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP: Here’s a look at
Bradley’s results in the first three events of the 2012
Click here for Playoffs Tracker of every player.
|FEC ranking after event||
PREVIOUS FEDEXCUP FINISHES: Here is how Bradley has finished in previous Playoffs appearances:
EAST LAKE HISTORY: Bradley qualified for the TOUR Championships by Coca-Cola last year on his way to Rookie of the Year honors. He shot 64 in the opening round and went on to tie for 11th.
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Fred Albers, on-course
correspondent for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, provides a quick look at
I have to check out the official numbers on this, but I think Keegan makes more long putts than anyone else on TOUR. Every time I watch him play, Bradley rolls home at least one 20-footer.
PLAYER PAGE: Click here for more on Keegan Bradley
Now it’s your turn. How do you think Bradley will fare at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola?
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- Keegan Bradley had actually cleaned out his locker Saturday afternoon and checked into changing his flight.
Luckily for the native New Englander, though, the cut line changed and he got to stick around for the final two rounds of the Deutsche Bank Championship. Bradley made the most of the second chance, too, when he went out and fired a third-round 63 at TPC Boston on Sunday and moved to 6 under.
Bradley got things headed in the right direction with an 8-footer for eagle at the second hole. And he rebounded from his lone bogey at the 17th hole with a gritty par at No. 18 that included a penalty stroke and a 5-footer to save a par that Bradley later said felt like a birdie or an eagle.
"My mom told me that my grandmother wanted me to shoot 63 today, so I was out there thinking I had a good chance to do that for her," Bradley said. "This is her first tournament she's ever come to, so she was on 18. So I needed to get up and down to make that putt to shoot 63.
“I'm just happy with the number that I shot today. I could have been lower, but also could be higher."
Turns out, those birdies Bradley made on his last holes on Saturday were the difference in an early exit and two more rounds at TPC Boston. He drained a 31-footer at No. 8 and made an 8-footer at the ninth to finish with a 73 that he thought wasn't going to be good enough.
"It just goes to show you that you've always got to keep grinding and finish out the race because you never know what can happen," said Bradley, who had shot 40 on his first nine holes in the second round.
The disappointment was etched on Bradley's face when he finished on Saturday. He called his instructor, Jim McLean, that night, though, and their chat paid dividends.
"I sent him a few videos of my swing because it was honestly pretty violent the first two days, the most lost I've felt on the course in a long time," Bradley said. "He just saw something in my upper body that looked a little weird. And with me, I don't need these long drawn out lessons, I just like something very small, and that's what Jim is good at."
After Bradley finished his round, McLean posted his congrats on Facebook. “Nice going today by Keegan Bradley. We had two nice talks last night. "63" today!! I think he's back on track.”
The timing issue solved, the other piece of the puzzle was the Sunday return of Bradley's caddy, Steve Hale, who everyone calls Pepsi. He had missed the first two rounds due to a family emergency but took the red-eye and arrived at the course 20 minutes before Bradley’s tee time.
"I don't know, it felt so weird out there without him," Bradley said. "It felt so bizarre, and I realized how good of a caddie Pepsi is and how much I do rely on him out there. It was a good eye opener for me in a lot of ways because when we were walking down the first hole, it just felt right, felt normal again. It didn't feel hectic, it just felt normal."
And it also felt good to play well in front of the partisan crowd.
Bradley was born in Woodstock, Vt., and is a staunch fan of all things Boston. He missed the cut at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship, though, as well as at last week's Barclays, which was contested on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park where he played frequently as a student at St. John's.
"You know, I've had such opportunities to come to New York and here and play well in front of fans, and I finally got that chance today to really shoot a good round and hear the crowd going," Bradley said. "It meant a lot to me to hear everybody do that."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
NORTON, Mass. -- For the second straight week in the FedExCup Playoffs, Keegan Bradley faced a home game of sorts.
A week ago The Barclays was contested on the Black Course at Bethpage State Park -- which Bradley played frequented as a student at St. John's. And this week's Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston was an opportunity for friends and family to come see the New Englander, who was born in Woodstock, Vt., compete.
Bradley missed the cut at The Barclays and was outside the cut line when he finished off a 73 on Saturday at the Deutsche Bank Championship. As the afternoon progressed, though, the cut changed to 2 over so the 2011 PGA champ made it on the number.
Regardless of what happens over the next two days, Bradley will play in next week's BMW Championship after coming to TPC Boston ranked 13th in the FedExCup. The top 70 in the standings advance to Crooked Stick, which hosts the BMW for the first time.
After his round, the visibly disappointed Bradley took time for a few questions from the media before heading to the range.
"I didn't feel great today," he said simply. "Tried to battle as much as I could. Fell one shot short. Just a tough week."
According to Bradley, who won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational last month, he didn't feel any added pressure with the "home" games.
"Just was poor golf," he said. "Just didn't play very well. Just a lot of really bad shots and missed putts. So a little disappointed. Hopefully I'll get it together for next week. …
"I just didn't do anything great. Hit good shots, hit bad putts. Just hit a lot of very errant shots out there which was not good."
Bradley did right the ship a year ago, tying for 16th at Cog Hill, which hosted the BMW Championship, and then finishing in a tie for 11th at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. He was the only rookie to advance to East Lake in 2011.
NORTON, Mass. -- Keegan Bradley capped a breakout season that included his first major championship with a win at last year's PGA Grand Slam of Golf.
It's not a title a player normally gets to "defend," though -- unless he wins another major the following year.
Bradley, though, will get that opportunity in October as a replacement for Rory McIlroy, who followed in his footsteps by winning the PGA Championship last month at Kiawah Island. McIlroy had already committed to play the same week in Shanghai, China at the BMW Masters, a new event on the European Tour, prior to winning the Wanamaker Trophy.
Joining Bradley at this year's Grand Slam will be Masters champ Bubba Watson, U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson and Ernie Els, who won his second British Open at Royal Lytham. The event will be played at the Port Royal Golf Course in Bermuda Oct. 22-24.
"Any time you get to go to Bermuda and play in that tournament is really fun," Bradley said. "The group of guys this year is going to be a great group of guys.
"I was getting a lot of pressure from my family actually to go play because they love it as much as I do. But it's great to be able to go back there and play."
Bradley beat Charl Schwartzel, the 2011 Masters champ, by a stroke a year ago.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Rory McIlroy romped to an eight-shot win at the PGA Championship thanks to some game-sharpening in the last few months with swing coach Michael Bannon and putting advisor Dave Stockton. A swing that had gotten just loose enough was tightened, and we saw the results.
The results were also helped by some key tweaks in his Titleist arsenal.
McIlroy led the field in driving distance at Kiawah Island with an impressive 311.5-yard average, all with a Titleist 913D3 prototype driver. McIlroy was first fit for the new driver last month at home in Ireland before the Irish Open, using his two-year-old 910D2 as a base point.
“This one just performs so much better,” McIlroy said at the Irish Open. “I’m getting less spin, which is great in the wind, and it carries 15 yards further in calm conditions.”
Think he knew with that quote that he was ready for The Ocean Course?
McIlroy’s other new additions include a 17-degree Titleist 910F 5-wood (with a Fujikura ZCom Pro 95 graphite shaft), first put into play two weeks ago at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational. That replaced a 503i 2-iron he played at the British Open and an 18-degree 906F 5-wood he had in the bag since turning pro. McIlroy also had his 712 MB irons replaced at Firestone after the grooves were getting worn.
Besides leading the field in driving distance, McIlroy led the field in birdies (20), was 10th in putting average (1.688) and 13th in greens in regulation (67 percent).
MAJOR WRAP: McIlroy also played a Titleist ProV1x ball, joining Bubba Watson (Masters) and Webb Simpson (U.S. Open) as major winners with the ProV1x. Ernie Els won the British Open with a Callaway Hex Black Tour. As far as winners’ full product lines, Titleist owned half the major count with McIlroy and Simpson, while Watson carries Ping and Els is with Callaway.
CRISIS AVERTED: Would you be nervous if your longtime putter broke during a Tuesday match before the year’s final major? That’s what happened to Keegan Bradley when his Odyssey belly putter, “The Tooth”, snapped while playing with Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson and Rickie Fowler.
During play, the “spud” broke, a piece that secures the putterhead to the shaft. Fortunately, an Odyssey rep at Kiawah came to the rescue and used the old shaft with a new White Hot XG Sabertooth head. Voila, the “Tooth 2.”
“No worries at all,” Bradley said last week. “It’s amazing, with my old shaft it looks the exact same, there’s no difference.
Bradley and the Tooth 2 finished T3 at the PGA.
MORE NEW STUFF: Pat Perez, in the picture at the PGA for the first two rounds before finishing T21, used a new TaylorMade Ghost Spider prototype putter. … Peter Hanson finished T7 with the same Ghost Spider prototype and a new 18-degree TaylorMade Rescue 11.
WINNER’S BAG: McIlroy at the PGA
Driver: Titleist 913D3 (Mitsubishi Diamana proto 70X, 8.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 906F2 (13 degrees), Titleist 910F (17 degrees)
Irons: Titleist MB (3-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM4 (46, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron GSS
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Can it be a major championship without Phil Mickelson possibly having a new club in his bag?
On the eve of the PGA Championship, at last week’s World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Mickelson put a new Odyssey Prototype putter in play prior to Round 2. It’s a “high-toe” version of an Odyssey No. 9-style putter, which Mickelson first saw in the Callaway/Odyssey trailer.
That version was made for Ryo Ishikawa, right-handed of course, but the Odyssey folks were able to design and build one for Mickelson in a week. Designer Austie Rollinson added offset to match Mickelson’s regular No. 9 putter, and Phil liked how the face was lower in the heel and higher in the toe, allowing him to release the head easier.
“It’s a takeoff on the No. 9, but it’s got a low profile heel and a raised toe that gives it kind of a hook roll,” the 2005 PGA winner said. “I probably should have gone to it (in Round 1) because it just rolls off the face like magic, and it has this great track. I was making a lot more 15- to 30-footers because it was holding such a tight roll.”
Mickelson shot 69 in his first round with the new stick before a 73-71 weekend left him tied for 43rd.
"I just didn’t want to change from my blade because that’s kind of been my identity, but I feel really good with this thing, and I’ll probably go back and forth,” Mickelson said. “This is something we’ve been working on for a while, and it just is fabulous.”
Stay tuned to see if the putter makes it to the first tee on Thursday at Kiawah Island, where the pros are saying the Paspalum greens are true but perhaps a touch slower than most PGA TOUR stops.
BELLY TALK: Webb Simpson discussed at the PGA how he’s practicing with two Scotty Cameron putters, adding a short one to his regular belly, just in case golf’s governing bodies make a move against anchoring. … Two players won on TOUR last week with Odyssey belly putters -- Keegan Bradley with a White Hot XG Sabertooth at Bridgestone and J.J. Henry with a White Hot XG No. 1.
INSIDE THE LOGO: TaylorMade’s design gurus create special logos for each major, full of little details unique to the tournament, the area and the course. This year’s version for Kiawah Island is on the right. Some of the special touches:
Orange and white trim at the top and bottom are colors often used in wind socks, and the Ocean Course gets plenty of wind.
Kiawah is hosting its first major, hence the “1” at the bottom, while its 1991 “War by the Shore” Ryder Cup heritage is also recognized with crosshairs in the center.
The triangle shape in the background is an arrowhead, signifying the Kiawah tribe that lived on the Island some 350 years ago, and the Indian theme continues with a teepee. Atop the teepee is a W – for the Wanamaker Trophy, the spoils given to the PGA winner.
A film reel is in the center of the logo since the course was used for the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance” in 2000.
Here’s hoping this week’s PGA is better than that movie.
ETC.: Check out various apparel scripts for Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler and other select players this week. … Sergio Garcia tested a new TaylorMade RBZ 5-wood last week in preparation for the PGA, seeking a higher-lofted companion to a trusty RBZ 3-wood. … Ben Kohles, the talk of the Web.com Tour with two wins in two starts as a pro, hit 17 of 18 greens last Sunday at the Cox Classic in Omaha with a Titleist ProV1x ball.
WINNER’S BAGS: Keegan Bradley at the
Driver: Cleveland Classic 290 (Miyazaki Kusala Indigo 61X, 9 degrees)
Fairway wood: Cleveland Launcher Ultralite FL (14 degrees)
Hybrid: Cleveland Launcher DST (18 degrees), Cleveland Mashie TM3 (20.5 degrees)
Irons: Cleveland CG7 Tour (4-PW)
Wedges: Cleveland 588 Forged (54, 58 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG Sabertooth belly
Ball: Srixon Z-Star prototype
J.J. Henry at the Reno-Tahoe Open:
Driver: TaylorMade R11S (9 degrees)
Fairway wood: Callaway Big Bertha Fusion (15 degrees)
Utility: Callaway X Prototype (21 degrees)
Irons: Callaway Razr X Forged(4-9)
Wedges: Callaway Razr X Forged (48 degrees), TaylorMade ATV (52, 58, 64 degrees)
Putter: Odyssey White Hot XG No. 1 belly
Ball: Titleist ProV1
By Travis Fulton, Director of Instruction, PGA TOUR Academy
One of the things I really appreciate with so many of today’s professionals is their willingness to continue to work on their game and improve. Keegan Bradley is another example of a world-class player who obviously does so many things well, but yet wants to improve, and is willing to do whatever it takes.
Over the years, Bradley has done great work with golf instructor Jim Mclean. Jim is someone that many teachers of my era have admired due to the many books and DVDs he's produced over his long career.
McLean has worked a lot on Bradley’s initial backswing. This part of the swing is something I have discussed many times over the years in the blog. Many amateurs get the club moving off plane right away during this part of the swing, and although you don’t hit the ball with the backswing, this particular error in the golf swing --- when fixed -- usually leads to a more repetitive impact.
Like so many other golfers, Bradley had a tendency to get the clubhead quickly behind his hands with the club face overrated too open. As a result, this would pull Bradley’s head off the ball and affect his overall balance. Now, the clubhead is in front of him, with the clubface square, allowing the body to stay more centered over the ball.
Here are a few tips to help you with this initial takeaway:
1. The clubhead needs to move up. If you error with the clubhead moving too low and quickly behind the hands, focus on either cocking the lead wrist and/or folding the trail elbow. This will help move the clubhead more up and to the outside of the hands going back.
2. The clubface is controlled by the lead hand. If you error with the clubface open (toe up), then focus on keeping the lead hand's knuckles more to the ground and not the sky. This will help keep the toe slightly down where the angle of the clubface mirrors that of the spine angle.
3. The lead arm should stay close to the body. With the clubhead up and out in front of you and the clubface square, allow the lead arm to stay attached to the chest, resulting in the hands staying close to the body.
Travis Fulton is the Director of Instruction at the TOUR Academies at TPC Sawgrass and the World Golf Village. For more information on the TOUR Academy, click here.
Check out the top five shots of the week from the PGA TOUR, Web.com Tour and Champions Tour with highlights from Keegan Bradley, J.J. Henry, Ben Kohles, Louis Oosthuizen and Arnold Palmer.
What is the winner of the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational winner doing on the 18th green? Leave your response below … and please, keep it clean!
PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: Bridgestone Invitational-Reno-Tahoe Open