March 11 2012
Interview: Keegan Bradley
Following his third-round 66, Keegan Bradley talks about his play in the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship with Mark Carnevale from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
DORAL, Fla. -- Earlier this week, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley flew up to Augusta National and played a practice round together. Much the way he did the Wednesday of last year’s PGA Championship, Mickelson got the best of Bradley again.
“I seem to go play with Phil, he gives me a good beating and I play really well the week after,” Bradley joked. “It’s an investment that hopefully pays off.”
Mickelson didn’t disclose the score of their match, but he won by enough that Bradley ultimately paid for their dinner Friday night at legendary South Beach hotspot Joe’s Stone Crab.
All kidding aside, Bradley seems to have gleaned plenty of knowledge from Mickelson in recent months. Saturday, he shot a 6-under 66 to sit just three shots off the lead in second place behind Bubba Watson at the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship.
Only once this season has Bradley finished outside the top 20, and this week he’s second in the field in putting.
“Playing with Phil, it's more intense playing against Phil in a match than it is out here,” Bradley continued. “I don't know why, and it seems to relax me in some way or make me feel more comfortable. I seem to play good golf.”
Bradley has done plenty of that at TPC Blue Monster at Doral, where he hasn’t made a bogey since the 18th hole Thursday -- his ninth hole. That’s a span of 45 straight without a bogey.
This of course isn’t the first time Bradley has played well this season. Just last month he forced a playoff -- along with Mickelson -- at Riviera before ultimately losing to Bill Haas.
Since his victory at the PGA last August, Bradley has 10 finishes in the top 25.
“This year, I've just felt more comfortable,” said Bradley, who is in just his second season on the PGA TOUR. “Most importantly, I've worked on my short game. If I was a D wedge player, I'm a B plus now. It's really dramatically improved. I think that's the reason why I'm seeing myself in contention, where if I don't have a perfect ball-striking day, I can still shoot 3 under like I did in the first round in the wind. That's the biggest difference.”
Bradley also seems to relish big moments. He came from four shots back with just three holes to play at last year’s PGA and at last month’s Northern Trust Open birdied the final hole to get into the playoff with Mickelson and Haas.
“It's kind of a fun feeling, because you know you're in the midst of a tournament or something special,” Bradley said.
He has a chance to be Sunday, too.