July 14 2013
Keegan Bradley is positive about The Open Championship despite struggling with his putting this week.
By Craig DeVrieze, Special to PGATOUR.COM
SILVIS, Ill. – Keegan Bradley likely would take a 6-under four-round total at the Open Championship this week at Muirfield, but that was only good for a bottom position at the annual birdie-fest known as the John Deere Classic.
Bradley overcame four bogeys and a double bogey with six birdies in a colorful closing round of 70. He was tied for 61st and his John Deere debut was complete well before the leaders took the first tee.
Nonetheless, the world’s 16th-ranked player said he felt ready as he waited to board a John Deere charter to Scotland later Sunday evening.
“I just wanted to work on my game today, just pretend like I had the lead on that last shot at 18 and some other shots,” he said. “I played well this week. I just didn’t putt very well.”
Bradley was among Sunday’s earliest starters after making the cut on the 4-under number and then enduring a 1-under day on Sunday.
He approached his round less with the John Deere in mind than he did the Open Championship. In reality, that was his stated approach to the whole week at TPC Deere Run.
“The reason I came here was to try and be sharp for the British Open, so whether I won or did what I did this week, this is going to be good for me,” said the 2011 PGA Championship winner, who previously had rested in weeks prior to major championships.
“The course and the golf is nothing like we’re going to see over there,” he conceded. “But I feel like anytime you play in competition, it helps you.”
Bradley will be one of 27 players on the direct flight from Moline, Ill., to Edinburgh, Scotland, that will depart hours after the final John Deere putt.
“That charter is so big for all of us,’’ he said. “It makes it so much easier. This is a solid way to prepare just because of the charter.”
He plans to get his first look at the Muirfield links course over nine Monday holes. But he said he will rely on caddie Steven “Pepsi” Hale’s previous experience at the course throughout the week.
“I feel ready to go and contend,” he said. “I am playing good golf. It’s just a matter of putting decent and I know it is coming.”