Keegan Bradley, the 2011 PGA champion, opened with a 1-under 69 at Oak Hill. (Carr/Getty Images)
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
PITTSFORD, N.Y. -- Keegan Bradley's third PGA Championship didn't get off to the best of starts when he couldn't get up and down for par on the 10th hole, his first of the day.
But Bradley is nothing if not a competitor and he hung tough, even after he turned in 1 over, and gutted out a round of 69.
Bradley finally got back into red numbers with consecutive birdies at Nos. 4 and 5. He then preserved the round with clutch pars on his last four holes, despite missing his final three fairways and two of his last four greens in regulation.
"I didn't feel that comfortable over the ball, but I'm very proud of my score," Bradley said. "I hung in there. This is a tough course. I made some good pars coming down the end."
Bradley was headed for the range after he grabbed a bite of lunch. He only hit five fairways and 10 greens in regulation while using 28 putts, evenly divided on each side.
"I hit a few good putts on that back side (actually Oak Hill's front), made a few birdies," Bradley said. "... You just got to stay out of in rough and hit as many greens as possible. To do that you have got to hit it in the fairway."
Bradley certainly seems to have an affinity for the PGA Championship. He beat Jason Dufner in a playoff in his debut at the season's final major and tied for third a year ago.
"I felt really good," Bradley said. "I didn't play particularly well and shot 69, which is a really good sign."