What they said: Keegan BradleyFebruary 29, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
DOUG MILNE: Keegan, thanks for joining us for a few minutes at the 2012 Honda Classic. We appreciate your time, coming off a great week at Riviera. You're here as the 2011 PGA Championship winner. Just some thoughts on how you're feeling as you're heading into the week here at PGA National.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I feel great. This is a home tournament for me. I live just down the road. It's really nice, and the course is in as good of shape as I've ever seen it. It's a tough golf course, which I really like, so I'm going to enjoy myself this week. I look to play well here.
DOUG MILNE: How does, as you mentioned, this being in your own backyard, how does that affect your play? Obviously you're going to have a lot of family, a lot of friends and so forth. Is that seemingly going to become a factor this week for you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's funny, there's some positives and some negatives to a home event. I'm not 100 percent sure if I love it to be honest with you. You kind of get into a routine on the road, and it's very easy to just put it on autopilot and not even think.
But when you're home, you have a little more distractions and stuff you've got to think about and deal with. It is nice being in your own bed and your own home. You drive your own car, drive ten minutes to the course. There's definitely some negatives, I guess you could say. But it is great to be home.
Q. I can't remember whether it was yesterday, must have been yesterday; did you play Jack or did you just happen to run across him on the course??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I played in the Jake, which is his Pro Am at the Bear's Club, my home track. I got to see him hit a few shots, which is pretty special. He's a really approachable guy, a guy I'm hopefully going to go to dinner with this week and talk to him about Augusta and some other stuff.
Q. Get the cheat sheet??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Get the cheat sheet. It's just really cool to get to know some of these guys that I've looked up to my whole life. And Jack Nicklaus, almost a God figure of golf, to be able to meet him and talk to him is really, really fun.
Q. Do you know the story about him and Schwartzel? Basically give him like red light, green light, yellow light zones where to hit it, where not to, and then he won.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I told him I wanted to sit down and talk to him about Augusta. I'll bring a notepad and listen to anything he's got to say for sure.
Q. Who all is in town sponging off you this week, if anyone??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I've got my buddy, Mike, in the back. He's here. I've got a lot of my St. John's buddies in town. Also some friends are going to come in for the tournament. But it's very cool, also; the other guys that live in Jupiter, seems like everybody gets together this week. This is the week that you kind of hang out. I played on Sunday with Jamie and Camilo and Tom Gillis, played a little match out here.
It's a fun week for a lot of reasons, just because we are here, and also, we know we are going to be in town next week because we just head down to Doral. So you know you've got a nice little cushion of being home, which is very rare out here.
Q. You were on the Nationwide Tour, and nine months later you're winning the PGA Championship. Did you expect that sort of rise??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It all happened very fast. I would be lying to think I would be sitting here thinking I would be sitting here as Major Champion after my first year. I have high expectations for myself and I want to win golf tournaments most importantly, that's what I want to do now. I'm learning how to handle myself out here a little better in terms of travel, being on the road. And that's been a help to me playing better.
On the Nationwide Tour, it's very you've got to learn quick as you go, and I think that this year, that year on the Nationwide Tour, really, really helped me and is the reason why I've been able to kind of go straight into the PGA TOUR and play well.
DOUG MILNE: We just had Davis in as you saw, obviously a big year for Ryder Cup, and you're obviously in perfect position there. Just a couple of comments on your Ryder Cup thoughts.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's a huge goal of mine to play in a Ryder Cup Team. I haven't been afraid to say it last year or this year.
I grew up watching my Aunt Pat play in Solheim Cups. Went to Scotland and watched her captain a team over there. Something that I really want to do, and especially with Davis Love being the captain, makes it I just have looked up to him my whole career, and being able to kind of play, maybe play with a Phil or a Tiger as a partner and some of these guys, they have got a lot of good years left. I would love to be in there with them, and just playing for your country would be a huge, huge dream of mine.
And you know, I just look at The Presidents Cup and I just feel like I just missed out by just this much to be in that group, and I've noticed a lot of guys have a good connection from that team. I just think it would be something I've been to a Ryder Cup, as well, in Boston and it was the coolest sporting event I've ever been to in '99.
A lot of people say their goals are to win majors and to do this; but for me, playing on The Ryder Cup this year would be a main goal of mine.
Q. What matches did you watch? What first pops in your head from '99?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I saw Justin Leonard make his putt on 17 to win it. I was at a dinner with him and Bones and some of the other guys and I told him I was sitting alone with him, I said I saw the putt you made to win The Ryder Cup, I was 1 years old and they all made fun of me that I was a little kid.
But I was there and I saw it and I just saw how intense it was. I've been able to talk to Phil a little bit about that Ryder Cup, and it just seems like it's so much fun. I think it's a lot of pressure, as well, but I think that it's almost a bond that you form with these guys, and I would really look forward to playing for the team.
Q. Back to the Masters, Phil is kind of a mentor to you; would you go around for some practice rounds at Augusta National with him and pick his brain??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, absolutely. I'll be playing a couple of times with him from here until Augusta. We have a few rounds planned. We have spoken a bunch about it and Bones gave me some of his yardage books when I went the first time. We have talked about some lines to hit on some of the holes.
But I'll be going to play with Phil soon, for sure, very soon. You know, he's so good at he'll want to beat me and we'll play a little match, but he'll tell me he aims at this branch or this little thing over here. It's what he did for me at Akron when I played really well. There's a lot of blind shots at Akron like there is at Augusta that will help me when the tournament comes.
Q. You've been there once already??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yes.
Q. That was November??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I went with my dad about three weeks ago.
Q. I remember you shot a Magnolia Lane photo??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I took it down. You're not allowed to do that up there at Augusta. You didn't see it. (Laughter).
Q. Would you rather be on a winning Ryder Cup Team or win another major??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, winning majors is fun, let me tell you. I'd want to win a major. But, you know, playing a whole career and not winning a Ryder Cup would be disappointing. I really, really want to see what that feels like.
But winning majors is most important. I mean, I want to continue to contend and win major championships, and then I'm going to get my first shot at three of them this year. I haven't played in anything but the PGA, so I look forward to seeing what it's all like.
Q. When you're trying to get bad habits out of your routine, is it difficult to be almost too self conscious in trying to change things and then winding up having it affect your golf itself??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I don't think it will affect my golf at all actually. I think it will actually help it. I'm not worried about it hurting one bit. I think that, you know, some of the things I did were I didn't even realize I was doing. And it has been easy so far.
You know, it will be interesting to see what it would be like coming down the stretch of a tournament, or trying to win a tournament. But I think in the long run, it's really going to help me. I have no worries that it will hurt me in any way. I think it's something that I'm going to I need to do and I'm going to try my hardest to do.
Q. First couple of days, because you were trying to think about getting the habits out of the routine, how did that balance with trying to just focus on play good golf??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, I think it helps me play good golf, because instead of thinking about hitting it in the water or trying to hit a good shot, I'm thinking about something completely other.
I work with Dr. Bob Rotella, and one of the main things he teaches is to play unconsciously and basically just put it on auto pilot. I think it kind of distracts me a little bit, and that's why I think it's going to help me in the long run.
I think that it's something that it's not as big of a deal as people think, put it that way. I think it's actually been very easy and it's been very helpful and it's made me feel better.
Q. Is it difficult to not have a letdown after obviously the success you had last year, or is it almost easier to kind of follow up on that, because you've sort of been through some of the stuff you went through last year??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I think it's a little bit of both, because I think that I have a ton of experience from last year that helps me this year. And being in contention at tournaments and being in the final group with Phil at Riviera, and trying to win, I've been there, I've done that, and that's helpful.
But also, you put a little more pressure on yourself to win, and it might be easy to sit back and think, I've done pretty well and just continue and not work hard, which is something that I've been very scared of doing and I haven't done and I'm very proud of that.
Just like everybody else out here, I'm trying to win tournaments and contend, as much as I can, and I've done a really good job of that this year. I've had a piece of a lead on Sunday twice this year, which was my maybe goal to start the year; was to be in contention, like the big names out here, they seem to do every week.
So it's a little bit of both, but the experience that I gained last year has helped me dramatically this year.
Q. What is the biggest thing you kind of took from that experience, or biggest lesson learned??
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Just to be patient, especially on Sunday. You know, the PGA, I was 4 down with three to play and I was very patient. Same with Byron Nelson, I think I was four or five back going into Sunday, and just weird stuff happens on Sunday. I was four down on Sunday at Riviera early on and I just stayed real patient. I think that's the key. Sometimes in the final round you can make a bogey and freak out a little bit and try to make it back and maybe compound. So I've tried to really stay level and calm.
DOUG MILNE: Keegan, we appreciate your time as always. Best of luck this week.