John Deere Classic interview: Keegan BradleyJuly 11, 2013
JOE CHEMYCZ: We welcome Keegan Bradley to our interview room. Keegan, thanks for coming in. Maybe just talk about, this is your first trip to the John Deere Classic and maybe talk a little about your first trip here and why this fit on the schedule.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, I've always wanted to play the John Deere. I've heard great things about it, all the players seem to love it, and I want to start to play the week before Majors from here on out.
I think going over to Scotland, you kind of roll the dice a little bit with the weather, so this just fit in perfectly. I'm very happy that I did so. The course is awesome. People are great.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Hearing Steve talk about the potential low scores, do you see that as a reality, as well.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I think any time the course is wet or the greens are soft, you're going to have low scores. The greens are also in perfect shape. You hit a good putt, it's going to go in. But the course is a very good track, and you've got to hit the ball in the fairway, and if you do that, you can score.
Q. After you won the PGA Championship‑‑ did you ever hear from her or discuss this particular course with her?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: No, we didn't discuss this particular course, but I like to her a lot about strategy and the mental side of golf, but we never discussed this particular course.
Q. Is this a course where you need to attack?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, you really need to be ready to go from the first tee to the last, because you're going to have to make a bunch of birdies on this course this week to contend, but most importantly, you've got to hit the ball on these fairways. They are generous fairways, but if you do hit the ball in the fairway, you're going to be able to basically attack every pin position right now because of the softness.
Q. Given this is your first time here, is this a good way to prepare for Muirfield?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, you know, this is my first time, so I'm going to see how this translates. But I've been very‑‑ surprised isn't the word, but very happy with this whole tournament and the course and the people especially are very thankful for me coming here, which is something I've never really felt before at any TOUR event. Everybody has been super nice, saying they are happy to have me here. So I feel very welcome. It's a tournament that I would like to play in regularly. It's a great event.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I've been‑‑ like I said, I've been wanting to come here for a while, and these guys that run this tournament, John Deere and everybody, really put on a great event, and they treat the players amazing. And this charter going over to the Open is amazing. It's a really big help for us players, very smart for them to add that. But you know, everybody's been so welcoming and so helpful here. I wouldn't even be surprised if more and more players come play here.
Q. How much thought did you put in playing the week before a major? You said you changed your strategy a little bit.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yes, I've done‑‑ I've only played in six or seven Majors in my life, so I'm still learning on how to prepare for them. When I won the PGA, I played Akron the week before. Last year at the PGA, I came in third and I played Akron the week before. Then my rookie year last year, the Masters, I played the week before, and came in 26th and I shot 77 in the second round. So I played pretty well there.
And then every other major, I've taken the week off and gone early and tried to prepare that way and I haven't played very well. So for me, for other players, they like to get there early and really check out the course. It's seeming to me that the best way to prepare is to play the week before and come in sharp.
Q. Do you stand on the first tee on Thursday with the mind‑set that you have to go low?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, totally, I think this tournament, Travelers, they do a great job of just embracing the golf course and making it fun for the players. That's important. So often, we get beat up out on the golf course with long rough or firm fairways and greens or whatever it is, and that's not what everybody wants to see and play in every week. I think they have done a great job here from what I've seen so far.
Q. How much did last year's Ryder Cup where you played so very well, how has that been a positive on your game?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It's been a huge positive, because I played‑‑ I was so nervous during the whole thing, beyond nervous. And I was able to perform at a high level which helped me a lot. And also, I was so tired during the whole Ryder Cup because of how nervous‑‑ couldn't sleep very much and you're constantly doing dinners and functions. Again, I performed well.
So it's taught me that if I'm nervous or feel a little tired, I still can go out there and play good golf.
Q. Several people noticed the‑‑ (inaudible) ‑‑ the Stanley Cup, is that in the past now?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I went to game six at Boston when they won. I saw them with the Stanley Cup and everything. You know, it was a good series. I'm happy for Chicago but‑‑
Q. Do you mean that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: (Laughter) not really. But you know, I had such a good time rooting for them. I'm sad hockey's over.
JOE CHEMYCZ: Thanks and play well this week.