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September 24, 2014

Keegan Bradley


MICHAEL GIBBONS: Keegan, welcome to Gleneagles, welcome to Scotland and The Ryder Cup. Thoughts and feelings on the week ahead, I suppose.

KEEGAN BRADLEY: Oh, man, I'm so pumped to be out here. Scotland has been unbelievable. Gleneagles has been unbelievable. It's just The Ryder Cup is just amazing. I challenge all young kids out there to practise as hard as they can so they can get to play on a Ryder Cup Team because it really lives up to the hype. It's awesome.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: I think everyone wants to know, Keegan, do you have the suitcase with you?

KEEGAN BRADLEY: I don't have the suitcase with me, but I did give it a little rub before I left home. It's sitting in my house. I'm hoping to head home on Monday and open it up and see what's in there. It might be a little nasty, but it's still sitting there.

Q. Can you give your team's reaction to the two combat veterans who spoke to the team yesterday?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Wow. Josh and Noah, man, it was one of the most unbelievable nights I've had in my life. So inspirational, so motivating, and kind of as Tom said, sobering. They looked at us at one point and said, listen, you guys are playing a game. These guys are out there taking bullets and rockets, and -- man, it was really, truly a special night in my life that I'll never forget.

Q. You had kind of a bizarre ending to your FedExCup and Phil, actually his ending to his FedExCup was about the same time, also in Denver. I was wondering, what have you been doing, and do you think maybe that might help you, giving you a little bit more of a chance to really pound balls and work on the game?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I've been home at the Bear's Club taking all MJ's money. I've been playing a lot and practising a lot. There's nothing more motivating than The Ryder Cup. I've been texting with Phil a lot before this, kind of pumping each other up. I get so motivated by Phil and Jim Furyk and these guys that are so excited about The Ryder Cup and so just raring to go. And that gets me even more fired up, which is unbelievable. I've been practising, getting ready for this event for a long time.

Q. Just related to that, why do you and Phil have such a good relationship on or off the course? What makes it work, and give an insight to Phil's role in the locker room as the most experienced player there now.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, Phil and I, this was all his idea a couple years ago before Medinah. He came to me and he said, "We're going to play in The Ryder Cup and we're going to win." I'll never forget in my life when he said that to me. We were coming back from dinner. I was only on Tour -- it was my second year on Tour. He said that to me and it like gives me goosebumps even thinking about it. We just match up well. I let him talk. I let him, you know, decide the decisions. He thinks I'm letting him (smiling). We just seem to match up. In alternate-shot, I know Phil can get up-and-down from anywhere. So if I hit a bad shot, he can wedge it or chip it and do whatever he does, and it just doesn't matter where I hit it. He's going to get it up-and-down.

Q. This is your second time playing in The Ryder Cup, but I believe the first time that you attended The Ryder Cup, it was a victorious occasion for the Americans, but you were very young and it was at Brookline. Can you perhaps just recall what it meant to you and how young you were? And I do believe that you snuck onto one of the greens on a very special day, as well?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I went to Brookline in '99 with my dad. We went Friday and Sunday. I was on my dad's shoulders when Justin made that putt. I was on 18 green but I could see through the trees and I remember seeing all the red shirts running by. Then when the tournament was over, my dad told me to run out to the green with everybody and just meet them back in the same spot. So I took off running and I was running around the green, and that's when I fell in love with The Ryder Cup was that week. The passion that I saw, I had never seen before in golf. And that was something that I promised myself I was going to work toward.

Q. As noted earlier, Phil had a bit of a rough end to the year after a great PGA. Curious what you've seen out of him these couple of days. How does his game look?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Man, he is playing so good. I keep telling him, this is -- he's rolling it better than -- I'm so pumped. I've got such a good partner. He's playing really well. He's clearly been working back home and he's clearly been, you know, on the range and putting and playing. And he's playing great and he's motivated to win this Ryder Cup.

Q. Just to be clear here: You're excited about this week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Man, I'm pumped (laughter).

Q. What do you think the difference will be playing on the road compared with last time at home? And of those differences, where do you break them down? How much is home-field advantage worth to Europe?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I played in Chicago and Presidents Cup in Muirfield, USA. So I've never been over here. But I've spoke to a bunch of the players, and I think it's going to be different. I think it's going to be something that I'm going to need to adjust to, because I need to be respectful to the fans and to everybody. But I'm just going to be myself out there. I always got Phil, that he's going to be in my ear constantly, and I think that I'm going to have to learn on the fly like I've done my whole career, get to the first tee and adjust as I go.

Q. Can you elaborate on some of the text messages that you and Phil have passed back and forth in the last few weeks?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I like to send him little clips of videos from our matches, highlights, and just it's fun to see his texts back. Phil is way into strategy and talking it through and talking through what we need to do. We just keep telling each other that there's no one we'd rather be out there with than each other. We're just both super, super excited, and he's -- like I keep saying, these older guys are so motivated in this Ryder Cup. It's really fun to see.

Q. It may be hard to say that you learned something since you were so successful at Medinah. But is there something that you took from Medinah that you will use this week in singles or anything?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: There's a lot I learned at Medinah. I wore myself out. I was running around, jumping around, playing a lot before. So I'm trying my very best to get some rest, not go out there and beat balls and putt and go crazy, because it's possible you could play 36 a day for two days in the most pressure, most mentally-wearing pressure. That's my biggest thing now is to conserve.

Q. You were unbeatable in the pairing with Phil at Medinah, and then you kind of ran into the Rory booby trap when he almost missed his tee time. He came out, no preparation, had an energy bar and beat you in the singles. Wondering if you are looking forward to that or would you desirably like to face Rory in the singles on Sunday?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: We played a great match. We were both well under par. He played awesome. It's not that I want to play Rory. You always want to play the best players in the world. That would be fun. But every single guy on either team is capable of winning every match they play. Once you get here, everybody's really good. So I'm not too worried about who we play because I know everyone's going to be great.

Q. Did you or do you still carry a Celtic football cover in your bag and what's the story behind it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I know JP and Dermot pretty well. I don't have the Celtic head cover anymore, but I do at my house. I love those guys, and when I do follow a team, I like to follow them.

Q. As someone appearing in his second Ryder Cup, could you place into perspective Phil being in ten, and how long will it be till someone matches that in your opinion?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, we were just talking to Pepsi about that today. It's 20 years of Ryder Cups. I just can't believe it. It's amazing, because, you know, you have to stay healthy, you've got to stay sharp with your game. It's going to be tough for somebody to do that. I mean, a kid like Jordan could do it just because he played in one so young. He's 21 now. I'm not sure when Phil played in his first one, but you've got to be super consistent for 20 years, which is almost impossible.

Q. So I've heard everything from the U.S. is a massive underdog, and Phil actually sort of was leaning that way, to Captain McGinley saying, well, if you actually look at the World Ranking, the average World Ranking for the U.S. guys is a little bit better. Where do you fall on that spectrum?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I'm a big believer that -- I think you're an underdog because you're here, you're in Europe. You're in Scotland. I'm a big believer that in The Ryder Cup, World Rankings, majors, wins, they are all gone. Everybody starts from scratch. I mean, The Ryder Cup is so unique to where you can come out one day and be so nervous, who knows how you're going to play. And you could come out and play the best golf of your life, which I feel like in Chicago, that was one of the best weeks I've ever had. So I say we are underdogs. But come that first tee, everybody's even from right there.

MICHAEL GIBBONS: Keegan, many thanks. Good luck this week.
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