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January 29, 2015

Keegan Bradley


THE MODERATOR: Keegan Bradley. Thanks for joining us. 6-under 65, round 1 of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. We'll turn it over to you for comments on your opening round here at TPC Scottsdale.

KEEGAN BRADLEY: Feels so good to go out and play a really solid round tee to green. Made a bunch of putts, which feels good. Anxious to get the season started. It's a relief to go out and shoot a good number in the first round to hopefully get my season going.

Q. How differently did the course play with the changes Weiskopf made this year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It played a lot different. The course is much more difficult. You've got a lot of carry numbers on the greens. The greens are so firm. Kind of like the US Open where you're looking at the front numbers, carry this hump, less flag, flag numbers. But the course is much more difficult. I love that he's giving you the opportunity to hit a lot of drivers, which is amazing. We don't get to do that a lot anymore. He did a great job with the course.

Q. You said you saw Phil's comments from yesterday. Did that give you a little boost this morning?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I have a close eye on Phil. He's right in front of me. I check out -- I try to peek up and see where he's hitting from. I saw him hitting first a lot in that group ahead of me. I'm not too worried about that. (Laughter.)

Q. When did that relationship with him really get tight, and what does it do for you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: My rookie year, I qualified for the Players Championship, and I was playing with Brendan Steele, my best buddy out here, and Phil offered to come play nine holes with us on a Monday afternoon, which I'm sure, as you guys all know, not a lot of guys ever play on Monday let alone a guy like Phil will ever play on a Monday. He made a special effort to come early. He played nine holes with me and Steelie, and it really meant a lot to both of us. That's kind of when our relationship kept going and we started playing practice rounds together. I'd ask him a lot of questions, as I still do. We partnered up at the Ryder Cup. When that happened, it was an instant bond there that happens as partners. I just like the guy. He's fun to hang out with.

Q. Can you just talk about your scheduling and how you figured out when to start the season and what went into making that schedule?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, ever since getting on tour, I haven't really ever had an offseason, maybe two weeks here or there. I played in a lot of events just because I was able to play in them. This season I made an effort to have some time off where I could really relax. Still played golf every day, but away from the tournaments, I wanted to -- I normally start up at Humana unless I am in Kapalua. This tournament is always on my schedule. But I'm itching to get going. It's nice to have a few events in a row.

Q. Can you just talk about the crowds today, what you expected versus what it was like today?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, the crowds, as usual, were very big. It was crazy, because we were out there early on the back, on the front, everywhere, and the fans just coming in, trickling in. I hit a shot in on my last hole to about 10 feet, and it was a pretty good shot, and I didn't get many claps. I said to Peps, I said, Is it way long or way short? Why aren't they clapping? We get up there, perfect shot, and Tiger was on the second green. No one was watching me. (Laughter.) It's just amazing to see the draw that Tiger has. Wow, there was a lot of people. Even our group had it, too.

Q. When you're setting goals for this year and gauging what a successful season would be, how big a deal is it to get a win?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, that's it. That's what it is. I want to give myself -- my main goal is to put myself in contention. I feel as though if I put myself in contention enough I'm going to win a couple hopefully. Hopefully one but hopefully a couple. I want to win, most importantly, but to be there is my goal, because I feel as though the guys that are the best in the world are consistently on top of the leaderboard.

Q. You said yesterday you have tickets to the Super Bowl. Have you thought what you're going to do if you win this tournament, the media obligations, trophy presentation? Will you still try to make it over there?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I haven't gotten that far yet, but I'm going to go to the game. So we might have to -- if I do end up winning the tournament, we will have to cut this media off short because I have to get to the game.

Q. Getting back to Phil, he said yesterday he can get inside your head. Why do you let him get inside your head, and can you get inside his?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: The thing that everyone needs to know about Phil, you've got to let him think he's right. You've got to let him think he's getting in my head, but in reality he's been here talking to you guys about me. I'm in his head. He doesn't have a clue. We all know he's a psychology major. We have heard that a million times (laughter). I'm not afraid of him.

Q. How much more comfortable do you feel out here now that you've had a couple of years of a full schedule?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I no longer feel as though I'm a rookie. I feel as though I belong out here. I have friends out here now. I stay in the same hotels, I know places to go eat that I like, places to go. I'm in a different place now than I was even last year. I feel different just walking around, more comfortable, and I think that's important. It's a big adjustment to go from, you know, playing Hooters Tour to a couple years later being out here. It's a process. I finally feel as though I'm settling in.

Q. You said earlier in your off time you still play every day. Is it just playing, or do you work on your short game and stuff like that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I play every day. An off day for me would be no practice, just playing. So I get together with my buddies and go play a game out on the course. That to me is an off day. If I'm going to go practice and work out, I'll do a lot of short game, hitting balls, stuff like that. But this offseason I played a ton, and then once the season started to get closer, I would practice a little more. Wouldn't play 36 a day, played 18 and practice, something like that.

Q. Seven days?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Pretty much seven days, yeah.

Q. How do you balance focusing on the tournament this week and worrying about the Seahawks defense and texting back and forth with Tom Brady?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: (Smiling.) Oh, man, I'm very up to date with what's going on with everything, so my first thing I do after I play is go on ESPN.com, read anything about Deflate Gate or what's up next. I'm so pumped. I never thought I'd get to go to a Super Bowl in my life, let alone go and watch the Patriots play and win one. It's going to be a lot of fun.

Q. You mentioned how much you enjoy hitting a driver on a lot of holes. Do you wish there were more courses on tour like that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yes, I feel for all this talk how long everybody is getting, I consistently hit less and less drivers on courses, especially in majors. I feel as though a lot of US Opens you don't hit a lot of drivers anymore, and I love coming out to a course like this where you can pound driver. There is a bunker out there that if you want to challenge it, you can hit it over or lay short. It's a nice change of pace. I have been shocked with how many irons and hybrids and stuff like that I have been hitting off tees the last couple of years, so this is a nice change.

Q. Talk about the evolution of your putting and the ban and the progress you have made, how happy you are with where you are.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It's so very much a work in progress. I'm nervous every round I go out, because it's new to me. I haven't played a lot of tournaments with the short putter. It's different. It would be like if I stuck a belly putter with one of the guys that's never used it. It's different. So I'm working every day. I know I'm going to have good days and bad days, but with every round I play, I feel more and more comfortable, which feels very good.

Q. If you should win this tournament on Sunday and the media runs long, do you have to set up a helicopter literally to go from here to the stadium and potentially parachute from that helicopter to get inside the stadium?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I will do whatever it takes to get to that game, so if I have to get in a car and go 150 miles an hour, I'm going to do it. I can't be this close to a Super Bowl with the Patriots playing and not go. So I will be there at some point.

Q. Among the elite on the PGA TOUR, you're one of the busiest in terms of a schedule. How close are you planning on keeping that schedule this year, and given that you said earlier just how busy you are playing normally, are you planning on working in maybe another week or two off at any point?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I try. I love playing, so when I look at my schedule, I can't pick a tournament that I don't want to play. I love them all. So there is a few tournaments that I don't play now that I wish I could play, so it's very difficult for me to take tournaments away from my schedule, because I want to be out here playing and competing. I realize I play a few more tournaments than the other guys, but I think that's part of who I am and what makes me keep going.
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