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June 1, 2011

Keegan Bradley


MARK STEVENS: We'd like to welcome Keegan Bradley. Keegan, congratulations on your win last week at the HP Byron Nelson. Talk about your thoughts coming into this week now with a win under your belt and we'll take some questions.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it was a really fun week last week. Winning Byron Nelson's tournament is an honor for any player, but especially for me. I've read a lot of books on him and Ben Hogan, and it was just a crazy couple of days, and I'm having the time of my life.

Q. Obviously for most guys being so young and everything it's tough to win this first tournament. I don't remember you being on TV that much. Do you remember being on TV that much and being in that kind of spotlight?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I kind of went under the radar even on Sunday at the Byron. That's kind of been my thing throughout my whole career, which is fine with me. It's one of those things that it kind of sneaks up on you. All of a sudden I putt out on 18 and I've got a chance to win. It's definitely -- wasn't like I had a three-shot lead going down the last couple holes. I also was playing with Jordan, the high school kid, so he had these huge galleries that were cheering for him. They didn't even know I was in the group I don't think. So it was definitely a unique final round for sure.

Q. What did you do while you waited? I heard you may have gotten a text message that was pretty funny.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, after I got done, I signed my card and I was kind of -- didn't know what was going on, to be honest with you, and then I went inside for a second. I was going to sit down and watch a little of the golf, and I watched about 30 seconds of it, and I was such a mess, so freaking out, that I just said to my caddie, I can't be in here, I've got to go out to the range or something.
I got a bunch of amazing text messages from friends, golfers out here. One in particular from Chris Kirk, that was really funny that made me laugh that kind of relaxed me a little bit.
All the guys have been so supportive of me this week. I can't even go into how thankful I am for all of them.

Q. What did Chris' text message say?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It was just -- it just said -- it was just a nice thing for me to be able to sit back and relax and laugh. He's a good friend of mine.

Q. I heard you got a call from a legendary NHL'er, a voice mail?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I had a bunch of voice mails, and one in particular was from Ray Bourque, a Boston Bruins hero. He left me such a cool message, especially with the Bruins in the Stanley Cup. The message was a minute 30 long. Hopefully I'll never lose it. It was such a cool message. And at the end he was going on and on about how badly he wanted the Bruins to win the Stanley Cup, which was pretty cool for me because coming from Boston and such a huge Boston sports fan, it was cool to see him root for the Bruins after he won the Stanley Cup with.

Q. How does this impact your schedule for the rest of the year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It's changed it a little bit. I'm going to be able to play in the PGA Championship, which I wasn't in before, and a World Golf Championship event. I'm still going to play in most of the tournaments. I love playing out here. When I am at home, I wish I was out here. It's just so much fun for me to play on the PGA TOUR.
I'll probably take a few events off that I wouldn't, but I'm still going to play as many as I can. Like I said, playing on the PGA TOUR is a privilege, and I won't take it for granted.

Q. Were you in this tournament before last week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yes, I was. Thankfully Jack Nicklaus and the committee gave me a sponsor's exemption, which I'm so thankful for. This tournament to me has been unbelievable. I was out on the range just a second ago practicing, and I look over and there's Jack Nicklaus warming up on the range. Again, it's a moment that -- I can't believe I'm standing here. It's a pretty cool thing.

Q. You're not exempt into the Open, correct?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: No, I'm doing sectional qualifying on Monday.

Q. Here?

Q. What are you expecting? It's going to be probably a pretty hot week and then you're faced with 36 holes on Monday.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's something I've never done. I've never -- when I did my 36-hole qualifier for the Open the last time, I had the week off before. It's going to be an interesting thing, but all these guys -- most of these guys are going to have to go through it, too. Playing out here on the PGA TOUR can be tiring, but it's so much fun that it doesn't take -- Sunday night I'll be able to rest and sit back, and I've got a great caddie in Pepsi, who I just left him and he's going to those courses to go scout them, which is unbelievable after the week he's had and I've had. I've just got great people around me that will help me do well on Monday.

Q. How would you evaluate the focus? What would it mean to get into that field in a major?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's something that I try to downplay in my own mind, but I want to play in a U.S. Open so bad. I missed Bethpage Black by one, which is where I went to college, and it was one of the toughest -- it probably was the toughest thing that's ever happened to me in my career because I have so many people there.
And the U.S. Open in my family, my aunt won it in 1983, and it's like a huge thing for me to be able to play in the U.S. Open. It's kind of in the northeast, which would be even cooler. So I hope to -- I would love to get through that qualifier on Monday.

Q. Speaking of your aunt, when did you talk to her, and what did she say after you won?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I texted Pat. She sent me a few text messages, and then I texted her at about -- I didn't get to turn my phone on until about two or three hours after I finished. I called my parents, and I texted Pat, and I said, I want to talk to you so bad. Give me a second. She texted me back, Keegan, I know what you're going through, don't worry about it. Which was cool for me because it's the closest we've ever come to something in our careers. It was cool. She totally understood.
I spoke to her a little bit later, and she even talked about stuff that other people hadn't even talked about yet in my round that she saw, especially my putt on 17, and it was just so cool to talk to her about me winning. It just doesn't -- it's never happened in my family. She was so happy.
It's amazing to me that Pat is so into it after playing for 35 years or whatever she did. It's really, really an honor for me for her to be so into it.

Q. Is she playing on The Legends Tour?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, she still plays a bunch of events a year, does a lot of corporate stuff. She's still a very, very good player.

Q. Has she come to any of your tournaments?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: She came to Pebble Beach, AT&T, and I was lucky enough to play pretty well there. It's so funny, she's so calm, it seems like, when she's playing. But when she's watching me she's a little more uptight.
I actually read an article last night about her watching the event that I hadn't seen, and it was just interesting to hear what she was saying, how nervous she was. It's a strange thing for me to hear her even talk like that.

Q. I assume when you said the World Golf Championship we were talking about Bridgestone?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Bridgestone.

Q. Have you ever been to Firestone before?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: No, I haven't. I'm so excited. Seems like every day, every hour, I get told of something, some perk that I get from winning that's just even better than the next one.

Q. We're streaming live on PGATOUR.COM on a few holes this week. Two-part question. I wonder if you can kind of walk us through No. 11, the par-5, 567 yards, kind of from tee to green what's your overall strategy on that hole? And then 16, the par-3 that they've made a couple of changes to.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, the 11th hole is such a good par-5 because if you -- I hit driver -- today it was right into the wind and I hit driver. I had 258 to the front, and you have to cut it around these trees because the green is blocked, and if you don't cut it enough, it goes in the water, and if you cut it too much it goes on this side bank on the right that you're going to have to make a 20-footer or something to make birdie.
So it's just such a good hole because if you do hit the green, you do hit two good shots, you're going to have a really good look at eagle.
It's a great hole. It's tough. You can make anywhere from a 3 or who knows what, something pretty bad.
And then 16, I never played the old hole, but 16th hole is amazing. The fact that it's not even a year old, it looks like it's been there forever. The green is a little firmer than the other ones, which is understandable; it's brand new. It's a tough hole, but again, if you hit a good shot, you're going to have a good look at birdie.

Q. Have you ever thought about the day when you won't be just Pat Bradley's nephew anymore, or is that it? Have you made it now?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I don't think I've quite made it, but she -- I've always been Pat Bradley's nephew. I'm working in the right direction. I'm fine with it. Hopefully some day it'll change. But Pat is an LPGA Tour Hall of Famer, one of the greatest ever. It's an honor for me to be Pat's nephew. I'm fine with it. She's a great lady.
And maybe some day -- I don't know, it may never happen, but maybe someday it won't be mentioned, but that's fine with me.

Q. Did you schedule a tee time at Augusta National yet?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I haven't. I was just talking with my agent Ben about that today. I'll be sitting around -- I've said this a few times, but I'll be sitting around by myself in my hotel room, and I'll just think about the fact that I get to play in the Masters, and I'll just start laughing, smiling, like it's just -- it doesn't seem -- it seems like somebody is going to tell me that it didn't really happen. Because Augusta to me is -- and my dad has been obsessed with Augusta my whole life. It's just amazing. I can't even put into words. As soon as I can go, I'm going to go, believe me.
MARK STEVENS: Thanks a lot, Keegan. Good luck this week.

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