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August 12, 2011

Keegan Bradley


KELLY ELBIN: Competing in his first major golf championship, Keegan Bradley in today with a 6-under par 64 and tied for the lead midway through the 93rd PGA Championship at the Atlanta Athletic Club. Keegan, well done. Comments on a bogey-free round today and being tied for the lead midway through your first major championship, please.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, first I'd like to say it's always good to see you guys after I play. That's always a good sign.
But you know, I'm playing some good golf. When you're playing well, it seems easy. I'm hitting a lot of greens and putting some of the best I've putted all year. So this course will hurt you if you hit bad shots, but if you hit good shots, it'll reward you just like Steve Stricker did yesterday. I'm just going to try to keep it going.
KELLY ELBIN: Quick review just of the length of the birdie putts on the six holes where you made birdie, please.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Let's see. I made birdie on 10, it was about ten feet. It's always good to birdie that first hole. But I made about an eight-footer for birdie on 12.
And on 14, I made -- I hit a great shot out of the fairway bunker to about six feet and made a downhill six-footer.
On 1, I made an eight-footer that was about as fast a putt as I've ever seen in my life, I barely even breathed on it. It was about eight feet.
And then on 6 I made a ten-footer.
Then the bonus was on 7, I made like a 30-foot curler that just trickled over the front edge.
The big putt, I made a ten-footer for par on 9 on the last hole that brought the roundup and made it feel real good.
KELLY ELBIN: Keegan had just 26 putts for the round.

Q. Although you're used to being in here and addressing the media, for those who will look at the leaderboard and see your name and say, "who," what do you say to those people?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, it's probably granted, it's my rookie year. I'm just kind of getting started. I've got to tell you, I do feel very comfortable out there. It's always so much fun to be out here. I'm finishing up and Tiger is finishing, I'm teeing off, Tiger is on 1. He's one of my idols. It's cool to look around and see all these guys that I've looked up to my whole life and able to be peers with them and compete at the highest level with them.

Q. Do you see people as you come by looking down at the pairing sheet, this guy is 5-under? Did you see any reaction from the crowd?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Sometimes, yeah. The worst one is when you sign an autograph and the kid looks at you and asks you what your name is. That's the worst one. I've gotten that a bunch of times this week. But yeah, I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a surprise that I was up here. But I work very hard, and this is what I've been looking forward to doing my whole life, so it's as comfortable as I can be.

Q. You played very well at Firestone last week under heavy pressure with a small field, and now here you go again. What's happening?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, I've put some thought to the fact that I'm from New England and I play -- I never played in the winter, and I always play my best golf in late summer, early fall. I did it last year on the Nationwide Tour.
But most importantly, I think it's about getting comfortable out here. I feel great. I mean, I feel -- I know it's a Friday and not a Sunday, but I feel great, and as long as I'm having fun, it seems like I shoot good numbers.

Q. You talked about being comfortable. Some of the names alongside you on the leaderboard, KEEGAN BRADLEY, Brandt Jobe, D.A. Points, guys like that, do they provide more comfort for you than if it was Tiger, Phil, Ernie, bigger names?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I'm sure it would be different if Phil was up there or those other guys. But not in a bad way. But these guys are all great players. It's not like they're just kind of stumbled up there. They've been out here a long time. They're great players. They've contended in tournaments. D.A. Points won Pebble this year. They're great players just like Phil and Tiger are.
I don't think that -- probably tomorrow if I'm playing in the final group or the second final group it will be a little more relaxing than if I was playing with Tiger or Phil, but they're great players and I'm sure they're good guys.

Q. Can you just take us through those last few holes? You had a shot to have the greatest round that anyone has ever had in a major. Did you know that 62 was that magic number and did that enter into your mind?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, I probably shouldn't say this, but it did. I had about a ten-footer on 8, and I'm thinking, boy, if I could make this, 9 is a birdie hole, I've got a shot at this. That's probably about the worst thing I could have thought of at the time. But it was interesting. You know, I made the turn, and I played the front, which was my back, last, and I'm near the lead, and there's nobody out there because I'm on the wrong side. I mean, it felt like a Hooters Tour event. It was great.
It was a relaxing atmosphere. It didn't feel like a major to be honest with you. But I did think about it, and I would have loved to have done it, but that's all right.

Q. How much did winning earlier this year kind of help you relax in this situation, or would you have always been this way?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: No, I'm far from relaxed any ways out there. But winning, especially as a rookie, is a huge weight off your shoulders. There's stuff that a lot of the public doesn't know that we have to go through a reshuffle and losing our status which is the scariest thing of all, and to win takes a lot of that excess out.
It does relax you, but nothing can prepare you for something like this, leading a major, being near the lead. Again, it's Friday afternoon, it's not Sunday or Saturday, so I'm just trying to take it as it is. But it's a lot of fun, I can tell you.

Q. Who's here with you this week? What family members? Did Pat make the trip here this week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Pat is not here, but you never know when she's going to pop up. I have my mom, my sister and my little nephew Aiden over there. His middle name is Keegan and we call him AK. It's always relaxing. Everyone always asks was I nervous on the first tee at my first major and I wasn't because little AK was over there and he just makes me smile. Pat is not here yet, but with her and the Bradley family, you never know. They all could be out here tomorrow. I'm not aware of it.

Q. You played at St. John's. On what course and who against from Manhattan?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, we were in the Big East conference, but we played a lot of the teams in the Mid-Atlantic area, played a lot against Louisville and Notre Dame and those teams. We played all over Long Island. We played Bethpage Black every Monday when it was closed, which was spectacular. We get to play some of the best courses in the country on Long Island, Westchester, we even went out in the Hamptons and played some tough courses, some tough, tough U.S. Open style courses that I think can help me now when I'm a pro.
KELLY ELBIN: In addition to your aunt, Pat Bradley, your father is a PGA of America member. Could you elaborate on that, his name and what he does and his influence on you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, my dad is a PGA pro out of Jackson Hole, which, at Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis. I know he's very proud of his PGA Class A status, very proud. He taught me -- he kind of -- I grew up going to the course with him wherever he was working and playing from morning till night as much as I could. I was a golf junkie, I guess you could say. Because of him I got to go and play and also my mom and everybody pitched in and helped me get to where I am today. He's very proud of his PGA -- I know he'd love for me to win this one. But you know, he's very influential in my golf career for sure.

Q. What's your dad's name?

Q. I've seen you play probably as much as anybody out here, and you seem to stay pretty calm and you've stayed pretty level-headed for the most part. I just wondered is there a little Irish temper in there somewhere?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, there is, for sure. But I hope it doesn't come out, because that wouldn't be good out here for sure.
KELLY ELBIN: Keegan Bradley, tied for the lead midway through the PGA Championship. Thank you.

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