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August 23, 2011
EDISON, NEW JERSEY
COLIN MURRAY: We would like to welcome Keegan Bradley, first start back after that exciting victory at the PGA Championship. If you could just give us a quick update on your last week to ten days, and how things have changed for you.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, it's been a lot of fun, and kind of crazy at the same time. But it's all worth it, and it's just been really fun to have that Wanamaker Trophy sitting in my living room, I can touch it whenever I want and grab it, it's just been great.
It's cool to come -- this is my first tournament back. So it's really great to see all of the players and they are all so nice and congratulatory. It's really fun to be back out here.
COLIN MURRAY: Your thoughts on being in the top five heading into your first event in the Playoffs, your thoughts on going through this experience for the first time and the next couple of weeks.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, the FedExCup Playoffs are very important to all of us players, and it's very cool to be in the Playoffs and to be able to play out here. I have a great pairing the next two days, and I look forward to contending to win the FedExCup. It's going to be a lot of fun and I know it's going to be pretty intense.
Q. When you walk into places, stores, whatever, the last ten days or whatever, have people said, oh, yeah, that's Keegan Bradley or do you still sort of get around without much difficulty?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: What I'm home in Jupiter, it's such a big golf town that people do recognize me and it's weird. A lot of people kind of sometimes are looking at me kind of funny, and I think they kind of recognize me but they can't quite figure it out sometimes.
But yeah, it's great. It's a lot of fun. I can still get around fine. I'm not getting swarmed anywhere.
Q. Around here?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Around here it's really cool to be -- it's a cool feeling to kind of be recognized and to be known as the PGA Champion. People are definitely starting to recognize me, and it's a little weird sometimes, but you know, it's something that's kind of fun at the same time.
Q. Can you talk about playing with Phil?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I guess I didn't really realize that they did it off the FedExCup. I kind of did. I didn't know if they were going to change it or whatever. It's going to be a lot of fun for me personally. I went to school down the street at St. John's University, so it's going to be fun to have a big crowd to show my buddies who come out from St. John's University. It's an honor to play with Phil any time, but to be paired with him because of how he played is even cooler. That's a great sign for anybody to be paired with Phil.
I'm looking forward to it. I've never played with Phil in a tournament before. I know it's going to be a little crazy, but I am also looking forward to playing with Luke Donald. I just joined a club down in Florida that he's a member at and look forward to getting to know him.
Q. Bear's Club.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah.
Q. Craig Dougherty (ph) says you've been texting members of the team, even though you have not met them; do you know if the team is going to be here?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I actually flew in Sunday night and I actually hung out with the team Sunday night and I played with them yesterday at Glen Oaks in Long Island. Craig Currier is the superintendent out there. I got to hang out with the guys and talk to them and answer any questions they have about the PGA or anything. It's fun for me to go back.
I stayed with the guys in Queens a house, Golf House, where I went to school, and I know those guys, a couple of them are coming. School is not quite back in session yet but I know a bunch of them are going to come.
It's a real honor for me to represent St. John's. Whenever I'm out there, I have a lot of St. John's graduates in the crowd yelling to me.
Q. Sunday red was that St. John's?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Oh, yeah, Sunday I wear my St. John's color definitely.
Q. I'm trying to remember what the Wannamaker looks like, is it a cup or not?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, there's a cup -- there's a lid that comes off.
Q. Any liquids in there?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, there were a few liquids that we drank out of, very cold ones.
Q. When you spent yesterday and the last couple of days with the St. John's guys, did it dawn on you that maybe they are impressionable on you, they are looking at you as almost like, he did it from here, we can do it from here -- is that responsibility any greater now? Is it more magnetized?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, it's a huge honor to go back to St. John's and play with these guys. You know, they are looking at me as maybe the guy that they look up to on TOUR, which is a huge honor for me. Especially since these kids are really great players.
It's an honor to hang out with these guys and be able to talk to them. They give me inspiration. I was only there three years ago. I was telling these guys, listen, I was here with the St. John's guy under three years ago doing exactly what you're doing, and it's cool to look at them and know I'm one of them and they are one of me. And I think St. John's is on the way to being a great program in the country.
Q. Does it help that like you said you are only three years removed and you're not some 35-year-old guy who has to be, you know -- it's a bigger generational gap? You are basically what they are?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: It's a blast. I didn't play with any of the guys on the team. But a couple of guys, I had a lot of contact with. Just recently this past year, this was the first year of guys I didn't play with.
It is cool to go back and hang out with those guys, we are basically the same age to a lot of them and it's super cool, because like I said, it wasn't that long ago when I was sitting in a house in Queens with 85 dollars in my bank account and struggling around for doing exactly what they are doing. It's funny to go back and play with the guys -- there were three groups and I got to kind of stick around and every group I had was so much fun. It's more fun for me than it is for them. They probably all know that.
Q. Describe the house for those of us who don't know -- when I think of Queens, there are many flavors of Queens, some of them not so good.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: These guys are pampered. They live in this amazing house that I never got to live in. Have you ever seen the show King of Queens with the bricks? That what it likes like -- all Queens is a brick housing, they look huge and you walk inside and it's like four tiny little rooms that no one can move around in. They have got hardwood floors which is way different from what I had.
It's exactly what you're picturing in your mind as a college kids house in Queens, it's probably a little bit worse than that. But that's just the fun of it. I get to go and sit around with the guys and sit on the coach with them. It feels like I'm back in school.
Q. Didn't sleep there?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I slept there.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I kicked one of the guys out of their beds. I did pull seniority there. It's Animal House-like. (Laughter).
Q. What has been the biggest change in your life in the past two weeks?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know it's hard for me to say that anything has changed because I'm trying not to change. I have to shave more -- I have to shave every day because I have to come and talk to you guys.
I'm trying to stay the exact same as I was. It's a little different for me at the golf course for sure, like even today was my first tournament back. People know who I am, know my name now. It's a little bit more to deal with, but I've been waiting for this my whole life. Now that it's finally here, I feel ready for it and I'm not afraid of it by any means.
Q. People mentioned you this year for a while as a possible Rookie of the Year candidate, and after the win at the PGA, they mentioned -- some people mentioned you as a candidate for Player of the Year. Does any of that speculation affect you and how does that added layer of pressure affect the way you go out --
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, one of my goals this year was to win Rookie of the Year for sure. I said that a bunch of times. The Hooters Tour when I played there, I felt like I deserved to win the Rookie of the Year, and they didn't give it to me, and I was devastated. I knew that my next chance would be on the PGA TOUR, and that was my only other chance, because they don't give one out on the Nationwide Tour; and you only get one shot at Rookie of the Year and I really wanted to win it. I hope I've done enough but there's been a lot of great players.
As far as Player of the Year, it's just an honor to be even talked about in that category. I still feel like I have a little more to go to do that. I don't think it's any extra pressure. It's actually calming. It means you've had an unbelievable year to be talked about for Player of the Year. I'm not going to say I don't want to win it. I would love to win that. It would be -- that would be the highlight of my career and to do that my first year would be really, really fun.
Q. When you went to St. John's, there's no home course there? You played rounds at Shinnecock, Bethpage, all of the courses there --
KEEGAN BRADLEY: We played a lot. We played all of the best courses in Long Island, Westchester, even the Hamptons like you said. We played a lot at Wheatley Hills Golf Club in Williston Park. Those are the guys that took me under their wing. And Dr. Glenn Muraca was a guy that without him, I'm not sitting here, and so St. John's is all connected to that.
We played all those courses, every single one. We played Bethpage a lot. We had our home tournament on Bethpage Red, which is a course people don't know about that's awesome.
Q. Where else could you have gone?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I had a lot of schools in New England, but the way that it worked out, it was a no-brainer decision for St. John's, just because of everything about it.
But also, I had to be in a position to have a pretty good, you know, scholarship. And they were willing -- they had a lot of faith in me. I really wouldn't trade my time in St. John's for anything. I think it's cool that I can say -- there's one other guy out here that can say they are from St. John's. It's very cool and I'm proud of it.
Q. You wore a lot of Boston stuff?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I wore my Red Sox -- I still do wear my Red Sox hat. I didn't don't have this Cleveland visor on, I have my Red Sox hat on.
Q. What's the strangest thing that's happened to you in the last eight to ten days and what's the we're erred thing you've done with the trophy?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Today a kid asked me to sign his forehead. That was weird.
I woke up on Tuesday morning and I looked at my phone and I had a text from Tom Brady, my absolute childhood hero. I almost hesitate to even say it, because it's so -- it means so much to me.
I almost thought about just keeping it to myself because that's how much Tom Brady is to me and my career and everything. To get a text from him reaching out to me was a highlight of my career. I can't tell you -- I got a call from Greg Norman -- I swear to God, like something happens every day that I can't believe that's going around. It's just pretty remarkable.
I honestly could tell you -- I took the Wannamaker on a local tour in Jupiter for a few days, and I really wanted to have the people that may not have access to the Trophy to, touch it, to hold it, to grab it. The defenseman for the Bruins after they won, he grabbed the Stanley Cup, walked out of his house in Boston and walked around the streets with it and just had people touch it, and I thought that was the coolest thing.
So I wanted people to just be able to touch it, hold it, and looked at their faces like they are looking at a ghost or something. It was really fun.
Q. When is the first time you thought about golf, practicing, working and playing this week in The Barclays?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Thursday, when I woke up on Thursday, I was like, I've got to get going again and get started and start thinking about this week, because the FedExCup Playoffs are an important part of our season. I know coming back home, I've got two weeks that are almost home games, it's really cool to be back here and like I said to be able to go see St. John's. This is a very important event for all of us, especially me.
Q. You've played the back nine -- you've played the whole course here?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah.
Q. I just want to talk to you about a couple of holes, the long par 3 on the back of 14, what's your approach on that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: You know, after playing Atlanta Athletic Club, none of these par 3s seem tough. There's not a tee back in the woods is there, 270 yards out? (Laughter).
It's a great hole. It's a tough hole. I think that these par 3s that are over 200 yards always on the PGA TOUR are tough because the greens are so fast and so firm. It's a great hole that you have to hit a good shot off the tee, or else you're going to make 4 or 5 or worse.
Q. The 16th hole, the last paragraph five, pretty long, what's your approach there?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: They have got some really good par 5s here. It's a green that like all of the greens out here, especially on that hole, you have to hit it below the hole or else you could make yourself look silly.
I hit two really good shots and it was just green-high. It's going to take two really, really well-struck shots to hit in there. I think it's going to be a great hole because it's a great chance to make birdie.
COLIN MURRAY: Thanks so much for your time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports