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February 21, 2012

Keegan Bradley


CHRIS REIMER:  We'll go ahead and get started with Keegan Bradley.  Keegan, some opening comments about what that moment was like and the award that's sitting in front of you for such a great season in 2011.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Thanks.  The Rookie of the Year was one of my main goals to start the year.  It's great to win this, but then to look over at Luke and have him have all those trophies, it's inspiring.  I'd love to be sitting over there some day.
It's just a huge honor, especially because it's voted by the players.  That means they all believe I was the best rookie of last year.  And that's the biggest honor, is to be voted by your peers, as I'm sure Luke feels the same way.
CHRIS REIMER:  Coming off a dramatic finish last week.  You've got to recharge quickly and be ready for Wednesday.  Talk about the last 24 hours, 48 hours, whatever it might be.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I really love this golf course.  It's always tough to, after you play well, to come right back out and play well again.  But I've had a little experience now as opposed to last year, that I think I'll be able to do it better this year.  And match play makes it a lot of fun, and I've got a great opponent in Geoff Ogilvy, who has had a great history here at this tournament.  So it should be a lot of fun.

Q.  Are you like genetically opposed to getting it done in 72 holes or something?  It seems like you cost CBS a lot of air time and your parents a lot of stomach lining?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I seem‑‑ that seems to be the case.  I almost got into a playoff at the PGA, too, at the Grand Slam.
It's stressful, but I really enjoy it.  Coming down the 18th hole with Phil and Haas both making that putt, is something that I'll remember when I retire.  That was one of the coolest feelings I ever had.  And the same thing to be walking up on 18 to be walking with Phil and Bill Hass at Riviera, and you come over the hill and see all those people.  It was an amazing feeling that I wish everybody could experience.  It was a lot of fun.  And to be honest with you, I enjoy the playoffs.  It's more fun to win them, but I really had a lot of fun.

Q.  It's kind of like match play?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, it is very much like match play, especially in that‑‑ when there's three people, it's different.  It's the first ever three‑person playoff I've ever been in.  Boy, it was fun.  I mean, I wish it could have kept going.  I wish I could have won.  But Bill Haas played awesome and the putt he made was great.

Q.  I asked you in Phoenix about how you were able to maintain that sort of sense of fears determination you had back at the PGA when you hit it in the water and you said it didn't phase you.  I was watching your face very carefully all day Sunday.  And you were just in the same place.  Can you describe that place for us?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, it's a place and a mentality that I love to be in.  I really, really enjoy it.  I wish I could be in it like that every week coming down the end.  It's what makes golf fun and what makes being an athlete fun.
It's just‑‑ I seem to really enjoy it, which I think makes me play well at the same time.  And I just love the atmosphere.  I love being in the final group with Phil at Riviera or at the PGA in a Major and Byron Nelson.  It just kind of how I'm wired.  I really enjoy it.  I truly mean that.
It's just fun for me to kind of be out there and just try to show off a little bit and play good golf in front of everybody.

Q.  They were having some fun with you on the broadcast with, I guess, the left eye dominant thing.  You were sort of giving it, I think McCord said you looked like a guy that thought a hatchet murderer was coming around the corner.  How did that transpire?  I don't remember you giving it that cockeyed look in Atlanta?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It's part of what I do.  I try to visualize some things.  I try to get an angle where I can visualize the ball going down the line there.  And, you know, Pepsi, my caddie, made a note of it that I kind of had that stare coming down the end.  He loves it.  My Aunt Pat had it too, I remember.  My dad was always telling me about it.  I think it's cool, anytime I can be compared to Pat.  She had it and it looks like I might have that look that looks a little scary.  That means I'm in it, I'm looking to win a tournament, which is what I love.

Q.  Keegan, you took to your Twitter account to apologize for spitting.  I wonder, have people been in touch with you about that since Sunday night?  It's something that certainly appeared on the British broadcast and was analyzed quite a bit.  Have people criticized you since Sunday?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I was very surprised to see the replay of the telecast to see how much I was spitting.  To be honest with you, I really had no idea I was doing it.  And I feel bad.  It's something that I'm going to work on and I just ask everybody to just kind of bear with me as I go through this, because it's something I've done without even knowing it.  I'm going to truly work on it.  It might take some time.  But I will do any best to stop.  It's something that I'm glad that's come up, because I'm able to kind of nip it now.  It's just a thing where I'm watching the rear‑‑ I'm watching myself, and I never even knew I was doing it.  In a way I'm glad it happened, but it's something that I'm going to try very hard to stop.

Q.  You're hard to count out.  At the PGA Championship, you were five down with three to go.  And Sunday at Northern Trust you started tied and dropped four back.  What is it about you that you're able to fight back?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, that's the thing I'm most proud of on Sunday, even more than the putt on 18.  I was four back, 2‑over par.  And a lot of times guys will kind of fade off into the middle of the pack there.  I was able to bring it back.  And that's something I pride myself on is not giving up, ever, whether it's to win a tournament, to make a cut, to break 70, to do whatever.  It's almost a challenge to myself.  A part of me wonders why it happens so much.  But I really enjoy that challenge of coming back.  I just seem to thrive a little bit on it.

Q.  Your three‑shot routine is pretty elaborate and thorough.  Can you give us some sense of what you're going through, what you're looking for, what you need to have happen in that three shot routine to get you to the point where you can hit the shot?  Once you're ready to hit the shot, you hit the shot?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah.  It's about visualization.  It's kind of my way of staying not stagnant.  It is a little different.  I will take a look at that again.  But it's something that, you know, I've been doing and it's been working.  So I'm going to‑‑ I do take a look at these things and talk to some people that are important to me about it, the people that know.  It's, again, something that I'm going to work on.  It's not something that I can stop or that I can ‑‑ I don't like, it's just something that I'm going to work on.  Coming down the stretch, it does come up a little bit.  But it doesn't seem to affect my ability, which is the most important.

Q.  I wasn't suggesting anything was wrong, I was trying to get the sense of what you were doing.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I'm very much into not hitting it until‑‑ if I'm walking in and have a bad thought, I'll come back out.  I see a lot of players hit shots when they're thinking about don't hit this in the water or don't hook this over here.  And basically what I do is I'm not going to go until I'm ready, until I know I'm going to hit a good shot.  And that's kind of what happens.

Q.  Were you surprised that you backed off so much coming down the stretch?  Did that surprise you at all when you saw the replay?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  A little bit.  But, again, it's something that you don't even really realize you're doing when you're in the heat of it.  I will take a look at it and see if there's any improvements that I can make.  But, again, it's something that I've been doing for a long time.  I'll work on it if it really needs to be fixed, if it affects my ability.

Q.  You're going to be less than three days off from a devastating playoff loss, easy to get over that or do you take positives out of that going into Wednesday?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I take a lot of positives.  I feel a lot better than I thought I would, just by the way it happened.  In the playoff I didn't hit a bad shot, in any of the holes.  In fact, the bunker shot I hit on 10, I'd almost say was the best shot I've ever hit in my life.  I didn't hit a bad shot and I hit a lot of really good putts.  And Bill Haas made a 40‑footer to win the tournament.  In a weird way I feel fine about it.  And I saw Bill‑‑ of course I walked in to get stretched out today and Bill is sitting in there.  And I just kind of pushed him and I said nice putt, just kind of joking around.  And we had a good laugh about it.  He's such a great player.  It's amazing.  He could contend every week.  He's just a solid player.  And just like I'm sure everybody said, I wish I could be upset with him for making that putt, but he's probably one of the nicest guys out here, so I'm really happy for him.

Q.  You've been on this Tour for 14 months and played in one major, haven't even played in your first Masters yet.  You've now shot the low 72‑hole score three times.  Do you have to pinch yourself moments still that you've been fast tracked this fast?  That could very reasonably have been your third win in just a shade over a year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, absolutely.  When I was walking up 18 at Riviera with Phil in the final group and we're both looking to birdie to make it to the playoff, and we kind of said something to each other on the tee, like let's make some birdies here.  It was surreal.  This is one of my idols that I'm playing with, that I want to beat badly and he wants to beat me.  And just coming up, when you walk up that hill at Riviera and you see all those people, it's just a very amazing sight.  It's a sight that's very recognizable from a kid that's grown up watching golf.  And to be a part of history and to be in a Sunday with Phil or Tiger and hang in there is something I've always wondered if I could do.  And I did, which makes me feel very good.

Q.  Two quick points.  You have to forgive me.  I watched your final round from Riviera from the UK.  And there was a TV segment on your three shot on the tee that went on some time.  The commentators were asking what on earth is he doing.  Because you did seem to be agonizing to such an extent.  It looked like your thoughts were almost impeding your shot making.  Is there ever a danger that you can just overanalyze things?  Do you think that for certain players maybe this overanalysis is contributing to slow play?  I know there are certain players who have been criticized for that, talking to long with their caddies, backing off too many times.  Do you think that's an issue at all?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  What I find it's going to affect my ability to play is when I'll really take a look at it.  I will take a look at that Sunday coverage, and see if there's any improvements I can make.  But again it's not something that I can just stop and say I'm going to change.  I'm going to do my best to make improvements every week.
So it can affect your ability to hit good shots.  It hasn't for me yet and I'll keep a close eye on it.

Q.  I'm trying to rattle my brain, how much match play have you played?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Well, you know, it's funny, I was playing a practice round and I was thinking that.  I couldn't remember the last time I played one.  And I realize I've won three match play events in my life.  I won two Vermont Junior Amateurs, and a Wyoming State Amateur that was match play, and I played in the United States Pub Links and lost in the round of 32 in a really close match with Derek Fathauer.  I think I played four total.  It's one of those tournaments that when you do get into the top 64 and you know you're going to play in the tournament, it's one you're very excited about, because it's very different.  And I look forward to it.  I love this course.  The weather is great.  The greens are great.  And I just‑‑ it's a tournament that you look forward to.

Q.  What do you think of your first round opponent?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  First of all, I really like Geoff.  He's a good guy.  And I know he's got a spotless record here, basically.  But, you know, I think that you could just jumble all the rankings into a hat and just randomly put players.  I don't think the seeds really mean much, because everybody is such a good player out here.  And anybody can beat anybody, and we've seen that in the past.  Geoff is going to be a really tough opponent, but so would my next opponent, or the opponent after that.  So it will make it more fun to play guys like him.
CHRIS REIMER:  Thank you, Keegan, and good luck this week.

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