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THE IRISH OPEN


June 27, 2012


Keegan Bradley


PORTRUSH, NORTHERN IRELAND

PAUL SYMES:  Your thoughts on Northern Ireland and Royal Portrush so far?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  The area is unbelievable and the people are extraordinary.  I didn't expect it to be like this.  They have been great to me.  I got to see a lot of the local tourists spots, I guess you could say; I checked them out.  I've just been having a blast everywhere I played.  Everybody's spirit has been so great, and it's cool to come to place and experience all of that.
PAUL SYMES:  Are you ready to try to adapt your game to links golf this week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I don't expect the weather to be like it was today.  Obviously it was unbelievable.  I put sunblock on.  I didn't expect to do that.
But I definitely think that there's some shots; I'm going to put a2‑iron in the bag this week, and if it gets nasty out there, you'll have to hit some lower shots and keep it close to the ground and stuff like that.¬† You're going to have to adapt every day to the course and to the weather here.

Q.  Just how different is playing this course to the golf you've played in the past?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† It's very different.¬† A lot of fun, too.¬† You can get your ball to an area a couple of different ways.¬† You can hit a high driver or a low, stinging 2‑iron and end up in the same spot.¬† You think a lot more out here.¬† It's a lot more unexpected.
The weather could change and all of these practise rounds could be for nothing in the wind is the exact opposite.  So it's just like I said a matter of adapting and you're going to get some funky hops and you've got to be ready to accept it.

Q.¬† Your Pro‑Am with what's her name, what's her connection?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† My family comes once a year.¬† I don't get to come‑‑ I've only come once when I was seven years old.¬† My three uncles, my dad being one of them, played in this tournament called the Three Brothers.¬† They are the other American Team and you have to have three brothers from Ireland and they play.¬† My grandmother's name is Kathleen Bradley, maiden name is O'Brien.¬† She was so excited.¬† My whole family, my Aunt Pat was thrilled.¬†
Like I said, it was a dream of mine to come over here and play in this tournament, and it was just great how it worked out.

Q.¬† You talked about coming here as a 7‑year‑old, and you Tweeted a picture of that trip earlier in the week; can you remember where that course was and what the memories were of it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I think it was Killarney.¬† I'm not 100¬† per cent sure.¬† I can find out.¬† My mom actually sent me a bunch of photo, e‑mailed them to me a couple of nights ago which was really cool.¬† It would have been cool to say to myself then:¬† The next time you come here you're going to play in the Irish Open as a Major Champion.
I remember some of the things about that.  I have little snapshots of horses and amazing views.  But you know, I've been hearing about it from my family forever, and it's really great to come over here and be able to experience it now that I'm 26 years old.

Q.¬† Your Tweets were weather‑related, describing the weather as "muggy" and compared to Florida, it's not particularly muggy.¬† Do you think PGA TOUR events, they draw massive crowds, do you think they would draw the same crowds if the weather is as it was here every week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  No, probably not.  The people here seem to embrace it and love it.  I checked the weather this morning and it was a high of 69 and said it was going to be muggy out.  That's a little different.  If it was 69 degrees where I lived in Florida, no one would go outside.
It's been fun.  I've really enjoyed it.  It's a little different when you come here because you kind of expect it.  It's not that big of a shock to have it be bad.  In a weird way, you kind of want it to be really bad just to experience the whole thing about Northern Ireland.

Q.  All of the comments that have been made to you over the best couple of days, what's been the best comment you've heard from the crowd?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† The people, a bunch of‑‑ hundreds of people have told me,"welcome home," which gives me chills almost every time they say it.¬† It's such a neat thing to be able to say to me because it's‑‑ I wasn't sure how I was going to be accepted over here, and everybody has just been so great and to say "welcome home" is a pretty special feeling.

Q.  Secondly, as a major championship winner, would you expect that there is sort of a need for you to travel outside of the States to take your game to other parts of the world?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I've never been in the position to be able to do it.  I am now and I look forward to doing that.  I've never played in The Open; I've never played in any tournaments in Europe, and I look forward to exploring that in years to come.

Q.  Obviously the story about your background and all this is terrific, but there's obviously a serious point this week looking ahead to The Open Championship; wondering what your history with links golf is, and secondly how much is this week going to be useful to you over the next month or so?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I don't have any links experience except in America, which is nothing compared to this.  You get firm, big hops out here by the ocean.  I've played links courses in America, but they just don't play like this.  They don't have these humps and the stuff that's been here for hundreds of years.
I would have come over here regardless, even if I wasn't in¬† The Open Championship, because I wanted to play.¬† But, it just so happens it fits in perfectly as a nice little warm‑up to The Open.¬† And that's definitely some experience that I'm going to be able to have that's going to really help me come that time.

Q.  Could you give us the strangest thing that's happened to you on the course so far in terms of a shot not doing what you thought it might?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Well, a few times, you think you've hit a good shot and your ball just hits violently in a different direction and you're in the bunker against the lip and think you're going to be on the green.¬† So I'm telling myself, you're going to get some bad hops‑‑ not bad hops but off the side of a hill and you've just got to be willing to accept it.¬† Just about any course has a lot of luck involved, and hopefully I'll get some good hops.

Q.  Had you heard much or did you know much about Royal Portrush before the tournament was announced to be coming here?  And the fact that it is going to be here, did that play a factor in your decision to come?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, every person that I said, I'm thinking about playing the Irish Open, they say, where is it, and I say Royal Portrush, and they all go, wow, that's a pretty good one to go to.  Just talking to Graeme and Darren and Rory, like I said, and also JP and Dermot Desmond, they were very helpful in me coming over here.
It definitely played a role.¬† Like I said, would I have played‑‑ I would play anywhere just to be over here to play.¬† But it makes it extra special that it's at such a great place like this.

Q.  Have you actually seen any relatives after here or are you straight back?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I'm actually playing next week in Greenbrier on the PGA TOUR in West Virginia, so I'll be out of here Monday, and then come back for The Open.  But I was talking that maybe in the years to come, to come a little earlier if I could or stay a little later so I could have some time to experience the country a little more and be a little more relaxed about a tournament coming up.

Q.  As you said JP and Dermot Desmond; is that JP McManus?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yes.

Q.  How have that they helped?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I played a Pro‑Am with them at Sherwood, Chevron, Tiger's tournament, and I've just become friendly with them.¬† They are such good guys.¬† When I told them I was thinking about playing, again, they were so supportive, and everybody has been, which has been so great.¬† And those guys, just asking them some questions and those guys were really helpful, and they are such good guys that I couldn't wait, when I decided to play, I couldn't wait to go tell them and they were so excited which is really cool.

Q.¬† Does what Ben Curtis did at Sandwich on his first‑ever experience on links golf raise the expectation of every American coming over and experiencing it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I think that we are all‑‑ whenever we play a tournament, we are all trying to win.¬† What Ben Curtis did was pretty unbelievable, especially considering it was The Open Championship.¬† I mean, I would love to have a little Ben Curtis luck this week that would be great.¬† But any time I come over to play a tournament, I think the goal is to win.
PAUL SYMES:  On that note, Keegan, thank you for coming in and play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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