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August 1, 2012

Keegan Bradley


JOHN BUSH:  We'd like to welcome Keegan Bradley into the interview room here at the World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational, making his second start at this event.  If we can just get some comments on being back here at Firestone.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Firestone, this is absolutely one of my favorite courses of the year.  The course is in amazing shape, as usual, and I absolutely love this place.  It's an event that I look forward to at the start of the year.

Q.  You contended here last year and you played well.  What impact did this tournament have on the PGA for you last year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It had a huge impact because I was so upset with the way I finished the tournament, I remember talking to Pepsi, my caddie, on the range on Monday saying I want to win this tournament, I don't want to feel this way anymore.  I really felt devastated here last year.  I think in the long run it really, really helped me.  Because I was there in contention and then it all fell apart, and then on Sunday at the PGA when I made that triple I kind of knew how to handle it a little better.

Q.  I'm guessing you're pretty aware that you're ninth on the Ryder Cup standings right now.  How much are you thinking about it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It weighs a lot, actually.  I try not to think about it.  I try not to let it bother me.  But I'll be laying in bed or reading a five‑footer and it'll pop into my head.  I've just got to do my best to try not to think about it.  It's inevitable, I'm going to think about it, because I do want it so badly.  But Captain Davis Love has been a real captain, and it's just a hard thing because I missed out on it last year and it was so close.
You know, watching my Aunt Pat grow up and play and watching her captain a team and being inside the locker room and watching it all unfold, it would just be a huge dream for me to be on the team.

Q.  From what you said about how you felt after you left here last year, was that the strongest you ever felt in a tournament where you thought you had a chance?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah.  For the first three rounds and probably for the first three and a half rounds, it's the best golf maybe I've ever played in my life was here.  So it was ‑‑ such great things were happening, and it just kind of all fell apart.  You know, I still‑‑ I came in 15th with‑‑ I shot 43 on the back.  As a rookie in the World Golf Championships, 15th place is pretty good.
You know, it just was a‑‑ it was meant to happen, I think, because I was able to recover at the PGA a lot better than maybe I would have if I had just kind of shot 38 or something here and didn't‑‑ I learned from it.

Q.  Obviously the USGA says they're going to rule on the long putter, whether they're going to ban anchoring or not by the end of the year.  If they were to ban anchoring, can I just get your comments on what that would do for you and what that would do for the game?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  You know, I putted with a short putter all growing up.  I'm not scared at all to have to putt with a short putter.  Belly putter for me is just a comfortable way to putt.  I just feel comfortable with it.  For some people, they don't.
You know, I think it'll be interesting to see what happens, and I have faith in the USGA and the R&A to make the right decision, whether it's to ban it or to keep it.  But until that decision is made, it's tough for me to even think about it because I want to putt the way I'm putting, but if they make the decision, obviously I'm fine with it.

Q.  If you read between the lines, it sounds like anchored putting isn't going to be allowed but long putters will still be legal.  Is there a way or would you think of continuing with a long putter without anchoring it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, you know, there's so much speculation of what's going to happen.  I've been hearing all sorts of different stuff.  It's so hard to really think about what I would do.  Until they say you can't use it, then I'll have to decide whether I want to putt with a short putter or do it a different way.  But for now it's legal, and I try to stay out of it because I don't want to get involved.
But for now I can putt with the belly putter, and if that day comes where I can't, then I'll have to think about it.

Q.  If that day comes, though, will you think that maybe you had a hand in it because you're one of the ones that won a major with it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I think that‑‑ I think that definitely there's been a lot of belly putters winning.  I don't think that that's a bad thing, I just think it all kind of happened at once.  It was bound to happen.  You know, my generation of golfers have been using these putters for a long time.  It's just‑‑ it's this generation of players that aren't using these putters.  In the past I think it was a lot of the older guys who felt they couldn't use anything else.  I don't think that's the case for guys like me or Webb or Adam Scott.  Clearly Adam Scott was one of the best ranked players in the world with a short putter.  I think this generation of player is different and a little more willing to try things, and this is just‑‑ you're just starting to see it now.

Q.  We've asked you about different things because it is a busy stretch.  This is a big tournament, a major coming up, the Playoffs and the Ryder Cup.  How do you figure that you'll keep yourself up, keep yourself going for the next nine weeks?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It's very‑‑ I was talking about this with Dustin today.  There's not a week that I play that I'm relaxed.  You're saying about going over and playing a tournament and relax and have fun, I don't do that.  The World Golf Championships and the PGA is the same as when I play Greenbrier or any other tournament.  I'm a mess either way.  I take everything very seriously, and there's not ever a time that I tee it up where I'm not up for it, put it that way.
The same preparation goes into playing this tournament as it does at the Sony, first event of the year.  It seems‑‑ and I think that's a good quality of mine and also a bad quality because it's hard for me to really relax.  But this stretch is great for me because of the golf courses.  I love it.

Q.  I'm sure you've probably been asked this, but what's your history with the Ocean Course?  Have you seen it?  Have you played there?  What are your thoughts on it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I've played it.  The golf course is unbelievable.  I think it's going to be very difficult.  I've heard it's going to rain there for the next about week.  It's only going to make the course longer and tougher.
I think it's going to be very difficult, especially if the wind picks up.  I'm interested to see how the PGA sets up the golf course because they can set it up a million different ways.  I think it's going to be a great tournament.  It's just an awesome venue for us to go to and enjoy.

Q.  Any similarities at all with Atlanta?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It's similar in the fact that you really have to drive the ball well.  I've never played a PGA TOUR event where you don't have to drive it well, I think it's just different levels of it.  In a major you have to drive it really well, and at Kiawah you must drive it well because of the length, and also there's some challenging tee shots.

Q.  How are you going to keep up with your Red Sox in the next nine weeks?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I'm getting ready for the Patriots.  (Laughter.)  Yeah, let's hope they turn it around.

Q.  Talking about the stretch coming up, I think you've got a big charity event that you're doing in the middle of it.  Can you talk about how that came about and who's participating and things?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I'm doing a charity event in my hometown of Woodstock, Vermont.  It's for the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.  The day before the tournament is a year from when the hurricane hit Vermont, and it actually got absolutely hammered by this hurricane.  Major damage in Vermont.  Woodstock Country Club, which is a course they allowed me to play, got absolutely devastated.  We're going to go in there‑‑ the tournament is already sold out.  We're going to raise a bunch of money, and I really think it'll start to help the people of Vermont start to rebuild and really just kind of get together and enjoy the day and be proud of our New England Heritage.  I'm really looking forward to going back to my hometown, which I haven't been to since I was in high school.

Q.  Are there other pros coming?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  As of now, I'm not sure.  I'm trying to keep it‑‑ I hate to bother guys to come play, but there's a lot of people that have been super helpful, some guys in New England sports are going to really help out.  I think it's going to be a really great day.  I'm going to really enjoy it, and I think the people of Vermont and especially Woodstock will, too.
JOHN BUSH:  Keegan, we appreciate your time.  Play well this week.

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