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November 27, 2012
THOUSAND OAKS, CALIFORNIA
JOHN BUSH:¬† We'd like to welcome Keegan Bradley into the interview room at the World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual.¬† Making his second start at this event, coming off a year in which he won a World Golf Championships event, Bridgestone Invitation.¬† Welcome back.¬† Let's get your comments on another week here at Sherwood.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, it's always good to be back here at Sherwood and play in Tiger's tournament. ¬†Really fun week, one of the most fun weeks of the year, fun golf course.¬† I really look forward to this week and having a good week.
Q.¬† We're expecting a decision on the anchoring tomorrow, and it looks like the writing is on the wall.¬† Just wanted to get your thoughts on it and what you would plan going forward if the ban as expected happens.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† You know, I'm not‑‑ obviously not happy with the ruling, but I respect the USGA, and especially Mike Davis.¬† They make the rules, and I'll adjust appropriately.¬† But I'm going to accept the challenge and hopefully do well when they do ban it.
Q.¬† Following up on that, do you feel that now with a lot of young players, and I would include you in that, but even younger than you, they never really used the short putter because they realized maybe that anchoring is better, do you think that this ban is more about that than it is about a guy at the end of his career who's not a good putter and just needs to somehow get it in the hole?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† You know, you'd have to ask the USGA that.¬† They have their reasons.¬† I think that is maybe a reason, that they see a lot of younger guys using it.¬† I personally don't see why that's a huge negative.
But I would imagine that they're more worried about the younger guys than the guys kind of in the twilight of their career.¬† But you know, they have reasons for what they do, and I respect that.
Q.¬† Webb just said that he's already using a short putter about half the time when he practices so that he can be ready if this goes forward.¬† Are you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† No, I haven't tried.¬† I mean, I've grabbed my buddies' just for fun, but I'm not doing any sort of practice with the short putter.
The announcement from what I understand will be the next rules change, which is not for another three years.¬† I don't know that for sure, but I'll use my style of putting until then.¬† And you know, when that time does come closer, I'll start to mess around.¬† But as of the time right now I'm still focused on the belly putter.
Q.¬† (No microphone.)
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I grew up using a short putter.¬† I'm still going to have to wait and hear what the rules are before I can make a full decision.¬† But yeah, I'm going to embrace the challenge and try‑‑ I've had success with a short putter, too.¬† It'll be an adjustment but one that I think that I can handle.
Q.¬† When you were playing overseas you hinted that you may seek legal action towards the USGA and R&A.¬† Can you elaborate on that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, you know, I never said that.¬† I never said the word sue, I never said the word legal action.¬† Somehow it got twisted around into that.
Like I said, I have total respect for Mike Davis and the USGA, and they are doing what they think is best for the game, and I respect that.¬† That doesn't mean that I'm happy with the decision, but I respect that they're trying to do.¬† They're definitely not trying to make the game worse, I know that.¬† I'll still have to wait to see what is announced tomorrow.
I heard a rumor that they might be banning short putters, which is a shock to me.¬† I'm surprised that they'd even think about doing that.
Q.¬† Are you thinking about it at least?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I haven't even thought that far.¬† I don't even know if that's even possible.
Q.¬† You talked about Mike Davis.¬† Have you had a dialogue with him at all about this or has he shared any of the evidence that they purport to have to make their case?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I recently have spoken to him.¬† He just reached out to me, and I appreciate that.¬† It kind of seemed like he reached out to me‑‑ I don't know if he was looking to see my side of it, but he was just kind of reaching out to me and letting me know kind of what's coming I guess you could say.¬† I don't know exactly, but it was nice of him to reach out.
Q.¬† Webb talked a little bit about two sets of rules for the game.¬† Do you see any benefit in having the professionals play a different set of rules than the amateurs?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† No, I think that that would be a bad decision.¬† And I don't see that happening.¬† I think that what makes golf a really cool sport is they can go play the exact clubs we can, the exact courses we can as amateurs.¬† I mean, I can't go play in the Boston Garden and shoot around and play basketball, but these guys can come out here and play Sherwood, play all the same clubs that we do, and I think that that's important in the game.
Q.¬† How recently did you have that conversation with Mike, and is there in your opinion any value to using a long putter if you cannot anchor it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I think like a putter that you grip like this, not a belly putter, I don't see how you would ever do it.¬† I've never seen anybody do that.¬† I have seen players, like Angel Cabrera won the Masters or something like that, but I've never seen anybody putt with the real long putter without having it up against your body.
This is going to be a whole new chapter of putting, and people are going to come up with new ways, and we're going to have to wait and see.
Q.¬† If you don't make that putt on 17 are we even talking about this?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I don't know.¬† I think that what we've all done collectively with the long putters has really focused on these putters, and I think that what the world of golf is seeing is all of us on Sundays making putts and doing well, and then the younger kids, just like when I was a younger kid I had to have a Tiger Woods hat, they want to try the belly putter.¬† They didn't see me last year at this tournament come in almost dead last.¬† I couldn't make anything.
But you see on Sunday the putts going in, and I think that's totally natural for‑‑ you see a lot of the younger generation doing what they see on TV.
Q.¬† Where did that come from?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I just think that growing up when we watched Tiger, we all wanted to be like Tiger, so everyone that I knew had to have a Nike hat.¬† That was Tiger's thing.¬† And you saw everybody on the golf course with it.¬† You still do.¬† Or like Rickie does, Rickie Fowler with his hats.¬† You see all the younger kids doing it.¬† I think it's totally natural to see a bunch more belly putters and long putters in the younger game because they're seeing all of us do it.
Q.¬† Do you still have your Tiger Woods hat?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† No, I retired my Tiger Woods hat.
Q.¬† Do you think there would be any chance that a group of players would try and get enough players to go to the PGA TOUR and say don't adopt the ban on anchoring?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† You know, to be honest with you, I really have to wait and see what's going to happen tomorrow with this announcement.¬† I know players are very passionate obviously about this decision.¬† You've got some guys that are going to be using this style of putter for almost 20 years, so that's a little bit of a scary position that they're in.¬† We'll have to wait and see.¬† I'm not going to‑‑ I'm going to obviously obey the rules and respect what the USGA does.¬† I'm not going to cause a big problem or anything like that.
Q.¬† Could you talk about how your psyche has changed in the last couple years, how you belong here as opposed to before not knowing if you could really do it at this level and your success has just been phenomenal?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I like that question.¬† No belly putter.¬† (Laughter.)
Yeah, I think that it's really cool, especially after the Ryder Cup.¬† I've really felt like I've gotten to know the guys more.¬† I've never done‑‑ any level of my sporting career, whether it's skiing or golf, I've never made friends with the guys that I've been out here with, and I'm starting to do that now, and it's making my life out here a lot more enjoyable because I can get very introverted out here and lock myself in my room and eat room service and come to the course and play and go back.¬† And I feel like I belong out here, and it's making me feel a lot more comfortable at the golf courses.¬† Just like coming here this week, I remembered some restaurants and some other things, and that's a huge help.
Q.¬† You mentioned the Ryder Cup.¬† You've had a few months now to kind of step back from it.¬† Any reflections on the week, anything that you've just kind of thought about and the whole experience and how well you played?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I‑‑ there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about the Ryder Cup, absolutely.¬† I think about it a lot.¬† I have such great memories of the Ryder Cup, and it's fun, sometimes I'll text Phil and we'll just kind of remember a shot or remember something.¬† And then you think about Sunday, and at the time when it happened, I thought, you know what, we played so well, it's not that‑‑ we'll come back and win the next one.¬† But since then I've kind of realized, man, that hurts that we didn't win it.
But I have such amazing memories and such a‑‑ it's just such a once in a lifetime thing.¬† There's only a few people that have been able to ever experience what it's like to feel that Ryder Cup pressure and atmosphere, and it's something that I'll have with me forever and really cherish.
Q.¬† What do you think captured the public attention more, your win at the PGA Championship or your play and the loss at the Ryder Cup?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Definitely the play and the loss in the Ryder Cup.¬† It's kind of silly to equate it to this, but just my Twitter followers during the Ryder Cup skyrocketed.
Q.¬† From what to what?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† From probably‑‑ a lot more.¬† I don't know the exact amount.¬† But it just seems like I'll be at a golf course in Jupiter or at a restaurant and somebody will come up to me and say, you know, we really appreciate the enthusiasm you put in at the Ryder Cup, and it was just so great to watch you, and random people say that to me, and that means so much.
I can feel that‑‑ back then when I won the PGA I think a lot of people thought that that would be the last time they saw me, and this time they kind of have embraced it, which makes it that much more fun.
Q.¬† Just based on your experience, if you just started, if you just came out of St.John's and didn't get through Q‑school and you're starting the year, what's the best way to get to the PGA TOUR, when you've got the new Canadian circuit, Hooters is still there?¬† What do you see as the most practical way to get to the TOUR?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† You mean playing mini‑Tours and stuff?¬† I think that for most players, there's some exceptions, they need to play a year on the mini‑Tours.¬† I needed to play a year on the Hooters Tour, and the best way to get out here is through the Web.com, I think.¬† You're ready the most.¬† There's exceptions to that. ¬†There's guys that can come right out here and play well.¬† I feel bad for those players now that just can't come right out here.¬† But I think it's so important to get reps in a professional situation.¬† It's four rounds and a cut.¬† I had never played with a cut before, and I'm still learning still; this is only my second year out here, and I'm still kind of learning how to handle that.¬† I've been playing my whole life without one, and I'm still just learning.¬† Without the year on the Hooters Tour or the Web.com, I think I would have had a tough time.
Q.¬† If you got the chance would you try to come through the Web.com or a Tour event?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Web.com for sure.
Q.¬† Kind of a difficult question, but do you feel that part of the‑‑ the impetus behind this decision is to say you guys have been doing something and you've been getting an advantage by using it?¬† And is that not fair in your view?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, that's really difficult when people say that.¬† I think that that's not right.¬† I mean, if we had such an unfair advantage, I mean, you'd see more guys using it.¬† There's only been one guy in the top 30 in strokes gained putting that uses a long putter, and that's Carl Pettersson.¬† The rest of us are in the middle of the pack with this.
You see guys on Sundays making these putts, but you see guys every Sunday making putts, but for us it's been magnified.¬† You've got Webb Simpson winning a major, you've got myself, Adam Scott is contending every week.¬† And that would be‑‑ that's unfair. ¬†When people say that, it upsets me a little because in a weird way it's kind of like saying you have‑‑ you're doing something better that I can't do, and I don't think that that's right.
Q.¬† If I could go back to the Ryder Cup, Tiger said in the weeks after that he apologized or he spoke to some of the rookies on the team afterward.¬† I'm just wondering if you recall that at all, and also, if that kind of put in perspective how tough this one was, obviously it was your first one, but for some of those guys that have been through it a few times, the fact that he actually would do that.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, that was the thing that surprised‑‑ I shouldn't say surprised, but that's the thing that was most eye‑opening to me was how these older players that have been around that you think Tiger has won 14 majors, a million tournaments, Phil and Steve Stricker, that they'd be there and into it, but I didn't expect the enthusiasm that they had.¬† I mean, this meant everything to every single one of those guys, and that's a really cool feeling, to know that I'm into this but they might be even more into it.¬† That's a motivator for me, and that's why these players are so great.
And Tiger was a great leader on that team.¬† He was, as always, very approachable and quick to give advice and to help out, and that means a lot to me especially.
Q.¬† Your thoughts on playing in this tournament overall, and also in general about coming to Southern California and playing.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I think that everybody‑‑ Southern California, I absolutely love it.¬† Everybody is excited to come here.¬† And if you were in this tournament, you've had a great couple years because you've got to be in the top World Rankings, and you've been playing well.¬† So that's a really good sign.¬† This is a bonus tournament, and it's run so amazingly, and to have Tiger be the host obviously makes it more special.
You know, it's one that I look forward to every year, hopefully can play every year.
Q.¬† How do you put Rory's year in perspective?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I think that what Rory did this year was awesome for the game.¬† You know, Rory is basically contending every single time he tees it up, like Tiger did, and winning.¬† And I think that that's great.¬† I know hopefully through my career I'll be going up against him for a long time, and the way he plays the game and the way that he handles himself is really good for us as players, and he's just such a great player, and I think that that's going to be great for the next 15, 20 years.
Q.¬† When did you catch on to his late arrival to Medinah that last day?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I knew he was running late.¬† I was so nervous that I couldn't even have to worry about that.¬† I was just worried about staying upright at that point.
But I wanted to‑‑ if he was going to be late, I wanted to push my‑‑ we were going to push‑‑ I wanted to see if I could push my time back.¬† I wasn't going to disqualify the kid.¬† I was happy he showed up.¬† I wish he had played a little worse than he did.¬† But he's a great kid, and I really enjoyed playing with him.
Q.¬† Staying on the Ryder Cup for a minute, I know you've had a lot of time to think about this, but the sitting in the afternoon, you played alternate‑shot, I know you can probably play 70 holes in a day and not be tired, but do you at some point look at that and say, maybe I should have put my hand up and said let me go out there again or ride the hot hand or whatever?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, looking back on it maybe, but we expressed to Davis that we wanted the rest of the team to play, and Phil was definitely going to sit, which was a smart thing.¬† The thing about it is it doesn't matter how many holes you play in this Ryder Cup because the energy and the way I was spazzing out on the golf course and cheering and going crazy, it was like playing double the amount of holes.¬† I mean, after these rounds I was exhausted.
And meanwhile, people don't realize at the Ryder Cup you don't go to bed before 12:00 because you have so many things you've got to do.¬† The first day I probably went to bed at 12:00, I was up at 4:00 just wired.¬† So who knows, we could have gone out there and got killed.¬† We also could have won, but at the time it was the right decision, and we still did great in that afternoon session.
But looking back, who knows, maybe we should have played.¬† But I don't blame‑‑ it wasn't Captain Davis' fault that that happened.
JOHN BUSH:¬† Keegan, we appreciate your time.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports