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February 1, 2013

Keegan Bradley


PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Keegan, thanks for joining us in the interview room.  You made eagle at 13 and birdie at 15 to shoot 63.  A couple thoughts about the day.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It was such a relief to shoot a good number.  I've been playing so well this whole year and haven't played many putts, and today the putts started to go in.  I really had a fun time, 15, 16 with the crowds, and it just was a really fun round today.  I'm really happy.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Can you give us some details on highlights.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I got off to a good start.¬† I birdied 11, which is unbelievable birdie, and then I hit driver, 7‑iron into 15 to like eight feet, made eagle; and then birdied 16 with the crowd.¬† I got a little tight there, you know, 1, 2 and 3; could have been worse than it was.¬† I made a bogey and then I made four birdies in a row and a great up‑and‑down on the last hole to save par and kind of hang in there because I know the scores are going to be low today.
And you know, anytime you shoot 63, you put yourself back in the tournament.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Can you give us some details on the run of four birdies.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I hit 3‑wood, 9‑iron into 5 and made about a 10‑footer.
6th hole, I hit a great drive down there and I hit a 53‑degree wedge to about 15 feet and made it.
7, the par‑3, I hit a little cut 6‑iron to about 20 feet and made that.
And then on 8, I hit in the fairway bunker on the right, and I hit a 9‑iron out of there from 170 to about six feet or eight feet, and I thought I missed it low and it hung in there and it went in.¬† That's what happens when you shoot 63, so that was kind of a nice little run.

Q.  Can you expand on the unbelievable birdie on 11, and how long was your drive on 15 and how long did you have in?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† The birdie on 11, anytime‑‑ I'd take four pars on 11 right now.¬† But I hit 3‑wood, 7‑iron and made like a 20‑footer.¬† It's the longest putt I've made in a couple weeks it feels like, so that kind of opened up the hole it seemed like from there on.
And then 15 I just smashed a driver down there.¬† I had been hitting 3‑wood and I'm driving the ball so well that I just decided to rip driver down there only had 195 yards in, I hit 7‑iron to about eight feet and made it.

Q.  You said you got tight over three holes.  What does that feel like to you, what does that mean to you, how did you get out of it, did it just go away?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I started to think about where I stood and what I needed to do, and I kept thinking to myself, finally you're shooting a good number, and I got really tight and started to miss a few fairways, and I start to really worry about my result, which is something I work on with Dr.Bob Rotella.
Then I hit a really, really good drive on the 5th hole, and then it just kind of lifted from there.¬† I striped a 3‑wood down there; that's a tough driving hole, and I just relaxed a little bit.¬† I want to get myself into contention so bad sometimes that it can work against me, and that's when I kind of have to relax and take a deep breath.

Q.  I know you've been hassled a little bit about the long putter, but did the guys on 16 give you any static about it?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† No.¬† As a matter of fact they've actually been extremely supportive of it.¬† They love it.¬† I was expecting‑‑ who knows what tomorrow will bring, but the guys on 16 have been yelling to me about the belly putter, how much they love it.¬† Maybe the USGA needs to go hang out on the 16th hole (laughter), the very pro‑belly putter area.

Q.  What was the funnest comment you heard at 16 today?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† They were yelling at my caddie, actually, which I couldn't believe.¬† They had a sign for Pepsi, my caddie.¬† They had a Pepsi Hale sign, which was something that I didn't expect, a Bruins chant, which was nice, some anti‑Red Sox chants, which I get a lot around that corner.¬† A lot of St.John's chants, too, which is really cool.¬† They've been really nice to me.¬† Knock on wood, I haven't really hit a bad shot on that hole yet, but today I hit it to about four feet, which they loved.

Q.  You've just got to feed the animals every so often and keep them happy?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I always get some sort of treat to throw them.  They'll take anything it seems like over there on the left of 16.

Q.  Any difference in the environment this year at 16?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Well, you know, I got in late last night, early this morning.¬† It was pretty calm both times I went through, but it's such an unbelievable atmosphere.¬† It reminds me of when I go to Fenway Park.¬† It's really‑‑ there's always like a murmur.¬† There's always something‑‑ there's a little ambient noise.¬† It's really cool.¬† I dig it.¬† I wish there was more holes like that out here.

Q.  I wanted to ask you in your opinion if you think the USGA might reverse their decision on this anchoring ban.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  You know what, I'm going to let the USGA go through their process.  They're still in the process of determining whether they're going to make it a rule.  They still have to vote in a couple weeks.  But until then, I'm just going to kind of sit back and do my thing and allow them to go through their process.  They do this with every rule that they make.  And I'm going to have to wait and see what they say, and whatever they come up with, obviously I'm going to have to follow.  I know that they're trying to do what's in the best interest of the game, which I respect.

Q.  When is the first time you went to Augusta?  Tell me how you felt the first time you played in the tournament and what that place is like.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  First time I was at Augusta I was on St.John's golf team and we parked out front of the gate and we just stared down Magnolia Lane for an hour trying to figure out any way possible to get in, whether we were going to just run through the gate and just get arrested or how we were going to do it.
Then the first time I got to go into Augusta was with my dad, and one of the most special days of my life‑‑ any time when you're at the gate and that guard says, "go ahead," and you're going‑‑ it's an unbelievable feeling, every time.¬† Here we go down Magnolia Lane.¬† And then when you walk through the clubhouse and you see the 1st hole, the 9th hole, the 18th hole, just unbelievable.¬† In the tournament it looks so different because of all the people, and it's just without a doubt the best feeling you could ever have on a golf course.¬† It's just different than anywhere else.

Q.  Do you remember that year you were with your dad?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It was last year.  Last year was my first year.

Q.¬† Did you get to see your pal Phil shoot nothing yesterday?¬† Did you see any of the highlights?¬† Did you see the lip‑out for 59?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I did.¬† There was a little delay from when I was going to tee off, so I went into the clubhouse real quick and he was about ready to putt.¬† Everybody was huddled around the TV in there, and then the putt lipped out, and you could just hear the whole place groan because they all wanted it to go in.¬† I saw him last night and gave him a high‑five.¬† He was laughing about it.¬† There wasn't much he could do.¬† He hit a perfect putt.¬† I just hope that my partner can ease up on me a little this afternoon and not go too low for the weekend.

Q.  What's the lowest score you've put up, practice round or at home or for fun anywhere?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† I shot 61 twice on the Nationwide Tour a couple different times.¬† 63 I think is my‑‑ ties for my low out here.¬† But today, who knows, Phil could go out there, or somebody could go out there and shoot another fairly low one.¬† With the greens this pure and the weather the way it is, who knows what the lowest score could be.¬† I mean, there's going to be low scores this afternoon, I know that.¬† But I gave myself the best opportunity now to be in good shape for the weekend.

Q.  On any of those 61s were you close enough to have a chance to start thinking 59 at all?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:¬† Yeah, I was 10‑under through 14 on the‑‑ or 15, and so I had three holes left with a par‑5, 18th, and I started to really think about it.¬† I actually lipped out on the next hole for birdie and then made two pars.¬† But I really‑‑ that was the only time where I made birdie on 14 and it really crossed my mind that it was possible.
PHIL STAMBAUGH:  Keegan, good luck this weekend.

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