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August 23, 2013

Keegan Bradley


LAURA NEAL:  We'd like to welcome Keegan Bradley to the interview room.
You snuck on us there, a nice little 63, which is the course record at Liberty National.  What was working for you today.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I really started to putt awesome on that second 18.  I hit a ball out‑of‑bounds on the last hole this morning, and it was just brutal and decided that I was going to prove to myself that that wasn't how I'm going to end this tournament.
So I decided to go out and just let it go, and I really seemed to play well on that second 18.

Q.  What other course records do you have?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I have a few, but this is a really cool one to have.  This golf course is unbelievable.  Jim McClean, my teacher, has a golf school here.  It's really, really awesome.  It didn't even really cross my mind out there, but this is such an amazing course to have a course record on.  I'm really honored.  I hope it holds up.

Q.  Could it be broken this weekend?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I think it could‑‑ it seems the wind was dying.  This morning and during our rounds, it was really blowing.  62 a tough score, for sure.

Q.  Do you think today is sort of where you had to sort of get your work in, and tomorrow it might level out, maybe 63 is not possible tomorrow?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Well, I do see that they put some of the pins in some bowls and I know they want to get us around the course and finish up as early as possible, but this is not an easy golf course.  If you hit the ball‑‑ I mean, it's very easy to short‑side yourself, and, you know, make a bogey.  So it's not‑‑ 62 or 63 is not an easy score no matter what the conditions.

Q.  What's it like for you to play in a tournament around here?  You've got a lot of friends, a lot of followers here.  What does it do for to you play around here?  And the second part, you were disappointed with yourself last year at The Barclays at Bethpage; how would you contrast this year to last year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I was just joking around with T.R., this is the first time I've ever made the cut in this tournament.  My rookie year, I just won the PGA, I had no chance.
Last year, it was at Bethpage and it was really‑‑ it's always a tough week, this week and next week.  But this week I've really kind of secluded myself and room service every night.
But this has always been a tournament that I've always really wanted to play well at, and this is the first time I've even remotely come close to shooting under par.  So it's nice.

Q.  Can a part of it just be wanting it too much?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, totally.  Also, this tournament, I've always been fresh off a win, shortly after, and for me, mentally, I always am exhausted after I win.  I'm getting better at that, but it's always been a hectic time of year and to, this year, I came into it much more I guess under the radar maybe and able to kind of do my own thing.

Q.  You got that birdie on your last hole to putt you at 7‑under, how do you think that sets you up for tomorrow and Sunday?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  I'm in a great position, even if I didn't make that birdie.  But I'm right there going into the weekend; if someone goes super low, I'm still going to be within four or five shots, so I really like my chances around this golf course.

Q.  By your standards, how do you characterize the season so far?  Is it disappointing or frustrating or what?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It's disappointing that I haven't won, but I've made over 3 million, I'm Top‑10 in the FedExCup.  I've had seven Top‑10s, which is the most I've ever had.  It's kind of a weird year.  I've had two seconds and a third.  I've been right there.
So if I could get a win, this would probably be my most consistent year, so it's right there on the edge of being a super good year, but I'd really like to get a win for sure.

Q.  So you're obviously looking at the FedEx Playoffs as the way to do that and finish off the season on a high note?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Totally.  You go off and win this FedExCup, your year would be‑‑ maybe the year I've ever had.  I'm really right on the edge of making this a year to remember, for sure.
But obviously not winning is disappointing.  But I'm putting myself in position.

Q.  Just going back to the PGA and coming out and seeing Duf win on Sunday, how cool was that for you?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, Duf and I have become really good buddies since our playoff that we had together.  And, you know, it was just really cool for me to see him win, because I really do like him.  He's one of my favorite guys out here.
To be able to kind of see it come full circle for him and winning, you know, he was there when I won my PGA on the 18th hole, so I decided I would go out and see him win it.

Q.  He said at Rochester that you were kidding him that, you know, you don't have one of these‑‑
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Yeah, I was‑‑

Q.  Can you elaborate a little bit on that?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  He was beating me really bad in a Tuesday game, really bad.  And I said to whoever we were playing with, I said, "I've been 5‑down with three to play before against somebody and I kicked his ass."  
And so now I said to him, "I don't have much on you and he's got a lot on me."   That part is very disappointing.

Q.  Just to follow up on that, I find it so fascinating, how did that evolve, that friendship between you two?  Where did it start?  It seemed like it might be awkward, at least from his perspective to be friends with you after what happened at Atlanta.
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  It was very awkward at first.  Duf is a very awkward guy sometimes.  (Laughter).
I remember at THE TOUR Championship, we actually were playing in the final group on Friday together, and it was super weird; that was shortly after.
And then, it's hard to really pinpoint where we became really good buddies.  I do remember at the Shark Shootout when he looked at me totally out of the blue and goes, "Just admit that that putt on 17 was going ten feet by."
I said, "Funny thing about that putt is that I got a 37‑pound trophy in my living room with my name on it."  We were able to joke around and it made us closer.

Q.  That was kind of the icebreaker, do you think?
KEEGAN BRADLEY:  Maybe that was it.  We were buddies before that.  Duf's a weird guy, so he was a very‑‑ we weren't very talkative at first, but when you open Duf up, you can't shut him up after that.
LAURA NEAL:  Thanks so much Keegan.  Good luck this weekend.

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