Keegan Bradley - Player Bio

Published:

When Graeme McDowell rolled in his putt against Hunter Mahan at Celtic Manor to clinch the 2010 Ryder Cup, one Keegan Bradley was still plying his trade on the Nationwide Tour.

In fact, it was only four consecutive top-five finishes late in the season that helped him earn his PGA Tour card for 2011. From here it was a quick rise to golf's pinnacle when he won the Wanamaker Trophy.

The 26-year-old made the cut in his first PGA Tour event, the 2011 Sony Open in Hawaii and finished T7 the following week at the Bob Hope Classic. He soon added a second top-10 at the Valero Texas Open in April.

He went from Nationwide Tour graduate to PGA Tour winner at the 2011 HP Byron Nelson Championship when he defeated Ryan Palmer on the first hole of a sudden-death playoff. The victory gained him entry into the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, where he shared the 36-hole lead and led midway through the final round before finishing T15. 
 
The week after the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Bradley played in his first major, the 2011 PGA Championship. A second-round 64 propelled him into a share of the lead at the halfway stage, and Bradley remained only one shot out of the lead after 54 holes. In the final round, he triple-bogeyed the 15th hole to fall five shots behind Jason Dufner with three holes to play before recovering with back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17 which, combined with three consecutive bogeys for Dufner, left Dufner and Bradley tied after 72 holes of regulation play.

A three-hole playoff followed with Bradley's birdie and two pars good enough to win by a shot. Bradley became only the third player after Francis Ouimet (1913) and Ben Curtis (2003) to win a major in his first attempt, and was the first golfer to win a major with a long putter.With the victory, Bradley moved from number 108 to number 29 in the Official World Golf Rankings.
 
Come the end of the season there was really only one contender for the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
 
At the 2012 Northern Trust Open, Bradley and Phil Mickelson each made long birdie putts on the 72nd hole to force a three-man playoff with Bill Haas, who made a 45-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to win the tournament. He came close to winning again when he held a two-stroke lead during the final round of the 2012 WGC-Cadillac Championship but dropped four shots over the final four holes, including a double bogey on the 18th, to finish T8.

He started the season with nine consecutive top-25 finishes, but didn't manage a win until the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Bradley had trailed by four entering the final round, but a 72nd hole double bogey by Jim Furyk handed him the title. He had a strong defence of his title at Kiawah Island finishing T3, even if that was nine shots behind a rampant Rory McIlroy.

On paper he is one of Team USA's strongest players, but how will he handle the pressure of expectation at Medinah?