Bradley flies under radar to PGA glory | other | Hindustan Times
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Bradley flies under radar to PGA glory

PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley was the unlikely winner of the PGA Championship on Sunday, his playoff victory over Jason Dufner completing a meteoric rise from the lesser tours that few had noticed.

other Updated: Aug 16, 2011 00:13 IST

PGA Tour rookie Keegan Bradley was the unlikely winner of the PGA Championship on Sunday, his playoff victory over Jason Dufner completing a meteoric rise from the lesser tours that few had noticed.

Bradley, ranked 108th in the world coming into this week, gave the United States the boost they needed by ending a run of six straight major wins for non-Americans, despite never being one of the players picked out as part of the new generation.

Not that the former Hooters Tour and Nationwide Tour competitor cares about lack of attention. “Ever since I was 10 years old, I’ve kind of flown under the radar,” Bradley said. “I had what I thought was a pretty good college career but I never really got noticed. It was the same in junior golf and kind of the same out here.

“I’ve been having a good year, and that's just the way it happens with me, which is fine. It’s cool to be thought of as
one of those guys now.

“I always wanted while growing up to win tournaments and win majors, and I can't believe this trophy is sitting next to
me. It's an honour to be even thought of in that category."

Bradley's victory was all the more remarkable given that his late push came after the bitter disappointment of a triple-bogey on the par-three 15 where he found water.

The 25-year-old said his cool reaction to that setback, as he recovered to make two birdies and eliminate a five-stroke deficit, was aided by some sound advice from four-times major winner Phil Mickelson.

Mickelson mentoring

“Phil has been great to me,” Bradley said. “He’s just told me to stay more patient out there. And the major thing I tried to do this week was under react to everything whether it was a good thing or a terrible thing.

“I under-reacted to the triple and I over-reacted a little when I made that putt on 17 but that was something that just came out of me. I didn't even know it was coming.

“That was the key — to under-react. And if you watch Phil play, he gets excited but he never gets too down on himself, and that was the key.”

Mickelson is by no means the only influence on Bradley’s career — his father is a member of the PGA, a teaching professional, and his aunt is Pat Bradley, who won six LPGA majors.