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Keegan Bradley ‘shocked’ by name to captain Ryder Cup crew

The primary time anybody from the PGA of America talked to Keegan Bradley about being the following U.S. Ryder Cup crew captain was the night time he was advised he’d been chosen to steer the crew at Bethpage Black in New York in September 2025.

Throughout a information convention Tuesday, Bradley stated he had simply pushed house along with his household from the Vacationers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut, on June 23 when Zach Johnson, the earlier Ryder Cup captain, and PGA of America CEO Seth Waugh known as to inform him the information.

Bradley, who has by no means been a Ryder Cup vice captain, was as shocked as anybody.

“I do not assume I will ever be extra shocked of something in my whole life,” Bradley stated. “I had no concept. It took some time for it to sink in. I wasn’t absolutely snug with a number of the people who had been handed over. I’ve a number of respect for the people who got here earlier than me and people who need to be on this place, in order that was a heavy thought and second.”

Bradley is extensively thought of an outside-the-box selection for an American crew that was reeling after an unpleasant 16½-11½ loss to the European crew at Marco Simone Golf and Nation Membership exterior Rome final 12 months.

At 38, Bradley would be the youngest U.S. captain since Arnold Palmer was a 34-year-old enjoying captain at East Lake Golf Membership in Atlanta in 1963.

Bradley, a six-time PGA Tour winner, believes he is nonetheless within the prime of his profession and hopes to make the U.S. crew on factors. He stated he would not use a captain’s selection to select himself.

When Johnson and Waugh known as Bradley, Waugh advised him: “You recognize, your quantity was known as, it is time so that you can step up.”

“When he advised me that, I type of, it type of hit me, you realize, that it is a heavy job and it is a group of people who trusted me on this, and it is time to step as much as the plate and be the captain of this crew,” Bradley stated.

Coincidentally, it was Johnson who needed to break the information to Bradley that he’d been left off the 2023 Ryder Cup crew. Bradley had been a two-time winner on the PGA Tour final season and completed eleventh within the Ryder Cup factors standings.

Johnson did not use one in every of his captain’s picks on Bradley and selected Rickie Fowler and struggling Justin Thomas, who completed beneath Bradley in factors. On the time, Bradley stated he had at all times felt like an outsider within the sport and had tried to get nearer to the golfers who would most likely make the crew.

Golf followers noticed Bradley’s disappointment when Netflix’s “Full Swing” captured the second when Johnson known as to ship the unhealthy information. Then the golf actuality present captured Bradley and his household cheering for the U.S. crew about two months later.

“So, that second was actual,” Bradley stated. “I used to be crushed. It took us some time to recover from that — our complete household. We had been devastated. However I am American, I root for the Individuals to win the Ryder Cup. I watch, whether or not I am enjoying or whether or not I am not. … I do know what a tricky resolution Zach had. Choosing the fellows that he picked had been nice selections. I might have finished the identical.”

Bradley was chosen by the U.S. Ryder Cup committee solely after 15-time main champion Tiger Woods declined to tackle the function due to his busy schedule as a board member of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Enterprises, which is constant to barter a possible cope with Saudi Arabia’s Public Funding Fund.

Bradley stated he has spoken to Woods a number of occasions over the previous two weeks.

“We, as gamers, all of us look as much as Tiger, and his opinion means loads to us,” Bradley stated. “Being in crew rooms with Tiger, the general public does not understand how vital that is to him. It is all the pieces. He lives and breathes this occasion. I feel it exhibits you ways a lot he cares by turning this place down, as a result of he did not really feel like he may put in what he wanted to do with all of his duties with what is going on on with the tour.”

In an announcement launched by the PGA of America on Tuesday, Woods stated: “With my new duties to the tour and time commitments concerned, I felt I might not be capable of commit the time to Group USA and the gamers required as a captain. That doesn’t imply I would not need to captain a crew sooner or later. If/after I really feel it’s the proper time, I’ll put my hat within the ring for this committee to determine.”

Different potential candidates for the captain’s function included Stewart Cink, Webb Simpson, Fred {Couples} and Davis Love III. Phil Mickelson would have appeared like a pure selection till he helped recruit gamers to the rival LIV Golf League and was suspended by the PGA Tour.

Bradley and Mickelson had been previous companions within the Ryder Cup — they had been 3-0 in Bradley’s first Ryder Cup at Medinah Nation Membership in 2012. However Bradley does not envision the six-time main champion being one in every of his vice captains.

“I nonetheless have an important relationship with Phil,” Bradley stated. “I do not assume he is excited by being a vice captain, to be sincere with you. He is a captain sometime, I feel. However I have never spoken to Phil. I do not need to converse for him in any respect, however I feel he is fairly busy with what he is doing. I’ve nothing however nice issues to say about Phil and our recollections collectively, and what we did on the Ryder Cup is admittedly my fondest recollections within the recreation.”

Bradley stated he would not hesitate to make use of a captain’s choose on a participant from the LIV Golf League. Brooks Koepka was the one one from the rival circuit who competed for the U.S. in Rome.

“I will have the 12 finest gamers on the crew,” Bradley stated. “I do not care the place they play. Now we have a mission to win this event. I am not nervous concerning the LIV stuff. I need one of the best gamers on the crew. By the point we get to Bethpage in 2025, we’ve no clue how the structure of the golf world’s going to be.”

Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson
Sarah Thompson, an expert in tennis and golf, has covered numerous Grand Slam tournaments and PGA Tours. Her sharp analysis and player insights are a staple of her reporting. Sarah loves playing recreational tennis and is an avid golfer who enjoys weekend rounds with friends.


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