Bradley: More 'pinch-yourself' moments at Medinah

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 25, 2012, 10:42 pm

MEDINAH, Ill. – Over the past few years, as Keegan Bradley has ascended from St. John’s standout to PGA champion to Ryder Cup rookie, he’s admitted to having plenty of “pinch-yourself” moments.

His first Tour start. His first money game with Phil Mickelson. His first event as a major winner.  

Well, the 26-year-old experienced another one Tuesday at Medinah: walking across the bridge toward the first tee during a Ryder Cup practice round.

“Probably the proudest moment of my entire career,” Bradley said.

And the actual competition is still three days away.

Keegan’s day began with a text message to his aunt, Hall of Famer Pat Bradley. It was a picture of his U.S. team bag, a photo that screamed, Can you believe I made it? Pat replied, “USA all the way.”

A few hours later, a crowd of about 30,000 fans lined the fairways at Medinah, craning their necks to get a view and chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A,” a few lucky fans receiving the Ryder Cup lapel pins that were dispensed throughout the afternoon. “It was basically a Sunday crowd at a major,” Bradley said.

He played alongside Mickelson, a frequent practice partner, and Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson, the formidable pairing that debuted last year at the Presidents Cup. Those were the teams: Keegan-Phil vs. Webb-Bubba. When asked who won, Bradley’s expression suggested defeat. Good thing it’s only Tuesday.

Said Bradley, “But oh my God, I had the most fun I’ve maybe ever had on a golf course. It was honestly one of the highlights of my career today.”

Listening to him Tuesday, you get the feeling Bradley will be saying that a lot this week. More pinch-yourself moments. And can you blame the guy? He’s cutting up with Phil and Tiger, players he’s grown up idolizing. He’s surrounded by Michael Jordan and Michael Phelps and Justin Timberlake.

“It’s kind of a smack in the face almost to where I am,” Bradley said. “Sometimes it’s all happening so fast, you kind of don’t catch it. And there are times this week where I’ve said, ‘I’m in the same room with these guys, and that’s pretty special.’”

Bradley and Mickelson enjoy their practice-round battles, no doubt, but perhaps for different reasons – Keegan because he feels more nervous during their high-stakes games than the actual tournament, Phil because he’s recruited Bradley in preparation for moments such as the Ryder Cup.

“I’ve always played very well after I’ve played in a Phil match because he gets your juices flowing, you start putting balls into the hole,” Bradley said. “If I’m ever playing against Phil, I want to beat him so bad that sometimes it doesn’t bring out the best golf in me, and it’s a great way to prepare for a tournament like this.”

Of course, he will have little trouble getting jacked for Friday’s opening session.

It figures to be yet another pinch-yourself moment in a week full of them.

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Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

 

 

Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

"We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.

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Wie takes shot at LPGA dress code in crop top

By Grill Room TeamDecember 10, 2017, 5:33 pm

The new LPGA dress code got mixed reviews when it was announced in July, and Michelle Wie is taking full advantage of her offseason with no restrictions.

The 28-year-old former U.S. Women's Open champion is keeping her game sharp while back in her home state of Hawaii, but couldn't help taking a shot at the rules while doing it, posting a photo to Instagram of her playing golf in a crop top with the caption, "Offseason = No dress code fine."

Offseason = No dress code fines #croptopdroptop

A post shared by Michelle Wie (@themichellewie) on

Wie isn't the first to voice her displeasure with the rules. Lexi Thompson posted a similar photo and caption to Instagram shortly after the policy was announced.

Lexi, Finau 3 back going into final QBE round

By Associated PressDecember 9, 2017, 11:58 pm

NAPLES, Fla. - Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry shot an 8-under 64 in modified alternate shot and shared the lead Saturday with Steve Stricker and Sean O'Hair going into the final round of the QBE Shootout.

McDowell (Northern Ireland) and Lowry (Ireland), the only international players among the 12 teams at Tiburon Golf Club, began to erase a five-shot deficit with an eagle and birdie on the opening two holes and they dropped only one shot all day in blustery conditions.

Stricker and O'Hair started the back nine with a pair of bogeys, rallied with three straight birdies and then dropped one last shot from the bunker on the 17th.

The teams were tied at 18-under 126.

Lexi Thompson, the lone LPGA player in the field, teamed with Tony Finau for a 66 that put them in the hunt going into the final round. Thompson and Finau were three shots behind.

McDowell and Lowry tied for ninth in the World Cup last year. They grew up playing Irish junior golf and appreciate the difficulty of alternate shot, even the modified version when both players hit tee shots.


Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


''To go out and shoot 8 under in that format in these conditions today, I think it speaks volumes about the fact we're both playing pretty well,'' McDowell said. ''We both had an opportunity to hit some good shots out there today and make some good putts, and it gives you a little bit of momentum going in there tomorrow.''

The format for the final round is better ball.

Stricker and O'Hair have each won the QBE Shootout, but not as partners.

Stricker, captain of the winning American team at the Presidents Cup, said he couldn't get comfortable and put O'Hair in some tough spots.

''We should have probably been two or three shots better than what we were,'' Stricker said. ''Sean played another good round of golf and made some great putts in there to keep us going, but all in all, we're in good shape.''

Keegan Bradley and Brendan Steele shot 70 and were two shots out of the lead.

Defending champions Matt Kuchar and Harris English had a 72 and were tied for last place with Zach Johnson and Charley Hoffman, who shot 70. They were nine shots out of the lead.