Little Keegan celebrated at Brookline in '99


The U.S. team celebrates Justin Leonard's Ryder Cup-clinching putt at Brookline in 1999. (Andrew Redington / Getty Images)

GLENEAGLES, Scotland – Keegan Bradley has become the U.S. Ryder Cup team’s answer to Ian Poulter, an energetic player who feeds off the pressure that comes with the biennial matches.

It’s a passion that was born in 1999 when the Ryder Cup was played at Brookline outside of Boston and Bradley attended the matches on Friday and Sunday with his father.

The 13-year-old remembers watching Justin Leonard’s famous putt during his Sunday singles match against Jose Maria Olazabal from atop his father’s shoulders. When the tournament ended, Bradley’s father even let him run onto the 18th green to celebrate.

“That's when I fell in love with the Ryder Cup,” he said. “The passion that I saw, I had never seen before in golf. And that was something that I promised myself I was going to work toward.”

By contrast, when Bradley returned from the 2012 matches, he was so devastated by the loss that he didn’t unpack his bag from the week. It’s a bag that has remained untouched for two years.

“I did give it a little rub before I left home,” he said. “It's sitting in my house. I'm hoping to head home on Monday and open it up and see what's in there. It might be a little nasty, but it's still sitting there.”