Return to Bay Hill brings return to form for Bradley


ORLANDO, Fla. – Bay Hill is quickly becoming one of Keegan Bradley’s favorite venues on the PGA Tour – just don’t ask him to explain why.

A runner-up last year after a T-3 finish in 2013, Bradley is again in the mix after a 4-under 68 left him one shot off the early lead at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He now has eight straight rounds of par or better at this event, a rate of success that seems to surprise even him.

“Honestly, I don’t know. I just seem to play well out here,” Bradley said. “I can’t put my finger on it. I drive the ball really well here, and that’s so important on this golf course. When you do drive the ball well here, you can attack some pins.”

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Bradley has transitioned to a regulation-length putter this season, and the results so far have failed to meet expectations: while he finished just one shot out of a playoff at the Northern Trust Open, that remains his lone top-15 finish this season. Bradley missed the cut at the Honda Classic earlier this month, then failed to break 70 en route to a T-38 finish at Trump National Doral.

With the season’s first major on the horizon, Bradley is eager to feel the pressure that only a spot near the top of the standings can create as he chases his first win since the 2012 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

“I crave so much being in contention, so sometimes when I’ve gone awhile without being in contention I tend to push and force it,” he said. “So just getting that kind of out of the way would be big for me.”