AKRON, Ohio – A winner here a year ago, Keegan Bradley clearly feels comfortable walking the fairways of Firestone Country Club. That sense of comfort was again evident Thursday, as Bradley opened his title defense with a round of 4-under 66 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
“I love everything about this course,” said Bradley, who also tied for 15th in his first appearance at this event in 2011. “I’ve always hit the ball well out here, and the course fits me well. I feel good going into the rest of the week.”
Entering as defending champion for just the third time in his short PGA Tour career, Bradley explained that his approach does not differ when trying to seek back-to-back titles.
“I try not to put too much pressure on myself,” said Bradley, who has six top-10 finishes this year on the PGA Tour. “Every year I’ve played here, I seem to have done pretty well. I know that this golf course fits me, so to let the course come to me is big here.”
While playing partner Luke Donald was forced to scramble en route to an opening 67 (LINK to Donald blog), Bradley took a more conventional approach to tackling the South Course, reaching 15 of 18 greens in regulation. The former PGA champion noted that relatively soft greens allowed him to attack a majority of the holes in Thursday’s opening round.
“You don’t have to be aggressive, but you can be aggressive,” he added. “With these greens, you can take advantage of this golf course.”