WGC-Bridgestone Invitational interview: Keegan Bradleytext sizeJuly 30, 2013
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Keegan Bradley, defending champion of the Bridgestone Invitational, thanks for joining us for a few minutes. You had a chance to play the golf course this afternoon. Maybe some opening comments about the golf course and the condition.
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I think that this golf course is the best conditioned course we play all year. I think it's the greenest, it's got the most grass on it. It's so plush. The greens are perfect every year. The course is always one of the best we play.
Q. When you think of last year, what's the very first thing that pops into your head from winning here?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I think about just putting really well. I think about a lot of putts that I made, a lot of long putts. I feel like coming here, it's such a good feeling just because of the history and the golf course, you really can feel it. It's one of these courses and venues that you can feel the tournament has got a little more of a buzz to it, which is something that I love, and I always love this golf course.
Q. I have to ask a question about Feherty. You really kind of gave it to Dufner there. Have you heard back from him?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I played with him today. I think that it was really cool, a really unique part of the show was me and Duf kind of going back and forth during it. I don't know if I've ever seen a television show where that's happened. It was fun to kid around with each other, and here comes the PGA highlights. It's really fun to be friends with somebody that you went head to toe in a major championship.
You know, he's a good sport about it all. I have to be, too, because he's worse on him than I am on him.
Q. Do you feel like your friendship is continuing to grow, even through these little things?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, yeah, totally. I enjoy playing with Duf and hanging with Duf as much as anybody out here, and he's a really good guy. I can kid him about the PGA, and he'll take it and make fun of me about something else. He's a good guy out here.
Q. Do you ever wish you had almost trademarked the Dufnering thing?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, that would have been nice at the time. I didn't see that the Golf Channel spelled his name wrong once, with two Fs, like Duffnering. But that was a fun time that I got to share with him, and I couldn't believe how much it blew up, but maybe I should next time.
Q. I know I talked to you about this a few minutes ago outside, but do you prefer to play the week before a major as opposed to taking the week off, relaxing, preparing for that venue?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, you know, in the past I've tried to take a week off and go early and play the course as many times as I could, chip around on the greens, and every time I've ever done that, I've played ‑‑ I have finished horribly.
And then in the PGA Championship, I played in it twice and finished first and third, and I played here the week before. The British Open I played John Deere in order to play the week before, and I came in 15th, which was my best finish there. So from now on I'm playing the week before. It's something Phil has always done, and he's had a lot of success. So from now on, for me it doesn't benefit me to go to the courses early. I don't learn anything new that I wouldn't learn that week.
Q. I know you haven't seen Oak Hill yet, but from talking to Phil and the veteran players that have been there, is there anything about this course that you think can prep you for next week?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: I think that this course preps you for every major because if they just grew the rough up, it would be a U.S. Open, I think, if they could get the greens right. They could hold a U.S. Open here. You've got to drive the ball well here, and in majors you must drive the ball in the fairway. This has got a very similar feel, I think, to Oak Hill in terms of I think it's going to be tree‑lined and the rough is going to be up. This is a golf course where you have to hit really great shots. And in majors if you're off just a little bit you could make doubles and triples.
Q. What happens to you this week when you come back to a venue when you've won the previous year?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: This is going to be my third time defending, so I'm learning more not to put too much pressure on myself. But it's really fun to ‑‑ just a second ago when I was walking in here, the last time I remember walking in here after I had won and so jacked up and the same cart ride.
One of the cool things about winning a tournament is you go in the locker room and everything is gone so you're by yourself and you get to hang out with the locker room guys, and you have a lot of really fun memories outside of the golf, like remembering walking out with the trophy or seeing the people and them being so happy that I'm back here. Just a lot of really great memories, and I think it's very easy with a tournament like this where you have good vibes and good memories to get off to a good start. You can really get it going, and I felt like I've done that in the past at the Nelson, which I think I can do here.
Q. Nick was just in here talking about the Presidents Cup obviously. You played a practice round with Phil today. You obviously played great with Phil in the Ryder Cup last year. Why do you two guys click?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Well, I think that Phil likes energy, and I bring a ton of energy when we play in these Ryder Cups and team games. You know, we seem to be able to feed off each other well. We are comfortable with each other reading putts for one another. I'm not worried about hitting a bad shot for Phil, and I think he feels the same way about me. We can kind of freewheel it out there. I love it when Phil ‑‑ I want him to go all out as my partner. I don't want him to lay up. I want him to smash driver or 3‑wood or whatever. I think we allow ourselves to play freely, and it doesn't hurt that I got one of the greatest players to ever play the game as my partner. It's pretty fun growing up, him being one of my idols, to have him as my partner.
Q. As close as you and Phil are, obviously I don't know if you can share, but anything you said to him after his last big victory that you can share with him?
KEEGAN BRADLEY: Yeah, I texted him. I was so thrilled for the guy. I just love to see him win because he puts the effort in that I feel is needed to win tournaments. Sometimes I see people win that don't ‑‑ may not put it in, and it kind of worries me because I want to be prepared, and what Phil does is he is prepared to win every major.
I texted him, and it was fun to talk to him about the round. Right before we were ‑‑ this was a couple days ago. We were double checking we were going to play on Tuesday, and I said I know you're the golfing ‑‑ what is it, champion golfer of the year, but I'll teach you how to play Akron if you want. And he only responded with, "I won there when you were nine years old."
JOEL SCHUCHMANN: Keegan, thank you. Good luck this week.