August 23, 2012
years ago Keegan Bradley was earning his diploma from St. John’s
University in the summer of 2008, ready to take on the world – the
golf world that is. He was an accomplished college golfer wanting
to become a professional. In retrospect, he had big plans, big
ideas and big dreams.
Fast forward just four short years to the fall of 2012 and his
autograph (which he gladly provides to youngsters and fans) is a
hot commodity on the pro tour – yes the pro tour. As he prepares
for today’s opening round of The Barclay’s at Bethpage Black on
Long Island, one can only marvel at his accomplishments of the past
He has earned PGA Rookie of the Year honors; won at the PGA
Championship (one of pro golf’s four major tournaments) in 2011,
and has two PGA tour wins under his belt including the WGC
Bridgestone Tournament this season which cemented a spot on next
month’s Ryder Cup team. Bradley will etch his name in Ryder Cup
lore as a member of the United States roster, rubbing elbows with
the best golfers on the planet in a battle with a talented
International squad for world bragging rights.
A lot to wrap your head around for a young 25-year old – but
Bradley keeps his life simple and his goals lofty which makes him
easy to root for. He is part of a new generation of up-and-comers
on the pro tour with a resume’ of winning in his back pocket to
prove he belongs.
“Success hasn’t changed me at all in terms of who I am,”
admitted Bradley at an alumni/sponsor reception given by the Red,
White Club of St. John’s University yesterday on the eve of The
Barclay’s before 50 alumni and St. John’s supporters. “I think
things have changed a bit on the golf course and what I have to
deal with in terms of the media, but who I am as a person has
stayed the same and that’s very important for me to play good
Bradley’s life mirrors his college days as some former golf
teammates share a home with him in Florida. They all are playing
golf professionally but Keegan is the only one to have reached PGA
status. The St. John’s bond they have forged is undeniable
and unwavering, regardless of their level of play and rank on the
“People like to gravitate to Keegan. He’s got a great
disposition and a friendly smile that is sincere. He always wanted
the best for his teammates, the team and St. John’s. And now, I
think he likes the idea of being a mentor because he was mentored
by a lot of good people (his Dad Mark was his first coach and golf
professional in his own right and his famous aunt, Pat Bradley,
LPGA Hall of Famer) to get to where he is today,” said Frank Darby,
St. John’s University Golf Coach.
The path to St. John’s and the recruitment of Bradley was done
over lunch at a Fairfield, CT, restaurant in 2004 without Keegan
ever seeing the St. John’s campus. A story that seems unfathomable
since Keegan could have gone to prestigious schools like Florida,
Georgia and other hotbeds for college golf in warm weather
“I just liked everything about it and I was interested in
playing all of these courses on Long Island. I loved the whole team
atmosphere and it was really a smart choice for me,” noted Bradley.
“People love the atmosphere at St. John’s. It was fun and very
independent, and I loved following the basketball team every chance
I could…….and the pizza, definitely the pizza.”
His actions speak volumes about his passion for the University
and it is evident in everything he does.
“Keegan’s a great ambassador for the University wearing red on
Sundays and putting the St. John’s logo on his golf bag. You can’t
ask for more than that and he always talks positively about his
experiences at St. John’s,” claims Darby.
To represent your country in the Ryder Cup is the golf
equivalent of wearing U.S.A. on your chest in the Olympics – only
it’s the 12 best Americans in the world against the 12 best
international players in a global sports showdown – and it happens
every two years.
“I’m so excited. I blame part of my poor play in the middle of
this season to just wanting it (a spot on the Ryder Cup team) too
bad,” said Bradley. “Now that I’m on the team I don’t have to worry
about it – so it’s kind of a relief and I think I’m going to be
able to play freer golf because of it.”
The world will be watching back home in Vermont and in Queens as
St. John’s faithful will be glued to their respective TV screens
pulling for the U.S. and one of their own, Keegan Bradley, in the
thick of the competition. Four years ago Bradley was worrying about
final exams and term papers - now his worries consist of 15-foot
putts with monster breaks on greens and big prize money at stake
with a country’s reputation on the line.
And does the coach and his star pupil talk between tournaments
and majors throughout the course of the year for advice?
“I try not to bother him during the year but I’ll text him a lot
and we’ll email back and forth. He’s so busy right now it’s like
trying to get in touch with a rock Star,” said Darby. “I know we’ll
talk at the end of the season when it’s quiet.”
Keegan Bradley is 25 years young with rock star status and a
golf game to die for. Pretty impressive for a native of Vermont, by
way of Queens, NY, and a career that has endless possibilities.
For more information contact Dominic Scianna, Assistant Vice
President for Media Relations at St. John’s University by calling
718.990-6185 or e-mail inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can
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Twitter at www.twitter.com/StJohnsUMedia. Additional news and
information regarding St. John’s can be found by visiting the
University web site at www.stjohns.edu/news.
To inquire about joining the Red White Club at St. John’s
University contact the Office of Athletic Development at
718.990.2547 or e-mail inquiries to email@example.com.