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St. John's coach recalls Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley lines up a putt during a

Keegan Bradley lines up a putt during a playoff at the final round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship at TPC Four Seasons at Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. (May 29, 2011) Credit: Getty

The only challenge for Frank Darby in coaching Keegan Bradley at St. John’s was finding him a place to play golf during the Christmas break.

“Every place was closed and he wanted to play every day,” Darby said Wednesday of his former Red Storm player who won the Byron Nelson Championship in a playoff Monday. It was the rookie’s first PGA Tour victory.

Darby was able to pull some strings back then, getting tee times for the New England native.

“He didn’t care about cold weather and he was such a magnet, he would drag the rest of the guys with him,” the coach said. “It’s rare to find guys with that passion. He’s a loyal kid. Every time he’s interviewed, he mentions St. John’s.”

In his news conference at the Memorial Tournament on Wednesday, Bradley recalled how disappointed he had been to miss qualifying for the 2009 U.S. Open. “I missed Bethpage Black by one, which is where I went to college,” he said. “It was probably the toughest thing that ever happened to me in my career.”

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