In all the years he played golf at St. John’s before turning pro in 2008, Keegan Bradley stepped on Shinnecock Hills just one time on a January day when a former teammate invited him to play on a “caddies’ day.” So this U.S. Open is an away game for Bradley compared to next May’s PGA Championship at Bethpage State Park, where he has played frequently.
Even so, Bradley is thrilled to be here after making it through a sectional qualifier in Columbus, Ohio. “I played 18 Sunday,” Bradley said before playing another practice round on Monday. “This is one of America’s best courses, so we’re excited to be here. The fairways are generous, but if the course is 7,500, I think that’s pretty fair.
“Par will be a good score. It always is. If it’s windy, you might see 2-, 3-, 4-over win . . . I feel as though this is a good course for me. I look forward to playing here.”
Although Bradley might lack some familiarity with the golf course, he knows he can count on plenty of support from people in the gallery familiar with the St. John’s graduate and the fame he achieved when he won the 2011 PGA in the first major he ever played.
“I get a lot of support from St. John’s fans and people from Wheatley Hills and places like that,” said Bradley, who once worked at Wheatley Hills Golf Club and is an honorary member. “I love playing in New York.”