Keegan Bradley has a chance to create an epic sports memory of Boston at the US Open, originally appearing on NBC Sports Boston
BROOKLINE, Massachusetts – One of Keegan Bradley’s favorite sports moments in Boston was watching Tom Brady and the New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl title 20 years ago. He was with his father in the basement of their home in Vermont.
And now on Sunday for Father’s Day, he has a chance to create his own legendary Boston sports memory by winning the US Open 2022 at The Country Club.
Bradley, who went to high school in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, is just two strokes back from the lead after shooting a 1-under par in Saturday’s third round. It is 2-denominated through 54 holes.
He will be the favorite of the fans on Sunday. This became very clear when the 36-year-old climbed the fairway on the 18th hole at the end of his third round.
A loud roar and the chanting “Keegan! Keegan! Keegan!” were locked up by fans at the most emotional moment of the tournament so far.
“This climb to 18 was the best I’ve ever felt in a tournament,” Bradley said. “It was really great. There is a feeling of the British Open, this 18th. It’s true. They did an amazing job.
“It was good that I got a good shot there so I could go up and I said to myself, let’s try to enjoy this walk until 18 today, because it was a difficult day. Let’s face it, I didn’t know they were going to do this, and it just got a lot better. “
Bradley’s third round started badly. He overcame three of the first six holes to fall back to 2-over. But from that moment on, Bradley clung to his game. Birdies on the 8th and 9th holes caused a turnaround.
“Yes, I made that hit on 9 today and the crowd really went – I was walking towards the green and the crowd really went crazy over me, and then I made the hit and they went wild,” Bradley said. “It really gave me a boost of energy. It put me on the path to, well, we’re not trying to save this round anymore. Let’s try to get into an argument here and I did.”
After another number 10 run, Bradley climbed the 13th, 14th and 17th holes. Bradley was one of only seven golfers to shoot below par on a day with less than ideal weather conditions.
Bradley feels very much like he is the player of his hometown. As a person who grew up wanting to play at Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park or TD Garden, the walk of No. 18 was as close as possible to experiencing this thrill.
“As a kid, I dreamed of playing in front of Boston fans and being a patriot or being in the garden,” Bradley said. “Most of the time I play all over the world or in the country and I’m alone and from time to time I’m in Hartford and I feel that or in the Ryder Cup. Today here I felt like I was in a home game, which is something that as a child is a dream. “
Win or lose, Sunday will probably be one of the most emotional days in Bradley’s career. Not only does he have to play well on an extremely challenging golf course, but he also has to manage his emotions. Bradley won a major tournament in 2011 in the PGA Championship, so this kind of pressure is not unknown to him.
This walk to 18 was the best I’ve ever felt in a tournament. That was really great.
Keegan Bradley at the reception he received on the 18th hole
But to win a big championship victory in this situation, with a lot of family and friends present is a new kind of challenge. However, he feels quite comfortable, which is an encouraging sign.
“Well, tomorrow will be a difficult day. I know that. It’s just that. It would be if I played in Tulsa,” Bradley explained. “But playing here will be intense, but this week I had this strange feeling of calm. I don’t know if it will be here tomorrow or not, but I just have to try to put one foot in front of the other.
“Honestly, these are all stupid clichés we all say. I play very well and I really feel comfortable on this course.
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