Thursday, September 1, 2011
PGA's Bradley ready for round with Brady
By Chris Forsberg
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Despite the newfound celebrity that came with winning the PGA Championship as a rookie last month, New England native Keegan Bradley still wasn't quite sure what to make of a text message that arrived the other day.
"Tom Brady," he explained with a smile. "He sent me a text on Tuesday. I was staring at my phone thinking, 'Is this one of my buddies messing with me?' Turned out it was him; Very, very cool."
Twitter.com/RealPatriotsKeegan Bradley stands behind Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo for the pregame coin toss.
The text congratulated Bradley on his win and suggested the two would enjoy 18 holes together after the NFL season. For 25-year-old Bradley, who said he considers Brady a hero having grown up in Vermont and moved to nearby Hopkinton, Mass. for his senior year of high school, he wasn't quite sure what to make of the message. In fact, he had to call his agent just to be sure the text was real.
One night after throwing out the first pitch at Fenway Park before a Red Sox-Yankees game, Bradley, sporting a blue Patriots cap and a frequent smile, invaded Brady's backyard to participate in the pregame coin flip before New England's preseason finale against the New York Giants at Gillette Stadium.
"A coin toss is a little less nerve-wracking, I can kinda relax a little bit," said Bradley. "It is a little bit intimidating to be down here on the field, but really, really cool."
On Friday, Bradley will begin play in the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. He said he's a bit overwhelmed by ticket demands (50-60 per day, he noted) but said his family is taken care of, so that's a relief. He admitted the fame that came with winning a major title has "been a little crazy, but I'm learning to deal with it." He's hoping some home-crowd support in Norton will aid his cause at this week's PGA stop.
It still shocks him a bit when another pro athlete asks him advice about their golf game. And while he's looking forward to that round with Brady, it's all a bit daunting.
"I can’t tell you how much of a hero he is to me," said Bradley. "I'll be nervous for that, I can tell you."