PGA champ Keegan Bradley wished the U.S. Presidents Cup team well Tuesday night but did not disguise his disappointment about not making the squad.
Many considered the 25-year-old PGA Tour rookie from New England with two wins, including a major championship, to be the frontrunner for the final spot on captain Fred Couples’ 2011 crew until another top candidate, Bill Haas, won the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup in dramatic fashion on Sunday. Bradley, whose first victory came at the Byron Nelson Championship in May, tweeted his congratulations to Haas and Couples’ first wild-card pick, Tiger Woods, and noted his own letdown as well.
“Congrats to bill haas / @tigerwoods. They deserve the picks,” Bradley, from Hopkinton, Mass., by way of Woodstock, Vt., typed on Twitter Tuesday night. “Although I’m very disappointed, I’m very happy to have been considered. GO USA”
Bradley, who had said he would be “devastated” to be left off the flight to Australia, also copped four top-10s in his tour debut in 2011. Haas’ most recent victory, however, sealed the deal for the son of Couples’ assistant captain, Jay Haas. Indeed, it all came down to last week’s FedEx Cup finale at East Lake Golf Club.
“If Keegan would have finished fourth or fifth last week and Bill would have lost to Hunter Mahan,” Couples said in a Tuesday night conference call with reporters, “the others assistants will tell you that Keegan would have been chosen.”
Couples said he gave Bradley the bad news during a lengthy discussion in which he told the nephew of LPGA Tour Hall of Famer Pat Bradley he may still tee it up at Royal Melbourne Golf Club if team member Steve Stricker can’t play. The captain relayed that information to reporters as well.
“If Steve Stricker is hurt, Keegan will be the pick to take Steve’s spot,” Couples said.
Bradley said he appreciated Couples’ courtesy call.
“Freddie was very nice on the phone and explained to me why he made the picks,” Bradley told Golf Digest’s Tim Rosaforte in a text message. “I totally understand Tiger and Bill are great players. And what Bill did at the Tour Championship was remarkable and he deserved the pick. That’s not saying I’m not very disappointed. I hope to be on many more teams in the future.”
Sticker, No. 4 in the world golf rankings, was scheduled to undergo an MRI on Tuesday. The test was to help determine the extent of the injury to Stricker’s weak left arm, which did not respond as he hoped to a cortisone shot he had before the Tour Championship.