Bradley: “I’m going to have the 12 best players on the team”

Mark McGowan

Keegan Bradley (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Mark McGowan

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Freshly minted U.S. Ryder Cup captain Keegan Bradley was as surprised as anybody when he got the call informing him that he’d been selected to lead the United States at Bethpage in 2025.

He’s never made a secret of his passion for the event, saying last year that he hasn’t opened his Ryder Cup suitcases since 2014, and wouldn’t do so until he played a part in a winning Ryder Cup effort, and the news that he’d now get that chance as captain left hi speechless.

“I didn’t have one conversation with anybody about this until I was told I was the captain,” he explained.

“I got a call from Seth [Waugh] and John [Lindert] and Zach [Johnson], and I had trouble talking.

“When they called me, I felt funny after the call because I don’t think I reacted in the way they were expecting me to. I was in complete shock. It was heavy.

“I was a little bit uncomfortable with some of the guys — my idols — that were looked over for this position. I needed a second to figure that out. I don’t think I’ll ever have a bigger surprise in my life.”

Tiger Woods was widely believed to be the frontrunner but took his hat back out of the ring at the 11th hour, citing being preoccupied with working on negotiations between the PGA Tour and the PIF, and that those obligations would prohibit him giving due dilligence to captaining the Ryder Cup side.

As for Bradley, one of the first questions posed to him was whether he’d be open to having LIV players on his team. Brooks Koepka was the sole LIV representative in Rome last year after winning the PGA Championship three months previous, though captain Zach Johnson didn’t consider any other LIV players to be viable candidates.

“I’m going to have the 12 best players on the team,” Bradley said, dismissing any idea that he may let politics interfere with team selection.

“I don’t care where they play. I don’t care about the LIV stuff.”

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