Bradley slips, but he’s unfazed

Overnight leader Keegan Bradley struggled with his putting on Thursday and slipped three off the pace, but he remains up beat.

Overnight leader Keegan Bradley struggled with his belly putter on Thursday and slipped three shots off the pace, but he remains up beat.

This not only because he is still firmly in the hunt for the Tour Championship title and, if he wins it, maybe even the FedEx Cup, but also because a victory on Sunday may earn him a wild card for the US Presidents Cup team when its captain Fred Couples makes his pick on Tuesday

Bradley, a nephew of the LPGA Hall of Fame legend Pat Bradley, would certainly have impressed Couples with the way in which he flew in under the radar to grab a surprise but much deserved victory in last month’s final major of the year, The US PGA Championship, and is almost certainly on Couples’s short list – along with Tiger Woods, who the US skipper has already indicated will be handed his first wild card.

That’s certainly one possibility that has Bradley looking forward to the weekend with excitement. The other is that he likes the fact that he will be teeing off on moving Saturday well ahead of second round leader Adam Scott and his closest pursuers
“I’ll be probably an hour or 45 minutes ahead of the leaders tomorrow, be in a really good spot to make a move and put some pressure on the guys ahead of me,” Bradley said after putting his five-under total of 135 on the 30-man scoreboard at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on Friday.

“I’m still right there and I really like this golf course. I just didn’t make many putts today, but I didn’t give myself a lot of good opportunities either,” the 25-year-old American said.

On his chances of making the US Presidents Cup team to take on Greg Norman’s Internationals at Royal Melbourne in November, Bradley said: “It would be unbelievable. I can’t wait for Tuesday to come … just to get it over with, yes or no.”

Earlier on Friday, four-times major winner Phil Mickelson, who has already qualified for the American team, had sung the praises of Bradley, who he saw as a worthy addition to the team and Bradley gratefully acknowledged the support of one of his major Tour mentors by saying: “That means everything. It kind of is a consolation if I don’t get picked.

“Phil, he’s such a good guy, and for him to say good things about my golf game is one of the highlights of my career.”

Had the prospect of playing in the President’s Cup been a distraction this week?” Bradley was asked on Friday.

“It’s just something you’ve got to try not to think about.

“It’s difficult sure, but you’ve just got to do your best to put it out of your mind. It’s going to come in there a little bit, but it’s just something you’ve got to try hard to do.”