by Jeff Skinner
The August issue of Golf Magazine featured Keegan Bradley on the cover and the title read “Keegan Bradley: How to Be Clutch, 5 Ways to Play to Play Your Best Golf When It Matters Most.” Consider it a premonition.
Bradley was as clutch as clutch can be at The WGC Bridgestone Invitational yesterday as he came from four strokes off the lead to snatch the win from a faltering Jim Furyk. His furious 31 on the back nine was highlighted by a putter that seemed unworldly.
He rolled in putt after putt and when Furyk botched the final hole Bradley rolled in a fifteen footer like it was on railroad tracks to the hole. It was another clutch putt from the aptly named Mr. Clutch.
Bradley came into the WGC struggling. Since his T4 at The Shell Houston Open back in April he managed nothing better than a T24 in the last three months. After a phenomenal 2011 with two wins including the PGA Championship he had hit a bit of a sophomore slump. But that was put to rest yesterday as he became the eleventh player to win a major and a WGC event. He looks to have found his form just in time to defend his PGA title this week at Kiawah Island.
After missing out on last year’s Presidents Cup Bradley desperately wanted a spot on the Ryder Cup Team. He is now fourth on the Ryder Cup Points list and assured of a spot on the team.
Bradley’s PGA Championship and this WGC victory were highlighted by him dropping long, breaking pressure filled putts. He wields that belly butter like it’s a part of him. And maybe Golf Magazine was right, maybe there’s a new Mr. Clutch on tour. We’ll see soon enough as Bradley will try to keep it going with back to back PGA Championships. That long putter will certainly need to stay hot and if he can win it Mr. Clutch won’t be the only title he wears, how about Best Young American Golfer.