Golf / Sports

Quirky Keegan Bradley has his hands clean, bags packed

AKRON, Ohio -- Keegan Bradley has developed a bit of a reputation among the PGA Tour with regards to his personality.

Quirky. Unique. Odd. Peculiar.

These are a few words you might hear used to describe Bradley, whose pre-shot approach has been described as a game of Red Light, Green Light.

Bradley takes longer than most to hit his ball, jittering around and stepping forward and backward a seemingly random number of times while eyeing up his ball and sight lines.

"If you watch the guy play golf, he's got a few quirks going on with him," Brandt Snedeker said. "He's not exactly all there."

The idiosyncratic legend of Bradley grew by two on Thursday, the first round of the annual World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club.

Well, it actually started to grow the day before.

In a news conference after Wednesday's practice round, Rickie Fowler revealed that Bradley is a bit superstitious when it comes to trophies, cups or jackets that he hasn't won.

"It's like there's a glow around the Claret Jug that he can't get within, like, an inch," Fowler said. "He can get close to look at it, but we didn't want to push him into it. Something bad might have happened."

Fowler was previously on the fence about trophy superstitions, but stopped believing when Phil Mickelson won the British Open after having previously having taken a drink out of the Claret Jug. Snedeker, Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia all denied having any superstition's like Bradley's.

But Bradley is still a believer.

"I don't touch any trophy that I haven't won," Bradley said. "Before I won the PGA Championship, they wanted me to hold the Wanamaker Trophy for a promotion and I wouldn't do it. They probably thought I was being a jerk, but that's my superstition. I've had chances to touch the Claret Jug and drink out of it. I just was with Rory 1/8McIlroy3/8 last week with it. I don't touch them unless I've won them."

Part of it could be that Bradley might jinx himself by touching one of the trophies. But really, Bradley just wants the satisfaction of having earned one before he touches it. And he doesn't mind withholding that pleasure.

"A couple years ago, I went to dinner with Phil," Bradley said. "People were drinking out of 1/8the Claret Jug3/8 and touching it and taking pictures with it. They thought I was weird then that I wouldn't touch it. Then I just was with Rory. We walked in his house and it was, like, sitting on his counter. I mean, I'll look at it and check it out. It just makes it that much more special.

"When I do get a chance to hopefully hold those, it will be for the first time."

Bradley apparently takes a similar approach to unpacking suitcases as he does touching trophies.

Snedeker revealed after his round that Bradley still hasn't unpacked his suitcase from the Ryder Cup nearly two years ago. Though it would be easy to assume, given Bradley's reputation, that Snedeker was exaggerating or joking around. Bradley put those assumptions to rest.

"It's sitting in my house," Bradley said. "I actually just saw it before I left. For a split second, I thought about opening it to get a little motivation just to see what was in there. I'm not even 100 percent sure what is in there. There's dirty clothes, I know that, but we're going to hopefully wait. I want to play on that Ryder Cup team. If good stuff happens, I'll open up."

The top nine Ryder Cup points leaders make the roster. Bradley currently sits in 16th, so the unpacking might have to wait.

"I'm a really weird guy," Bradley said. "I do a lot of weird stuff."

(c)2014 Akron Beacon Journal (Akron, Ohio)

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