Archive for August 7th, 2012

Keegan Bradley Irene Fundraiser and Yahoo Win Analysis

20120807-134223.jpgKeegan Bradley is sponsoring a Tropical Storm Irene Fundraiser here in Woodstock at the Woodstock Inn and Resort Country Club coming up on August 27th.  Anyone who likes to hit little pock-marked white balls a long, long way while walking or riding carts through a park-like setting,  is buzzing about this event. It includes a brunch, golf clinics, a tournament, a cocktail reception and an awards ceremony and raffle. Funds garnered from the event will go to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund.  For more info about Keegan, who was named the Professional Golf Association’s 2011 Rookie of the Year, and about the charity event go to Keegan’s website.

Now, as many of you know Woodstock’s Keegan Bradley (Can we claim him? We’ll claim him!) won the PGA Bridgestone Championship Golf Tournament in Ohio last week and as a result is getting quite a bit of national press. In fact, today, at a different tournament on Kiawah Island, Bradley was tee’ing off with none other than the infamous Tiger Woods.

While we, here at Woodstock Early Bird,  don’t follow golf, we know lots of Woodstock Early Birds who do, so thought we’d share this “on-pass” article sent to us by a new Woodstock Early Bird fan who also happens to be a Keegan fan. The following article is from Yahoo Sports written by Brian Murphy:

Keegan Bradley’s biorhythm talk evoked Jerry Garcia, but it’s Jim Furyk whose game was dead
Sun, Aug 5, 2012 11:51 PM EDT (photo from the Associated Press)

Now we’re talking.

The golf world barrels into the final major of the year, this week’s PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, S.C., with drama, big names, crazed stares, emphatic fist pumps, more tragedy and, of course, biorhythms.

All were on display in a memorable World Golf Championships Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone in Ohio. While Keegan Bradley should be massively praised for his Sunday 64, his steely up-and-down for par from a bunker on the 72nd hole and for adding a WGC title to last year’s PGA Championship, you know I’m homing in on the biorhythms.

Keegan Bradley has a unique style that makes him easy to root for on the PGA Tour. (AP)

After all, this is the week Deadheads around the world celebrated what would have been the late Jerry Garcia’s 70th birthday. And here comes a wild-eyed kid from New England, oozing intensity and summoning his best at the most important moments, citing “biorhythms” in both his Saturday night press conference, and again live on CBS with Peter Kostis moments after securing his big win. I’m seeing a connection here.

Bradley believes the upcoming anniversary of his major championship win carries with it particles of good energy, apparently. And that’s what’s fun about Keegan Bradley. He’s different.
He exudes originality. His deep knee-bend maintained throughout his swing, his quick pace of play, his ability to stare down a shot as if he’s trying to actually burn a hole into the golf ball with his eyes … all these factors make up one of the Tour’s more compelling characters.

And he’ll talk biorhythms, which makes me think that his Vermont background may have brought him in contact with the band Phish, a Vermont-based jam band with a cult following like the Grateful Dead, all of whom live in a world where praising biorhythms is acceptable.

Yes, he uses a belly putter. This is the only uncool thing about Bradley, and only goes to prove the world is imperfect. The rest of his act is refreshing. He even chugs bottled water on a tee box with intensity, because he’s incapable of an alternate method.

Starting the day four shots behind Jim Furyk (we’ll get to him in our next chapter), Bradley played bogey-free golf, surging with birdies on Nos. 3, 7, 10, 11 and 14 to climb within one shot of Furyk, who wasn’t playing poorly at all. At No. 16, things got even more fun when Furyk made a 20-footer for birdie, and Bradley answered with a 12-footer on top of him to stay one back.

At 17, Bradley was so keyed up he seemingly willed two massive breaks: A drive left kicked off a spectator for a favorable lie, and an overcooked approach bounced off the grandstands to keep hope alive. He paid off his debt with an otherworldly chip from the rough for a kick-in par, and off to 18 we went, Furyk one up on Bradley, two up on a game Louis Oosthuizen.

It was there when Bradley’s entire look struck me through the hi-def. He roped his drive, and then never took his eyes off it. A year ago, none of us knew who he was (yes, he’d won the Byron Nelson, but still), and yet looking at him laser-focused on his tee shot on 18 at Firestone, we saw a “Keegan Bradley Moment”: lanky frame bent at the waist, ice-blue eyes locked on his Srixon golf ball, a red visor perched atop his mop of dark hair, and … never … fixing … his … gaze … elsewhere. You could have banged pots and pans next to his ears, and he wouldn’t have known you were there.

That he missed the green with his second? All part of the drama. That he had a 15-footer for par knowing it might give him the win? All part of his comfort zone, reaching deepest when he needs it most. (The man can putt, by the way. His 104 putts were 18 fewer than Tiger Woods’ unsightly 122.) We saw the same at Riviera in February, when he made a 20-footer to get in a playoff and nearly levitated with energy when he rolled it in. In the CBS booth Sunday, Nick Faldo called him “one of the best ‘intensity players’ out there,” and when the network replayed his fist pump in super slo-mo, Jim Nantz dryly observed: “That’ll knock you out.”

Another quote came to mind that might relate to the kid who cited “biorhythms.” It comes from Garcia, the Grateful Dead legend, who famously said of his band, and of life in general:
“You don’t want merely to be considered the best of the best. You want to be considered the only ones who do what you do.”

That’ll work for young Keegan Bradley, just 26 years old, doing what he does.
SCORECARD OF THE WEEK
63-66-70-69 – 12-under 268, Jim Furyk, tie-2nd, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, Firestone C.C., Akron, Ohio.