If you’ve paid any attention to the telecast of the Northern Trust Open, you may have noticed Keegan Bradley (along with a number of other players including Rickie Fowler and Chris Kirk) Sharpie’d a “PC” on his hat. It’s a tribute to Peter Curran — the father of Bradley’s roommate Jon Curran — who lost his battle to cancer earlier this week.
“I kind of feel like I’ve got some good luck on my side,” said Keegan, who shot five-under 66 to take a share of the lead with last week’s champ Phil Mickelson going into Sunday’s final round at Riviera. “I know (Curran family and friends) are all watching. I’d love to go out there and play well for him and the Curran family tomorrow.”
Bradley made an emphatic fist-pump after draining a ten-footer for par on the 18th to guarantee a spot in the final group with Mickelson, whom he considers a friend and mentor.
“That’s kind of why I was excited to make that putt on the last hole,” he said. “I kind of figured that might be to get in the final group with Phil. Yeah, I would love it. I really hope strongly that’s how it is.”
So be it. Bradley will play in the final starting time at 10:25PT with Phil and Bryce Molder, who matched Keegan’s 66 for Saturday’s low round.
The reigning PGA champ only needed five putts in the last five holes today (he was on the front fringe on 18). It’s no surprise he leads the field in three putting categories — strokes gained (2.875), putts per round (25) and putting average (1.552).
Interestingly enough, last year at this time he was already home in Jupiter, Florida, after three-putting his last hole at Riviera to miss the cut by one. He said he sulked for the entire week.
“I was so devastated that I missed the cut,” said Bradley, who plans on taking the redeye back East on Sunday night to attend Peter Curran’s memorial service. “I specifically remember missing this cut just because I love the course so much and how bummed out I was. I have come a long way. It doesn’t seem like a year ago, it seems like about five years ago. I can barely remember it, honestly.”
“It’s pretty remarkable to see in one year, I get to come back here as a major champion, a tournament winner, and have a chance to win.”
Oh, the difference a year can make.
(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)