As I was scrolling through a season’s worth of posts on ’11 PGA champ Keegan Bradley on Saturday evening, I came across one I’d written at the Bob Hope Classic (where he T7 at his second-career PGA Tour start) nearly seven months ago.
I can’t believe I’d forgotten about Mary Kay Zordani’s bold prediction that Keegan would win a major this season because of her track record over the last few years.
Mary Kay “MK” Zordani, one of Keegan’s amateur playing partners on Friday, has been playing in the Hope for years.
“Arnold (Palmer) said during a media day that if you play with a girl, you’re going to win a major,” said MK. “Keegan is my pick to win one this year.”
The amateurs play with a different pro each of the four rounds at the Hope.
In 2009 she played with both Lucas Glover and Stewart Cink, who went on to win majors a few months later. Last year she was paired with Dustin Johnson, who almost won the US Open (and the PGA Championship, for that matter) until his infamous choke on Sunday.
“When you see a young kid like (Keegan) who hits it long as he does and has a short game to match and a disposition of a champion, you know he’s the real deal,” raved Zordani, who was by far the best amateur in the group and a good player herself. “Look, I have goosebumps talking about it!”
“(Keegan) missed a couple of shots he knew he should have made, but he didn’t get upset and kept his cool. Some of these young kids hit it far, but they don’t have the same composure.”
Now obviously, Keegan would love to win a major — he’s actually never played in one before, so he has to qualify first, but a win this week would take care of that minor detail. And with MK’s history of playing at the Hope with guys who ended up winning (or almost winning) their first majors, I like Keegan’s chances.
“I don’t want to brag, but I might be the good luck charm,” Zordani said laughing.
Now ain’t that something? I happened to be walking with Keegan’s group, along with his dad Mark Bradley on the back nine of La Quinta when MK said to Mark, “I’m telling you now, he’s going to win a major this season..He’s the real deal..I’ve been right the last few years.”
I remember laughing and thinking, “Wow, that’s quite a prediction, but apparently she’s got a pretty good track record, so maybe she’s onto something.” Still, even Keegan admitted it was a bold statement.
Well, turned out MK was right all along! Mind-boggling, huh? Maybe it was just a coincidence, but as she pointed out, it’s become a pattern.
Got that, guys? If you want to win a major, request to play with Zordani I have a feeling she’s going to be rather popular at next season’s event.
*UPDATE, Monday, 9pm*: I don’t always pick up phone calls from numbers I don’t recognize, but I sure am glad I did tonight because it was MK Zordani (who got the message to call me via Pallo105 via MK’s sister or something like that).
It was great chatting with her about the prediction she made months ago (and she’s just a cool lady). I kept wondering what she was thinking when Keegan appeared on the leaderboard, and then of course, won.
Coincidentally, MK had also played with Scott Verplank, who was paired with Keegan in the penultimate group on Sunday, in one of the four rounds at the Hope in January. She told her playing partners that one of the four pros would win a major this season. Keegan was her favorite.
“I’m telling you, he just had it, he was the real, real deal,” said MK, who spends winters in Rancho Mirage, California, and plays out of Tamarisk CC. “It’s very exciting. I’m thrilled for him.”
MK and Keegan have actually stayed in touch. After Keegan captured the Byron Nelson Championship, MK texted him, “You’re well on your way (to a major).”
He wrote back thanking her and saying maybe her prediction could come true. Sure enough, less than three months later, he won a major.
“I texted him back and told him he was going to do it,” said Zordani. “He’s very modest and understated.”
MK is having a great season herself, competing in the amateur ranks. She was the Senior Medalist at the Women’s TRANS National Amateur Championship and hopes to carry the momentum into the Women’s Senior Amateur and Women’s Mid-Amateur next month.
“It’s like I’m a good luck charm,” she said, laughing. “There was Lucas, Stewart and Dustin and this year, I put all my good energy into Keegan. And I’m just really excited for him.”
There definitely is something to MK’s positive juju. Maybe some of it is coincidence, but some individuals can’t help but radiate favorable energy and spread good vibes to those around them.
I can’t wait to see who MK picks next year. I’d also like her to buy a lottery ticket for me.
(AP Photo/David J. Phillip)