Keegan Bradley fulfilled his childhood “dream” of the Travelers Championship title

CROMWELL, Connecticut — Sometimes, you can want for something also in a bad manner.

Keegan Bradley wanted to win the Travelers Championship a lot in the 12 times he tried before this week.

He’s a native New Englander, grew up in Vermont, and spent his youth attending tournament as a fan dreaming of moments like the one he had on Sunday at TPC River Highlands.

It wasn’t as easy as it looked, as Bradley was boat racing in the field most of the day.

But, after building a six-shot lead to nine shots in the back, Bradley wiggled and wiggled along the stretch, but never fell.

Finally, the 37-year-old nephew of LPGA Tour legend Pat Bradley, who played college golf at St. John’s, stuck with it and realized the dream he’d had since chasing his favorite player, David Duvall, in this tournament as a player. Adolescence.

Bradley’s sixth PGA Tour win would be his dearest.

He won the 2011 PGA Championship in his first professional start in a major, but he didn’t realize the significance of it because he came so fast.

It’s the kind of thing Bradley’s been waiting for his whole life, and after some crunch moments, he captured it, finishing 23-under-par — three shots ahead of runners-up Zack Blair and Brian Harman and four better than world number 1 Scotty. Scheffler, Patrick Cantlay, and Chase Revie.

“Today was a day I will remember for the rest of my life,” Bradley said. “I can’t believe it yet. Sounds like a dream. It was a really stressful day. I’m so glad it’s over. I don’t think I’ve ever had a week where I put everything together like this. This is the best golf I have ever played. This has been my dream since I was a little kid. It is very rare to live your dreams. ”

Bradley, who went to sleep one shot ahead of Revy, revealed that on Saturday night he had a bad dream or two.

“I had two dreams that I woke up to last night shooting out of bounds,” he said. “Like nightmares.”

Bradley didn’t hit a bad putt until he shot his tee shot on the par-5 13th hole, which he plugged into the lake to the right of the fairway.

That led to a bogey, which led to another bogey on the 14th after drawing a bad lie and then a par that looked like a bogey on the short drivable par-4 15th.

Another bogey followed on the 16 and suddenly Bradley had gone the first 66 holes of the tournament with one shot down and now he had dropped three of four holes, whittling the lead from six shots down to a nervous three with numbers 17 and 18 to play. .

Bradley bag Scott Fell told The Post he didn’t say anything to his player until jersey number 17, telling him: “There’s been no one here better than you this week. Let’s just do these next two holes. ”

And he figured a way, and hit a great ball on the 17th, which was the only hole you could make [big] Really number,” referring to the lake on the right side of the driveway.

“Man, that was exhausting,” Bradley said of the 17th kickoff. This was a win or lose golf tournament. What a great shot, one of the best I’ve ever had. ”

Walking into the 18th with the championship in hand and fans chanting his name was magic for Bradley, a rabid fan of every Boston sports team.

“I dreamed my whole life of playing at Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, and I felt very close to what that would be like,” he said.

He entered the day 0-for-4 to close out a career-high 54 holes.

Four years ago, Bradley was paired in the final group with Revie, the eventual winner who led by six shots in the final round and nearly lost as Bradley ran.

But a double-bogey on the 17th hole hampered Bradley’s chances of a rustic overtake.

“I’m sure he wanted this more than I knew,” Phil said. “I don’t know how to deal with it. That was a lot of pressure over the years as he wanted this tournament to be really bad and probably did himself a disservice by wanting it so badly.

Phil believes the key to Bradley’s victory on Sunday was the presence of his family, his wife Jillian, and his two sons, Logan and Cooper, “so he was busy every night, with the mind not being able to race very far.”

Rory McIlroy, who bowled early from behind with birdies on five of his first eight holes on Sunday, described Bradley’s performance as “incredible – especially when it’s kind of like his home tournament.”

“I know what that pressure feels like when I come back to Ireland and play the Irish Open,” McIlroy said. “So, for him to do what he’s doing is really admirable. ”

Within minutes after his victory, Bradley revealed that he had received text messages from Michael Jordan and others from Aaron Rodgers.

“It means a lot,” Bradley said, “even though he’s playing for the Jets now.”

Then turning serious, he said, “When you get a text from an athlete, it’s different because they know what goes into doing something like that and it means a lot.”

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