2025 Ryder Cup: Keegan Bradley didn’t know he was a candidate for the USA captaincy until he was invited

Keegan Bradley had been there before. Last year, Zach Johnson, the U.S. captain at the 2023 Ryder Cup, told Bradley on the phone that he had not made the team and would not be playing in Rome. This year, he reports to America’s PGA Bradley Take Johnson’s place on the Bethpage block in 2025.

The other difference between the calls? Bradley didn’t know he was coming.

„I didn’t have a conversation with anybody about it until I was told the captain,” Bradley shared his complete shock during an introductory press conference on Tuesday. “I got a call from Seth [Waugh, PGA of America CEO] And John [Lindert, PGA of America president] And Zach, and I had trouble speaking.

„When they called me, I felt funny after the call because I think I didn’t react the way they expected — my idols — I needed a second to find this position, I didn’t think I would have a big surprise in my life.

One of those idols was Tiger Woods, who turned down the captaincy because he didn’t think he could devote enough time to the job to lead the Americans to victory. Woods has been embroiled in negotiations between the PGA Tour and Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund as the two entities attempt to build on the current framework agreement to reunite the golf world.

Bradley said he spoke to Woods before accepting the captaincy and was supportive of Tiger taking on the role. Bradley added that he was almost embarrassed by the quality of the candidates he had chosen.

„Seth said to me something like, 'Your number has been called; it’s time for you to move on,'” Bradley shared. „When he told me, it hit me that this is a tough job, this is a team that believes in me. It’s time to be the captain of this team.”

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Bradley praised the call from Johnson a year ago in favor of Justin Thomas, Rickie Fowler and Sam Burns. Johnson is on a panel that includes other PGA executives and players such as Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Helped to choose.

„The phone rang and it was Seth Waugh,” Bradley said. „I answered that and he had some incredible news that I had no clue about. It was Zach Johnson who told me I was going to be the Ryder Cup captain in 2025.

„I think it speaks to the kind of man and person Zach Johnson is. I have so much respect for him. He’s one of my idols when I first came on tour and I’m in awe. I’m so proud of what he has to do, that he invited me, this I am going to represent the result to the best of my ability and I am very excited.

When asked why the PGA chose Bradley over other hypothetical candidates like Stewart Sink and Steve Striker, Lindert said Bradley checked a lot of boxes.

„When Keegan’s name was mentioned, it was a slam dunk. … We had a list. We went through the list and we were all looking at the list. Keegan’s name jumped out. As soon as it was mentioned. , 'Keegan Bradley,’ it was, 'Yeah, Absolutely, 100%’.”

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