via Imago

via Imago

Keegan Bradley as the Ryder Cup captain is definitely a surprise, but a pleasant one for the players. Earlier, Max Homa, Rickie Fowler, and others lent their support to the future captain and PGA Tour colleague. This time, Jordan Spieth weighs in on what makes Bradley an ideal choice. 

Bradley’s Ryder Cup record might not spark enthusiasm: he played only twice in 2012 and 2014 on the losing side. The St. John’s golf alumni was 4-3 in his two appearances. Spieth and Bradley’s other PGA Tour colleagues believed it was hard to find someone more passionate than Keegan Bradley. 

The three-time major winner said, “Just look at the passion he plays with week in week out, let alone in Ryder Cups and big events. He is a guy everybody can get behind.” Interestingly, Jordan Spieth backed the six-time PGA Tour winner heavily in the virtual meeting that sealed Bradley’s fate. 


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There are some choices that don’t sound like a lot of fun. Playing for Keegan sounds like fun,” Spieth was quoted by an insider source in a report on Athletic. The meeting helmed by PGA of America CEO, Seth Waugh, also included Justin Thomas, PGA of America president John Lindert, vice president Don Rea and U.S. team manager John Wood. 

Homa earlier said, “I love Keegan, he’s high-energy, he’s very kind, I feel like he’s very thoughtful and I think he cares quite a bit about the Ryder Cup as well, so the passion will be there.” Whereas, Fowler supported the decision by dubbing it ‘great change’. Xander Schauffele, on the other hand, expressed his surprise, but believed, ‘it’s going to be really interesting and fun to see, Bradley doing the captain’s job given his passion for the biennial showdown.

After losing the 2012 Ryder Cup Bradley famously said he wouldn’t unpack the returning bag unless he turned the tide. He missed that chance in 2014 and was not picked in the later editions. Last year, Bradley was hopeful of entering the squad, but Zach Johnson decided otherwise.

The 38-year-old said in the Netflix docu-series, “I  just hope, some day, I get to win a Ryder Cup and open that thing and just have a peace-of-mind moment, because I’m thinking about the Ryder Cup every second of every day.” Some consider sympathy to be the driving force behind the strange choice. However, that was not the case.

How and why did Keegan Bradley become the ‘chosen one’? 


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In many ways, Keegan Bradley will break the mold. Firstly, at 39 in 2025, the six-time PGA Tour winner will be the youngest Ryder Cup captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963. More importantly, Bradley doesn’t bring the wealth of experience as a vice-captain, a requirement established by the Ryder Cup task force. 

The task force was created in the wake of the 2014 Ryder Cup debacle in Scotland. It established a pathway for future captains via the vice-captain route, something which Keegan Bradley jumped. But as Fowler said, “You can’t expect to do the same things and hope for better outcomes.

Seth Waugh, the outgoing CEO of the PGA of America, picked Bradley’s name as a signal of change. In the last few editions, the age gap between captains, and vice captains with the team members was growing. The people steering the ship were unfamiliar with the current PGA Tour scenario, the selecting committee felt. 


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Bradley is expected to bridge the gap. Moreover, the 38-year-old is known for his amiable nature and willingness to work with players irrespective of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf divide, something he also affirmed in the press conference. Moreover, as a St. John’s alumni, the Bethpage Black in New York is sort of the home turf for the now Florida resident.

Bradley is also known to be close with Luke Donald, the opponent captain and a fellow member of the Bear’s Club. The former major winner is expected to usher in Donald-like changes in the USA team. Hence, when Bradley’s name came up, the committee members unanimously agreed. The one and half hour meeting through other names, was wrapped up in less than five minutes.