His PGA Championship win a mere hours behind him, Keegan Bradley got the call Monday from golf’s Hall of Fame. Sure, the first major title was special to the tour rookie, but the Hall was not quite ready to induct the 25-year-old from Vermont into its hallowed chamber.
The request was an honor, nonetheless. Curators wanted Bradley to ship a reproduction of the almost 47-inch Odyssey White Hot XB Sabertooth belly putter he employed in Sunday’s playoff win over Jason Dufner so they could show it off in his Aunt Pat’s locker at the St. Augustine, Fla., archive, according to Helen Ross of PGATour.com.
Until this season, the only Bradley, of the New England Bradleys, with a top-echelon professional golf pedigree was Keegan’s Aunt Pat, a Hall of Famer with 31 LPGA Tour victories. She also owns six majors and notched three of them in 1986, the year her nephew was born.
As several pundits — and even his famous relative — have noted, the Bradley with his name etched on the Wanamaker Trophy has more than earned the right to stand alone, without the “Pat’s nephew” tag line.
“It’s time for Keegan to make his own history in the game,” Cape Cod resident Pat Bradley told PGATour.com’s Amanda Balionis.
The two-time tour winner with the famous bloodline, however, relishes his relationship with his accomplished auntie.
“She’s just one of my heroes and to be kind of able to talk to her about winning a major, which we’ve both done, is ridiculous,” Keegan Bradley told Ross. “It’s pretty cool.”
Who knows if the World Golf Hall of Fame would have called had Bradley not won the tourney with a controversial flat stick? It doesn’t matter, because, for now, the long bat that helped him gut out an improbable win from five back with three to play will stand tall next to the cow bell Aunt Pat’s mom clanged from her Westford, Mass., porch each time her daughter posted a W on tour.
Keegan’s aunt could not be happier to share the limelight.
“Every time I talk to her I can’t believe how excited she is for me to win,” Bradley told Ross. “She told me she was very very proud, that she was just glad to be able to watch it.”
(Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. Check her out on the Waggle Room, Boston Golf Examiner, National Golf Examiner, and GottaGoGolf websites. You may also follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer.)WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?