(Photo: bubbawatsongolf.com)

Reigning PGA and Masters champs Keegan Bradley and Bubba Watson yukked it up with good buddy and newly crowned U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson at the Travelers Championship in Connecticut last month, and then Watson said on Monday that Bradley was a shoo-in to win this week’s British Open.

“We’re going to change that this week,” Watson told reporters about the streak of 15 different golfers grabbing the brass ring at the last 15 majors. “Keegan Bradley, he’s going to win.” (Simpson took a pass on this week’s event to be home with his wife, who is expecting the couple’s second child.)

Now 24th-ranked Bradley has tipped his visor in Watson’s direction, telling Reuters that No. 6, Bubba from Bagdad, will collect the Claret Jug come Sunday at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

“I’ll pick Bubba to win this week, how about that?” Bradley said following a practice session on the driving range Wednesday morning.

Reuters noted that the native New Englander and 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was excited to play in his first Open Championship.

“I feel great. This is a great golf course for me. I’ve been here a while so I’m ready to get going,” said Bradley. “I look forward to getting started and experiencing the whole atmosphere and what it’s all about.”

Bradley will play his first two rounds with No. 2 Rory McIlroy and 2010 British Open champ Louis Oosthuizen.


Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminer