Keegan Bradley wears his New England heritage on his Tommy Hilfiger sleeve, so despite an early tee time on Thursday morning in Philadelphia, the Vermont native was more concerned about how his beloved Boston Bruins would make out in their first Stanley Cup Finals game in Chicago.
“I can’t believe it,” Bradley, citing the game’s 8 p.m. ET puck drop, told the New York Daily News after a Wednesday practice round. “I’ve watched every game [of the Bruins’ playoff run]. I’ve got a 7:10 tee time, but at this course, you’ve got to get here about five. It’ll be tough, but I’ll be checking in.”
Bradley, a huge Patriots fan as well, also offered his sentiments about the team’s newest signing. He said it was “surprising” to learn that ex-Jets backup QB Tim Tebow had enlisted with the three-time Super Bowl winners.
“[Bill] Belichick has always liked [Tebow], so we’ll see. He’s not going to be playing quarterback. I would be shocked if that was the case,” said Bradley, who earlier in the week posted a photo of himself in Tebow’s trademarked “Tebowing” pose. “I’m a loyal Boston fan, so if he’s on the team, I love him.”
If Bradley stayed up to watch the Bruins lose a heartbreaker in the third overtime, by the way, he may have been even sleepier than one of his opening-rounds playing partner, Phil Mickelson. Lefty was due back to Merion very early Thursday after taking a red-eye (on his own private jet) back from San Diego, where he attended his daughter’s eighth-grade graduation ceremony Wednesday night.
Both players may have welcomed the chance for a quick nap after the first of what promises to be many weather delays came at 8:36 a.m. local time, with heavy rains, winds, and a possible tornado bearing down on the soggy course in Ardmore, Pa.
When officials evacuated the course, Bradley, who started on the East Course’s No. 11 for logistical reasons, was at 1-over after sandwiching bogeys on the 11th and 15th holes around a birdie on the par-3 13th. Mickelson was at even-par — three shots back of early leader Ian Poulter, who got off to a blistering, back-to-back-to-back birdie start.
Emily Kay is a regular contributor to New England Golf Monthly. You may follow Kay on Twitter @golfexaminerWHAT'S YOUR REACTION?