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St. John’s Hall of Famer Keegan Bradley Named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain

St. John’s Hall of Famer Keegan Bradley Named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain
St. John’s Hall of Famer Keegan Bradley Named U.S. Ryder Cup Captain

The news that St. John’s Hall of Fame member Keegan Bradley has been named the 31st U.S. Ryder Cup captain shocked the golf world on Monday morning.

Tiger Woods turned down the opportunity to lead the U.S. team, citing that he did not have the time required for the job. Therefore, the opportunity was offered to Bradley, who accepted.

It comes nearly a year after Bradley was passed over as a captain’s pick to play in the 2023 Ryder Cup by then-United States captain Zach Johnson. Johnson chose Justin Thomas, Jordan Speith and Rickie Fowler, some of his closest friends, as his final selections over Bradley.

“I was devastated. It took me a while to get over that. My whole family, we were devastated,” Bradley said at his captain’s press conference Tuesday afternoon.

This year the tables turned when Johnson, who was heavily criticised after the United States’ huge defeat, called Bradley to tell him he would be the next captain of the US Ryder Cup team in Bethpage Black.

“I feel terrible about what he’s had to go through, and I’m honored that he called.”

Keegan Bradley, who will be 39 when the September 2025 event begins, will become the United States’ youngest Ryder Cup captain since Arnold Palmer, 34, in 1963.

The 2011 PGA champion said his entire St. John’s golf team was in attendance at his Tuesday press conference and told a story about how he and his teammates were scheduled to play holes 3-14 at Bethpage Black when the course was closed on Mondays during his four years in Queens.

One day during his senior year, he and George Zolotas decided to cross the road and play the rest of the course, which they were explicitly not supposed to do, and were cited for trespassing by the police. The situation did not sit well with St. John’s coach Frank Darby, who was also present, but serves as one of many stories on the historic course for Keegan Bradley.

“It was a great memory,” said Bradley, who was inducted into the St. John’s Hall of Fame in 2020 after earning nine individual wins during his collegiate career at the school, which ranks second in program history.

The Massachusetts native didn’t mince his words when asked about potentially captaining the Ryder Cup team. Bradley said he wants to compete with the United States, but he will only play if he qualifies for the points-based selection, which automatically produces the Top Six players.

He said he will not appoint himself as captain unless other team members really insist that he plays.

Bradley has competed in two Ryder Cups, in 2012 and 2014, compiling a 4–2 record in his matches, despite the United States losing the event on each occasion.

Keegan Bradley still has a lot to look forward to in the run-up to the 2025 Ryder Cup, but he is keen to win the trophy back for the United States of America.