Bradley enjoys benefits of his Major success

Wed, 24 Aug 00:20:00 2011

Keegan Bradley, the surprise winner of this month's US PGA Championship, is still getting used to his new status as a Major winner.

- Bradley enjoys benefits

The 25-year-old was like any other struggling player on the professional circuit until his breakthrough win at the Atlanta Athletic Club catapulted him to a new level.

He pocketed $1.5 million and has the giant Wanamaker Trophy sitting in his living room as a constant reminder of his achievement, but that is the least of what has changed in his life.

Now he gets text messages from NFL quarterbacks and phone calls from golfing greats, as well as some increasingly bizarre personal requests.

"It's been a lot of fun and kind of crazy at the same time," Bradley said.

"Today a kid asked me to sign his forehead. That was weird."

Bradley was speaking at the Plainfield Country Club, the site for The Barclays, the opening tournament of the season-ending FedExCup playoffs.

Ranked 108th in the world, he might hardly have rated a mention in the run-up to the event had he not won the US PGA, but all of a sudden everybody wants to contact him.

"I woke up on Tuesday morning and I looked at my phone and I had a text from (New England quarterback) Tom Brady, my absolute childhood hero," Bradley gushed.

"I almost thought about just keeping it to myself because that's how much Tom Brady is to me and my career and everything. To get a text from him reaching out to me was a highlight of my career.

"I got a call from Greg Norman, I swear to God, like something happens every day that I can't believe."

Students at the nearby St John's University, where Bradley studied until a few years ago, have now adopted him as their new role model.

Earlier this week, he played a practice round with golfers in the University team he used to play for and he even stayed overnight with the budding young players at the University's new golf house.

"I got to hang out with the guys and talk to them and answer any questions," he said.

"They are looking at me as maybe the guy that they look up to on tour, which is a huge honour for me.

"They give me inspiration. I was only there three years ago. It's cool to look at them and know I'm one of them and they are one of me."

Another tangible sign of Bradley's elevated status was his grouping for the opening round of The Barclays. His playing partners were his fellow American Phil Mickelson and British world number one Luke Donald.

"I'm looking forward to it. I've never played with Phil in a tournament before," Bradley said.

"I know it's going to be a little crazy, but I am also looking forward to playing with Luke Donald.

"I just joined a club down in Florida that he's a member at and look forward to getting to know him."

Reuters

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