Keegan Bradley on his way to a third round 71 on #AusOpenGolf. Credit: Getty Images.
He came in Australia for only the second time in his life "trending up" in terms of performance. Six and ninety in his two most recent starts on the PGA Tour, 24-undershot for those eight rounds and just a few months away from his first PGA Tour victory in over six years, Keegan Bradley is clearly a man near such a thing as a top form.
And not much of the 32-year-old American has done since he landed in Sydney for this 103rd Australian Open at The Lakes suggests he will not be right in the middle of things in the fourth round. His end to the third round was a bit scrappy – two bogeys marred his card over the last five holes – but at seven-under-par after a 71, the 2011 USPGA Championship remains a "lurker." Six-shots back and equal with the third in addition to Marcus Fraser with 18-hole play, Bradley is one name the leader, Abraham Ancer, will certainly keep a close eye on the final round.
"I played very well," said the world number-30 which ended four times in the top-20 winners of the PGA Tour en route to more than $ 23 million in career earnings (until now). "I'm a little disappointed about how I'm done, but it was really tough, everything was a good score, it was a challenge in that wind, it was very dirty and very loud blowing.
"And yes, I wish I was a little closer to Abraham, he played really good golf, and the round he played today (65) is one of the best I've seen this year, but you never know. There are low scores and I am looking forward to doing that tomorrow. "
A small setback is nothing new for Bradley. In the course of his ten-year professional career, things did not always go smoothly with the Vermont resident. A devotee of the now illegal (anchored) abdominal sputter – he was the first man in history to win a big championship with such a club – Bradley has suffered immensely since that style of moves was officially banned on January 1, 2016. That year, using a putter of normal length in the traditional way, he was an underground 183th in succeeded wells & # 39; from the PGA Tour. In other words, he was nonsense on the greens compared to his competition.
That does not mean that he was exactly brilliant. Even in 2011, when he won his Major and was rookie of the year on the PGA Tour, Bradley was no better than 105th in "succeeded" on the greens. His success in that year was more a product of long driving (average 300.7) -yards) and accuracy (.683 strokes-winning the tee). So this twofold Ryder Cup player has always been more known for his ball-striking than his ability to exhaust.
"I'm still trying to get statistical to where I was with my stomach," he says about his new method, with the shaft of his putter running his left arm in the style, also in the service of Players-champion Webb Simpson. "The abdominal sputter was a harder transition than I thought, and I dropped out of the radar for a while, and it's hard to get out of Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams to the top 100 in the world.
"But every week that I play – and clearly won – has given me a lot of confidence in the future, I have much more contact with this stylist, my lagging faster greens is a lot better, and I've really made huge improvements over the past year."
He must also get better in the last round. But a 65 would certainly make it interesting.