Keegan Bradley was back home on Monday to take part in a charity golf outing to raise funds for hurricane relief. This week marked the first time since high school that the three-time PGA Tour winner had returned to his Vermont roots and the Woodstock golf course where he honed his trade.
Thanks to a missed cut at last week’s Barclays tournament, the first in a series of four FedEx Cup matches that continues this week with the Deutsche Bank Championship, Bradley made his way north from New York’s Bethpage Black sooner than expected.
“Driving on 91 n in Vermont passing the Bennington exit,” @Keegan_Bradley tweeted on Saturday. “Maybe stop for a quick round at Mt Anthony.” With Bradley adding the hashtag “mtagony” to his Twitter blast, we’re guessing the 115-year-old Mt. Anthony Country Club was not among Bradley’s favorites.
Woodstock Inn & Resort Golf Club, on the other hand, brought back fond memories for the second-year tour pro.
“The people of Woodstock and the country club here always believed in me more than anybody,” Bradley told reporters at the site of the Keegan Bradley 2012 Charity Golf Classic, established to help victims of last year’s Hurricane Irene. “And that meant a lot to me personally. I don’t think they knew quite exactly what was coming in the long run but they took such good care of me here. They didn’t owe me anything and they just let me come out here and play and work on my game, which is what a lot of clubs should learn from, what they did for me here at Woodstock.”
As is the norm these days whenever the tour’s 2011 Rookie of the Year visits New England, Bradley’s entourage included his father, Mark, and his aunt, LPGA Tour Hall of Famer Pat Bradley.
Mark Bradley, a ubiquitous presence during last year’s Deutsche Bank event, and likely to be on hand when the tour makes its annual stop at TPC Boston starting Friday, was the pro at Woodstock Country Club when his son was a school kid. He is now a golf instructor at the Jackson Hole Golf and Tennis Club in Wyoming.
“Basically what happened is, Hurricane Irene hit this place. I called Keegan and I said, ‘You need to go home. You need to go home and do something,’” the 2011 PGA champ’s father told the crowd gathered for the day’s festivities. “It took a little while but here he is, Keegan Bradley.”
The Vermont Disaster Relief Fund expected to raise between $75,000 and $100,000 from golf fees, sponsorships, and a raffle, according to Vermont Public Radio.
Next up for the younger Bradley is the Deutsche Bank tourney, where the 26-year-old fan favorite hoped to fare better on home turf than he did last year, when he missed the cut.