‘I would love to be back on US team’: Australian Open to fire Cup push
It may be his first trip to these shores in a long time, but Australian Open drawcard Keegan Bradley wants to use a Stonehaven Cup tilt to force his way into Tiger Woods' calculations for next year's Presidents Cup.
The 32-year-old will head a posse of American pros eyeing a first Australian Open, which will be without recent crowd pullers Jason Day, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth in 2018.
Bradley joked his last cash-strapped visit to Australia was for a second tier event on the American tour where he bunkered down in less than luxurious accommodation on the outskirts of Melbourne.
But he'll come back to Australia as a winner at golf elite's level, claiming the 2011 USPGA in his first major, as well as being a former top 10 player desperate to be part of the American team for next year's Presidents Cup.
"Im starting to realistically look at that and say, Ive got a good shot to be on that team," Bradley said. "I could have said in the past, I want to make this team', but it wasnt realistic.
"But its realistic for me to play my way onto that team. I would love to do that and to get back on a US team would mean a lot to me and its something that really drives me to keep going."
Bradley was left off the American team for their recent Ryder Cup defeat to Europe in Paris, a squad which will reassemble for the Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne in November next year.
I havent won overseas and that would be a really great thing to add to my resume and have in my career
Woods looms as a playing captain after his stellar comeback this season against an International side to be led by the Australian charge of Day, Scott, Marc Leishman and Cameron Smith, who has committed to play next month's national championship at The Lakes.
"I havent won overseas and that would be a really great thing to add to my resume and have in my career," Bradley said.
"Ive tried over the years to play globally as much as I can. Ive always loved watching these events when Im at home, its kind of a downtime for me and I always tuned in to watch these great tournaments and Im super excited to be down there playing.
"Ive had to put in a lot of work to be at the point I am now and I feel Im better equipped than ever. Im really looking forward to this year knowing Im in all four majors and I can kind of plan my schedule around those."
World no.32 Bradley will join compatriots Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker and Brendan Steele, a quartet which has won 23 PGA Tour titles between them, in the Australian Open field.
Adam Pengilly is a Sports reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald.