Keegan Bradley Gets Sage Advice, Proves He Can Play With a Short Putter at 2014 Memorial Tournament

By Brandon Raper
Keegan Bradley Memorial Tournament Short Putter
Getty Images

For most golfers, the number that you put up on the scoreboard normally gets a lot more attention than what’s in your bag. However, there are still a few guys who are known for their equipment. Bubba Watson is known for his pink driver. Phil Mickelson has his custom-built “Phrankenwood”. Keegan Bradley has his long putter.

Until this week, that is.

Bradley has had a tough season in 2014. He hasn’t been bad; far from it, for the most part. However, after missing the cut at both the Masters and The Players Championship, and struggling with the flat stick at the Byron Nelson Championship, he felt he needed to make a change.

Surely, switching from an anchored putter to a more conventional model is a drastic change. With so much of a player’s success on the PGA Tour riding on what he can do on the green, and with the US Open just two weeks away, it couldn’t have been an easy decision, right?

So Bradley did what any good boy would do. He talked to his mom about it. Bradley told USA TODAY that he had been “bummed” about golf, and needed something to get him excited again. It looks like this did the trick.

Of course, Mom wasn’t the only person who helped in the decision to game the short putter. Bradley also spent time on the links with none other than basketball legend and golf addict Michael Jordan in Florida to help prepare mentally.

“And I told him I really wanted him to chirp at me, make me uncomfortable, which he’s good at,” Bradley said. “And we just kept playing and playing. And I felt better and better with it.”

While information how much money may or may not have changed hands between the two is unavailable at this time, things are working well, as Bradley carded a five-under-par 67 Thursday, going bogey-free and tying for fifth place after the first round.

Bradley says he’s unsure about whether he’ll stick with the putter, which is similar to Matt Kuchar‘s in length, on a permanent basis. I expect that if the results continue to stack up, though, then we may not have to wonder if Bradley will be ready for the USGA ban on anchoring to kick in in 2016. Checks and trophies have a funny way of speeding up that type of thing.

Brandon Raper is the lead golf writer for Rant Sports. “Like” him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter @Brandon__Raper, and join him on Google+.

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