Though she is still working on her own game, you can bet that when a PGA Tour event is on television and Keegan Bradley is in the hunt, aunt and LPGA legend Pat Bradley is glued to the television set.
"I’m so proud of Keegan and what he has accomplished," she said of the 2011 PGA Championship winner. "I inspired him and now he inspires me."
Sometimes, of course, watching the 27-year-old Woodstock, Vt., native perform can rattle the nerves, like last week when he struggled in the final group of the Zurich Classic. He got off to a poor start, shot a 75 and finished eighth.
"It was tough watching that," she said. "I know how he was feeling. But I know he kept his head up high and tried to salvage what he could. He will be a stronger player for it. In the span of a career, that will just be a speck."
In four years on tour, Bradley has three wins, 19 top-10 finishes and has finished no worse than 10th in the season-ending FedEx Cup point standings. He currently ranks 20th this season.
"He is playing terrific," his proud aunt said. "I know he is working hard and doing all the right things. He has a great support system around him. I am so proud of him."
The two communicate "every once in a while -- today everyone texts, they don’t talk on the phone. And I get to see him play once in a while in Dallas [where Pat lived when she was on the LPGA Tour], Hartford and at the Deutsche Bank [tournment in suburban Boston]. He knows I’m not far away if he needs me."
The young Bradley is one of the tour’s most popular players and is perhaps one of its most recognizable, with his quirky pre-shot mannerisms that are often imitated but seldom duplicated.
"He has his idiosyncrasies," admits Pat. "But Arnie [Palmer] and Jack [Nicklaus] had them as well. It makes him an individual person. Spectators would know who he is from 10 fairways away."