Keegan Bradley entered last year's Masters fresh off a PGA Championship victory in his first major appearance. But didn't mean he was prepared for what he would encounter at Augusta National.
Bradley said he was "star-struck" when he first arrived down Magnolia Lane, according to David Westin of the Augusta Chronicle.
“When you walk up the 11th fairway and you see 12 and 13, it’s shocking,
the first time. And I just think that everything that people say about
it is true. It’s got a magical feel to it almost, and that’s the part of
it that I think you need to put aside when you’re playing the
Since Bradley's 27th place finish in last year's tournament, he has played practice rounds at Augusta with three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson and four-time major winner Ernie Els to try and glean as much knowledge about the course as possible. Mickelson gave the 26-year-old advice on navigating Augusta and even dissuaded common theories about how to succeed on the course.
“Being out there (at Augusta National) with Phil is an inspiration and
makes me want to win this tournament, just by the way he carries himself
around there. You can just tell once he comes in there,
he’s a champion and he deserves to be treated like one. And it’s just
an inspiration for me to hopefully get to that level.”
“He was just telling me it’s a big myth at Augusta that you have to hit
these big hooks around the corner. He told me, ‘The
straight ball is still fine.’ That’s kind of what I hit, so it made me
feel better. It’s good insight from a guy who has played really, really
Bradley hopes success will follow his new knowledge of the course at next week's Masters.
“I learned you’ve got to really know that course. You’ve
got to get a bunch of holes in and play it as much as you can. It’s such a tough golf course. It was my first Masters. I learned a lot. Hopefully, I’ll apply it