MEDINAH As first Ryder Cup experiences go, Keegan Bradley has had a tremendous one.
The 26-year-old has made a successful tandem with Phil Mickelson, and their collective magic continued on Saturday morning when the two claimed their Ryder Cup match over Lee Westwood and Luke Donald, 7 and 6. That tied the all-time record for largest 18-hole victory in a team match; Paul Azinger and Mark OMeara were the most recent to do it, in 1991.
But for Bradley, the weekends been even sweeter. Saturdays match gave him a 3-0 mark, and he became the first Ryder Cup rookie since Loren Roberts (in 1995) to go 3-0 in his first three team matches.
For Bradley, whos reveled in the Cup atmosphere and shown his emotions throughout, its been special.
Its not very hard to get excited out there when you walk out onto that first tee and that crowd is going crazy, Bradley said. Its just an unbelievable event.
And as far as tempering that crowd and performance-infused emotion, Bradley said he held it in check when necessary.
(Mickelson) wants me to get fired up and get the crowd excited, to get him excited, Bradley said. Theres been a few times where my caddie, Pepsi, and Bones, have reminded us its time to calm down. Thats one thing Im very good at is, I can get very excited, but I realize how important it is after that to really calm down.
The BradleyMickelson domination in the morning was apparently a harbinger of the rest of USAs day. The U.S. team led the Europeans 8-4 through Saturday mornings matches, and as 4 p.m. came and gone, were leading three of the four afternoon matches.