\Keegan Bradley wears his fanboy ardor for Tom Brady on his sleeve, so when word leaked Wednesday night that the four-time Super Bowl champ would play a practice round at Augusta National next week with four-time major winner Rory McIlroy, the New England native was wicked envious.
“I’m very jealous,” @Keegan_Bradley tweeted after Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis posted the news on his Twitter account.
McIlroy, who won the last two majors of 2014 seeks to go three straight and complete his career grand slam at the Masters in April. He is in line to join Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen as the only golfers to own all four major titles.
As if being the center of attention, with Woods on an indefinite hiatus from competition, weren’t enough pressure, the 25-year-old from Northern Ireland took the field Thursday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship on the back of a missed cut at last week’s Honda Classic. Though he said in his pre-tourney press conference that he welcomed the hype, it won’t hurt to share some of the limelight with one half (along with Bill Belichick) of the winningest player-coach tandem in NFL history.
Brady, a reported 8-handicapper, likes his golf. He’s a frequent contestant at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am but had yet — as of last summer, when we chatted with Bradley at Liberty National — to tee it up with one of his most zealous followers.
Bradley has made no secret of his desire for a golf date with football’s top signal caller since Brady sent him a congratulatory text after the pride of Woodstock, Vt., won the 2011 PGA championship. In lieu of that to date, World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley’s nephew has had the honor of flipping the coin prior to a Pats pre-season game.
Renowned for his twitchy pre-shot ritual and stink-eye putting routine, Bradley’s not shy about sharing his pre-Patriots game fetishes.
“I have — this is really embarrassing, but I have a set of wide receiver Patriot gloves I put on now and then,” he said ahead of January’s Phoenix Open, where Bradley finished T17 before racing to the Super Bowl in nearby Glendale.
“I had them on the last time they were losing against the Ravens,” he said, referring to New England’s 35-31 comeback win against Baltimore in the AFC divisional playoff game. “I took them off and I left them at home. I didn’t bring them. I get a lot of weird stuff I do, as you all are very aware of.”
Now, if only he could nail down that golf date with TB12.