Keegan Bradley closes out Donald and Garcia

SHARE Keegan Bradley closes out Donald and Garcia

Against one of the most successful pairings in Ryder Cup history, Keegan Bradley certainly didn’t look like a rookie.

Bradley drilled a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 15 to close out the European duo of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia in the first match of the 2012 Ryder Cup. His celebration was pure Ryder Cup excitement — a few fist pumps, a big embrace from partner Phil Mickelson (who let out a WHOOO of his own) as the crowd erupted. Even Bradley’s caddie waved the pin around like an Olympian with a flag. You don’t see that at the Transitions.

“He played some of the best golf and to be his partner was an awesome experience,” Mickelson said of Bradley. “I love, love playing with this man. He’s just so fun, loves the game and plays with such excitement and man, can he roll the rock.”

The match was all square after 11 holes, but Mickelson and Bradley won four straight holes to win the match 4 & 3 — the Euros bogeyed 12, the Americans birdied 13, the Euros bogeyed 14 (Garcia missed a 4-footer for par that would have halved the hole) and Bradley birdied 15 (after Donald pulled his drive left, and Garcia flubbed a chip shot short of the green).

Neither Garcia nor Donald had ever lost a foursomes match in their illustrious Ryder Cup careers.

“It was one of the most memorable days of my life so far,” Bradley said.

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