Bradley: No carpet bagging here

Keegan Bradley knew he could have played for a southern team. The schools in Florida have better reputations for their golf programs. But Bradley, a sophomore and native of New England, wanted to stay and represent the Northeast. Since his decision, he has been nothing but a shining example of the Red Storm’s improving men’s golf team.

“I love playing for St. John’s,” Bradley said. “It’s good to see a Northeastern team like St. John’s stand up to the Florida teams. I could’ve gone south but I wanted to stay.”

Keegan is just as happy to be here as his coach and team are to have him.

“He’s a great young player,” St. John’s coach Frank Darby said. “Something for St. John’s to be proud of.”

Bradley completed the fall season with four top-five finishes, led St. John’s in scoring four times.

He finished first individually once (at the Tillinghast), and finished second individually twice.

In the final tournament of the fall season, Bradley carded a 6-under-par 210.

“What can I say about him? “He had an outstanding fall,” Darby said. “He’s gotten to the next level. We’ve had a number of outstanding players and he’s right up there. He takes pressure off the other guys. You don’t need to call him the leader; everyone knows he is.”

Bradley doesn’t feel like his job is done yet.

“We did pretty well – best year for St. John’s golf in three or four years,” Bradley said. “I thought I played well. I won once [and] came in second twice, [but] I feel like I should’ve won both of those.”

Bradley, a sports management major, enjoys quieter summers at his home of Jackson Hole, Wyo.

“He spent the whole summer in Wyoming,” Darby said. “[He] just golfed and fished – the two things he loves.”

Added Bradley: “I play all my golf out there. My time spent in Wyoming helped a lot.”

His fly fishing doesn’t make him one of the top golfers in the conference though.

“We can’t lift in the season because any kind of soreness has an effect,” Bradley said. “[But] we started up last week training for next season. We go four to five times a week to work out.”

Friendly competition on the team helps as much as the work-out sessions.

“[There’s] good competition on the team,” said Bradley. “I like to help the guys as much as I can. We played together and practiced and everyone wants to beat each other.

“The team chemistry is very healthy – best it’s been since I’ve been here.”

Combined with other great young talent on the team, such as freshman Kevin Velardo and sophomore George Zolotas, the team’s future looks as bright as ever.

“We’re only going to lose one player next year, [so it’s] basically the same team intact,” Bradley said. “As the years go on, we’re only going to get better. By the time I leave, we’ll be with the best in the country.”