Bradleys — Pat and Keegan — play big parts in U.S. golf hopes

WEST POINT, MS. – One of America’s premier golf families has a dilemma this week. In what is most likely an historical first, the family’s two most prominent golfijng members will be playing in major international team competitions at the same time.

While Keegan Bradley will be trying to help the U.S. team regain the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles in Scotland his aunt, World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley, will be trying to help the U.S. regain the ISPS Handa Cup at Old Waverly.

“It’s very exciting,’’ said Pat Bradley who – like Keegan – was on the losing side the last time the team competitions were held. “I’m trying to figure out how he’s going to find time to watch his aunt at the Handa Cup.’’

Keegan will certainly have more trouble following his aunt’s performance than Pat will have following Keegan’s.

“The nice thing about the Ryder Cup is, they (the TV networks) will be playing it all night long, so I can catch up on him,’’ said Pat.

Pat Bradley, 53, was the only daughter among the six children of Richard and Kay Bradley. Her father was an avid golfer while she was growing up in Massachusetts and one of her brothers, Mark, became a PGA professional in Wyoming.

Pat won 31 tournaments on the LPGA tour including six major titles. Keegan, Mark’s son, won the PGA Championship in 2011 – his rookie season on the PGA Tour – and took the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in 2012. The Bradleys were selected National Golf Family of the Year in 1989 by the National Golf Foundation,

Both Keegan, 28, and Pat are known as fierce competitors, which adds to their enthusiasm for what’s ahead in the next few days. Ryder Cup matches begin on Friday and Handa Cup matches, for members of the LPGA Legends Tour, tee off on Saturday. Both competitions conclude on Sunday.

“It’s an exciting moment,’’ said Pat. “It is history – the Ryder Cup and Handa Cup. I’m thrilled to be here, thrilled to be part of the Handa Cup. I know Keegan is thrilled to be part of the Ryder Cup. It’ll be fun, and we’ll work hard.’’

Though Keegan was a star on the losing U.S. side at Medinah in 2012, he needed an invitation from U.S. captain Tom Watson to make this year’s Ryder Cup.

“He was worried,’’ said Pat. “He was hoping, and did everything in his power to be there. I’m happy Tom picked him. Keegan’s a great match player. He gets that competition, and he and Phil (Mickelson) made an exceptional team in the last Ryder Cup. Everybody’s sitting on the edge of their seats looking forward to see how Phil and Keegan come out of the box.’’

They’ll team up in the fourth match of the morning session at Gleneagles. Pat’s partner for Saturday’s team matches at Old Waverly hasn’t been announced.

“I’ve got to concentrate on what I’m doing and play hard for my partner and for the Handa Cup,’’ she said.