Bradley follows mom’s advice on switch in putters

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DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) - Mother knows best. It’s true in golf, too.

Keegan Bradley reaffirmed that when he had a heart-to-heart with his mom a couple of Sundays ago.

Mind you, Bradley, who’ll turn 28 in just over a week, is one of the best players in the world. He won the PGA Championship in 2011, so he’s already got that major-championship bugaboo out of the way.

Yet, his mom had some advice for him.

“I actually talked to my mom, of all people, who is a golfer, but she’s not a huge golfer,” said Bradley, the nephew of LPGA great and World Golf Hall of Famer Pat Bradley. “She said, ‘I’m going to tell you something. I don’t think you’re going to like it.’ I was, like, ‘All right.’ She said, ‘I think you should use the short putter.’”

Now Bradley had won three times on the PGA Tour and had become a weekly threat to win by using a long putter. Unfortunately, that anchored stroke associated with long putters has been outlawed by the USGA and the Royal & Ancient Golf Club. The anchored ban begins in 2016, although the PGA Tour and PGA of America have declared they do not believe that the stroke commonly used for long putters is an advantage.

So Bradley, looking for a reason to energize his game, used a short putter Thursday in the first round of the Memorial Tournament and shot a 5-under 67.

“I needed something to get me excited about playing because I was bummed,” said Bradley, who has played erratically for most of this season.

Bradley’s round at Muirfield Village included five birdies and no bogeys.

Oh, and by the way, he took just 28 putts.

“I thought I could slip under the radar a little bit,” he said with a grin. “Now it’s out there and people know.”

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QUOTABLE: Rory McIlroy after his 9-under 63 to take a three-shot lead after the opening round: “This has been coming.”

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NOT A FAN: Bubba Watson loves Muirfield Village. Well, most of it, anyway.

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