Bullish Bradley returns Bubba's vote of confidence
LYTHAM ST ANNES, England
LYTHAM ST ANNES, England (Reuters) - U.S. PGA champion Keegan Bradley tipped Masters winner Bubba Watson to land this week's British Open after Watson predicted that his fellow American would end the current streak of 15 different major winners.
"I'll pick Bubba to win this week, how about that?," world number 24 Bradley told Reuters after a club-by-club practice session at a windswept Lytham driving range on Wednesday morning.
Since Padraig Harrington claimed the 2008 U.S. PGA championship, 14 different players have claimed the biggest prizes in golf including 12 first-time winners.
World number six Watson predicted on Monday that the 26-year-old Bradley would snap that run on his British Open debut.
"We're going to change that this week," Watson said. "Keegan Bradley, he's going to win."
The tall and languid Bradley, tied 15th in the PGA Tour driving distance chart, warmed up at the range with some delicate wedge shots before booming his woods into the back net over 300 yards away.
Clearly boosted by his unexpected PGA triumph, Bradley should be further lifted by playing his first two rounds with world number two Rory McIlroy and 2010 British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen.
"I feel great. This is a great golf course for me. I've been here a while so I'm ready to get going," said Bradley, itching to make his Open debut after an early practice round with Japan's Kodai Ichihara.
Bradley played the Lancashire links with world number three Lee Westwood on Tuesday, the two big-hitters trading blows in the soggy conditions.
"I look forward to getting started and experiencing the whole atmosphere and what it's all about," said the 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
(Editing by Ed Osmond)