MARANA, Arizona (Reuters) - A dumb-founded Keegan Bradley said even he was taken aback by his excessive spitting as he watched television replays of his play during the final round of last week’s Northern Trust Open in Los Angeles.
Bradley ended up losing a three-way playoff for the title at Riviera Country Club, where fellow American Bill Haas triumphed, and was initially surprised his on-course expectorating had sparked widespread criticism on Twitter.
However, once he saw for himself via the telecast how much he spat during his pre-shot routine, the PGA Championship winner issued a public apology on his Twitter account.
“To be honest with you, I really had no idea I was doing it,” Bradley told reporters at Dove Mountain Tuesday while preparing for this week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
“And I feel bad.
“It’s something that I’m going to work on and I just ask everybody to just kind of bear with me as I go through this, because it’s something I’ve done without even knowing it. I’m going to truly work on it.
“It might take some time but I will do my best to stop. It’s something that I’m glad that’s come up, because I’m able to kind of nip it now. It’s just a thing where I’m watching myself.”
Bradley, who clinched his first major title by beating compatriot Jason Dufner in a playoff for last year’s PGA Championship in Atlanta, conceded his lengthy pre-shot routine was also a concern.
“It’s about visualization,” the 25-year-old said. “It’s kind of my way of staying not stagnant. It’s something that you don’t even really realize you’re doing when you’re in the heat of it.
“I will take a look at it and see if there are any improvements that I can make. But it’s something that I’ve been doing and it’s been working. Coming down the stretch, it (the time) does come up a little bit.
“But it doesn’t seem to affect my ability, which is the most important,” added Bradley, who earlier was presented with his trophy for winning the 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.
Bradley has been drawn to play against Australian Geoff Ogilvy, tournament champion in 2006 and 2009, in Wednesday’s opening round at Dove Mountain.
Reporting by Mark Lamport-Stokes; Editing by Ian Ransom