Tag Archives: Ben Curtis

Hole in one! St. John’s alum named top rookie

| smosco@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of St. John’s University

Keegan Bradley’s golf skills are anything but subpar, and now the young putter is getting some much-deserved national recognition.

The St. John’s men’s golf alumnus was named the 2011 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year by the PGA, continuing the success he saw as a Johnny on the green.

Bradley, 25, earned playoff victories at the HP Byron Nelson Championship and the PGA Championship, becoming the first rookie since Todd Hamilton (2004) to win twice.

With his PGA Championship playoff victory over Jason Dufner at Atlanta Athletic Club, Bradley became the first player since Ben Curtis (2003) to win a major championship in his first major start.

On the season, the 2008 graduate totaled four top-10s in 29 starts and finished 20th on the final FedExCup points list. Bradley became just the fourth rookie to play his way into the FedExCup finale, the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, since the inception of the PGA Tour finale, joining Brandt Snedeker (2007), Andres Romero (2008) and Marc Leishman (2009).

Other players nominated for PGA Tour Rookie of the Year were Chris Kirk, Charl Schwartzel, Scott Stallings, Brendan Steele and Jhonattan Vegas.

Also on Bradley’s 2011 resume was a title at the PGA Grand Slam of Golf, the Tour’s version of an all-star game, and a victory with teammate Steele at the Franklin Templeton Shootout. Bradley was also on the ballot for 2011 PGA Tour Player of the Year, but lost to world No. 1 Luke Donald.

As the only American golfer to win a major title in 2011, Bradley — who narrowly missed out on a President’s Cup bid — leads the 2012 Ryder Cup points standings for the American squad.