The PGA of America has officially named Keegan Bradley, winner of the 2011 PGA Championship and two-time Ryder Cup player as the Captain of Team USA for the 2025 Ryder Cup, which will be held at Bethpage Black in New York.

Keegan Bradley has had an interesting career. He burst onto the scene in 2011, becoming the sixth player to win a major his major debut when he won in a playoff over Jason Dufner at the PGA Championship. Bradley was named Rookie of the Year in 2011 as well. He made the Ryder Cup teams in 2012 and 2014 where he played with Phil Mickelson in both Ryder Cups. That duo was nearly unstoppable, going 3-0 before being c0ntraversially benched in the Saturday Afternoon Session in 2012, and 1-1 in 2014. Bradley was also part of the 2013 Presidents Cup team where again, Bradley and Mickelson were paired up and went 2-1-1. Bradley went six years without a win on the PGA Tour from 2012 to 2018, and during that time struggled mightily. He has since bounced back, especially in the last three years with wins in both 2022 and 2023. He will be 39 when next fall’s Ryder Cup takes place and with his Northeast upbringing, it’ll be an even bigger home-field advantage.

The selection of Keegan Bradley as Ryder Cup Captain is a little unconventional for the U.S. He has no experience being a Vice-Captain and limited Ryder Cup playing experience. The fans were somewhat stunned that he was the Captain, but with Tiger Woods taking on a new role in the PGA Tour and trying to mend the fracture in professional golf, along with his personal life, declined to be the Captain this time around. Bradley hasn’t said who his Vice-Captains would be, but those can play a big role in a successful Ryder Cup team. It would be fair to speculate he will have Vice-Captains with a lot of Ryder Cup experience which will help guide the team to a possible recapture of the Ryder Cup.

Bradley was famously left off of the 2023 Ryder Cup team, which was documented on Netflix’s Full Swing documentary last year, where Zach Johnson called Bradley and it was shown to the world how awkward that phone call can be. It was a controversial decision, as Bradley, among others, was playing some of their best golf, but Zach Johnson decided to go in a different direction. Johnson chose players like Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, who are some of the best golfers in the world when playing at their peak. However, last year, they were not close to peak form, and the dynamic duo who are friends with Zach Johnson, were selected as American fans were raising an eyebrow at the choice. Fans thought it was a “boys club” or “buddy ball” rather than picking players like Lucas Glover, who had won back-to-back tournaments on the PGA Tour in August, and Bradley had a career year. Bryson DeChambeau and Talor Gooch, who both were playing sensational golf at LIV Golf, weren’t even on Johnson’s radar due to Johnson’s allegiance to the PGA Tour. And that’s all before they stepped foot in Italy last fall.

It was an embarrassing showing at the Ryder Cup last year for Team USA but on home soil, Team USA has been very formidable. In 2021, Team USA dominated Team Europe in one of the most lopsided wins in the event’s history. Team USA won that Ryder Cup 19-9 and also won back-to-back Ryder Cups at home for the first time since 1979 and 1983. The United States has also won three of the last four Ryder Cups held in the States, with the only loss being the famous collapse at Medinah in 2012, where the U.S. was up 10-6 heading into the final day and ultimately lost 14.5 to 13.5 to Europe.

There’s a hurdle that Team USA can’t clear when they head to Europe for a Ryder Cup. The United States hasn’t won a Ryder Cup hosted in Europe since 1993. Last year seemed like the best chance for the U.S. in a long time. There was momentum after dominating the last Ryder Cup, despite some talented players left off of the team, Team USA had a distinct advantage in the OWGR, with their players averaging a much better OWGR ranking than Team Europe, and they did bring a lot of experience with them.

The embarrassment for Team USA started quickly when Team Europe swept all four matches in the Friday Morning Session for the first time in the Ryder Cup. In the Afternoon Session, Team USA halved three of four matches but didn’t win a match on that day for the first time and trailed 6.5 to 1.5 going into Saturday. The Saturday Morning Session will be remembered for Ryder Cup rookies, Viktor Hovland and Ludvig Aberg for Team Europe defeating Brooks Koepka and Scottie Scheffler 9 & 7 in the biggest victory in Ryder Cup history for an 18-hole match. Team USA was down 9.5 to 2.5 going into the Saturday Afternoon Session where turmoil was brewing.

There was a report of Team USA’s Patrick Cantlay refusing to wear a hat during the Ryder Cup for sponsorship reasons. He refuted that report but with modern technology, the European fans got word of that report on their phones and began waving their hats at Cantlay, who was paired up with 2023 U.S. Open Champion, Wyndham Clark in the Afternoon Session. Cantlay and Clark were up against 2022 U.S. Open Champion, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Team Europe legend, Rory McIlroy, who is as passionate about the Ryder Cup as anyone. They squared off in an epic match which saw Cantlay and Clark win 1 up and Team USA waving their hats in support of Cantlay, who drained a long putt that ultimately won the match. Cantlay’s caddie, Joe LaCava, and Rory McIlroy had a brief interaction on the green as McIlroy felt that LaCava was too close and in the way of McIlroy who was trying to read his putt to tie the match. In the parking lot, McIlroy was still fired up as showed his displeasure with Jim “Bones” Mackay, the then-caddie of Justin Thomas. McIlroy was held back by his teammate Shane Lowry as he had to be escorted to his car. Lost in all the chaos was that the United States did win three of the final four matches to make it 10.5 to 5.5. Not insurmountable, but some momentum and a slight chance to come back.

In the Sunday Individual Matches Team Europe cruised to a Ryder Cup victory, taking six of the 12 possible points to win 16.5 to 11.5 over Team USA and win back the Ryder Cup. The celebration was grand for Team Europe while Team USA tried to figure out what just hit them. It was three days of the U.S. trying to play catch up both on and off the course. It was one of the worst showings Team USA has had in a long time and a failure before they stepped foot in Europe.

The next Ryder Cup held in Europe will be in 2027, when they will head to Ireland and Adare Manor will host the Ryder Cup for the first time. Tiger Woods is a popular name to be the Captain of the United States Ryder Cup team, and with his influence on many of the players, he could be a popular pick to get Team USA their first Ryder Cup win on European soil in what will be 34 years.

Team USA will certainly be the favorite to win the Ryder Cup at home next autumn, but the Ryder Cup plays no favorites. Bradley pledged earlier today he wouldn’t play any favorites when he puts his team together which is a promising sign for United States players who want to make the team and their fans.

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