Woodstock native happy to be Ryder Cup captain — but he wants to qualify as player, too

FILE - Keegan Bradley lines up a putt on the first hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

FILE - Keegan Bradley lines up a putt on the first hole during the third round of the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Valhalla Golf Club, Saturday, May 18, 2024, in Louisville, Ky. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) Sue Ogrocki

FILE - USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after making a putt on the ninth hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

FILE - USA's Keegan Bradley reacts after making a putt on the ninth hole during a foursomes match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) ap file — Charlie Riedel

FILE - USA's Keegan Bradley celebrates after winning their foursomes match on the 15th hole at the Ryder Cup golf tournament, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

FILE - USA's Keegan Bradley celebrates after winning their foursomes match on the 15th hole at the Ryder Cup golf tournament, Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, at Medinah Country Club in Medinah, Ill. Bradley was selected as U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025, The PGA of America announced Monday, July 8, 2024. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File) Charlie Riedel

Keegan Bradley celebrates winning the Travelers Championship golf tournament with his son at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Keegan Bradley celebrates winning the Travelers Championship golf tournament with his son at TPC River Highlands, Sunday, June 25, 2023, in Cromwell, Conn. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) ap file — Frank Franklin II

PGA Pro Keegan Bradley, center, is all smiles after hitting a 125 yard drive that fell directly into the 4th hole at the Keegan Bradley charity golf classic at the Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, Vt. on August 26, 2013. The classic benefits the Vermont Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. At left is PGA Pro Brendan Steele. Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage

PGA Pro Keegan Bradley, center, is all smiles after hitting a 125 yard drive that fell directly into the 4th hole at the Keegan Bradley charity golf classic at the Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, Vt. on August 26, 2013. The classic benefits the Vermont Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. At left is PGA Pro Brendan Steele. Valley News - Elijah Nouvelage valley news file — Elijah Nouvelage

Woodstock native Keegan Bradley signs autographs before the start of a benefit tournament and clinic held at the Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, Vt., on August 25, 2014. 
(Valley News - Sarah Priestap)
Woodstock native Keegan Bradley signs autographs before the start of a benefit tournament and clinic held at the Woodstock Country Club on Monday. The 28-year-old PGA Tour professional is hoping to be added to the U.S. Ryder Cup squad next week.Valley News photographs — Sarah Priestap

Woodstock native Keegan Bradley signs autographs before the start of a benefit tournament and clinic held at the Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, Vt., on August 25, 2014. (Valley News - Sarah Priestap) Woodstock native Keegan Bradley signs autographs before the start of a benefit tournament and clinic held at the Woodstock Country Club on Monday. The 28-year-old PGA Tour professional is hoping to be added to the U.S. Ryder Cup squad next week.Valley News photographs — Sarah Priestap

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) ap — Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley, rear center, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley, rear center, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley participates in a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert, second from right, during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Keegan Bradley, right, is joined by PGA president John Lindert, second from right, during a news conference in New York, Tuesday, July 9, 2024. Bradley was introduced as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig

By RYAN KRYSKA

AP Sports Writer

Published: 07-09-2024 4:04 PM

NEW YORK — Keegan Bradley was clear about his intentions when he was introduced Tuesday as the U.S. Ryder Cup captain for 2025.

He doesn’t just want to be Captain America, he wants to play on the team at Bethpage Black in New York.

“I feel as though I’m still in the prime of my career and can make this team,” Bradley said at his introductory news conference.

Bradley would be the first U.S. Ryder Cup playing captain since Arnold Palmer in 1963 if he were to qualify.

“I’m not going to pick myself,” Bradley said. “The only way that would happen is if the team was insisting it but even if they did I don’t see that happening. I want to make the team on points, otherwise I’m going to be the captain.”

Whether he plays or not, Bradley’s captaincy is already tied to Palmer. At 38 years old, Bradley is the youngest U.S. captain since a 34-year-old Palmer led the team in ’63.

He said he will soak in advice from his predecessors, but plans to refresh the staff with a youthful approach.

“What’s personally important to me is I would like the vice captains to set up the future,” Bradley said.

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Bradley competed in the Ryder Cup in 2012 and 2014, both losses for the Americans. He has long talked about wanting to make it back to the Ryder Cup to redeem those results.

Bradley spent most of his youth in the Woodstock area, where his father, Mark, worked as a golf professional. He was the top player on a Woodstock Union High School team that finished second at the Vermont Division II state tournament in 2003 at Middlebury College, this despite Bradley shooting an uncharacteristic 88. He moved to Massachusetts the following year and eventually played college golf at St. John’s.