It may have been 10 years ago, but don’t tell Keegan Bradley that.

The 2011 PGA Champion got off to clean start at the Ocean Course at
Kiawah Island Thursday, shooting a 3-under 69 in his opening round. His 3-under total saw him tied for the lead through the middle of the afternoon
with Viktor Hovland and two-time PGA Champion Brooks Koepka.

And now, a decade after his major breakthrough, his looking for another.

“I played so good today,” said Bradley. “I hit the ball about as good as I can hit it. I just -- some days you get out there, and you go, ‘I'm going to aim it at that tree and draw it off that tree,’ and it comes right up at that tree and does what you think. Today was one of those days.”

The early part of Thursday felt like 2011 in more ways than one, as Jason Dufner, who Bradley beat in a playoff at the Atlantic Athletic Club, was also near the top of the board at the Ocean Course.

Dufner made four birdies through the middle of his round but made two bogeys late – on No’s 15 and 17. Still, he came in at 1-under and was just two shots back of the midday lead.

“I like this golf course. I like these conditions, firm and fast,” Dufner said. “Generally speaking, this is my cup of tea.”

But back to Bradley, who not only won the 2011 PGA Championship, but also finished tied for third in 2012 at Kiawah Island. Although he finished nine shots back of Rory McIlroy’s winning total, backing up a win with a T3 was an impressive feat.

“It's so long ago, but in the back of my mind, I know this is a good course for me. That sort of proves that from 2012,” said Bradley. “I don't remember many shots from that tournament, but I do know that this is a ball striker's course and that I'm very comfortable out here. It's better than not playing well in 2012, but I love this place, and it's a fun course to play.”

Since Bradley’s last tournament at Kiawah Island much has changed.

He’s still just got the one major championship trophy to his credit, but he has added two more PGA Tour wins to his total. He’s also added two children to his family. The biggest thing he remembers from 2012, he said Thursday, was after the PGA Championship was finished it was confirmed he had earned a spot on the Ryder Cup team – a proud moment for him.
He was “so in awe.”

Bradley has been playing solid golf on the PGA Tour so far this season –with three top-10 finishes in his last seven events, including back-to-back top-5’s just a few weeks ago – but he hasn’t notched a top-10 result at a major since 2014.

Thursday at the PGA Championship, however, was a different story. He said it was great to see his name on the top of the leaderboard at a major championship again.

“Any round you come out of a major and play well at, it feels good because you know the courses are set up tough. It's a little more pressure. The atmosphere's different. So, when you go out there and you perform, it feels good, especially on a course like this.”

Ten years gone by but the goal remains the same – try to win the Wanamaker Trophy.

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