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Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson make huge statement early at Medinah

By Shane Bacon | Blogger
Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley had chemistry you don't normally see from American teams. (Getty Images)

There are certain golfers who seem born to play match play. Seve Ballesteros was one. Tiger Woods another, and you could even add Ian Poulter to that list as he has been solid at both the Ryder Cup and Accenture.

But it has been a while since we've added a young American to this list. Anthony Kim gave us hope before his game hit the skids. Jeff Overton was exciting but never dominant. But Keegan Bradley might just be the kid who takes the reigns as match-play stalwart for the United States going forward.

Bradley has been talking ad nauseum about how excited he was heading into this week to play for his country on one of the biggest stages in the game, and his play in the morning foursomes alongside Phil Mickelson showed that his walk can definitely equal his talk.

Mickelson and Bradley beat the previously unbeaten European duo of Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia handily on Friday morning, snagging the first point of the 2012 Ryder Cup with their 4 & 3 win.

The entire morning was a highlight of lengthy putts by Bradley, fist-pumps by both and even a butt-slap by Phil that showed the two are not only happy to be playing with each other but comfortable in all areas of the game.

Occasionally these alternate-shot matches can be a slow road of par-winning putts. But of the five holes that the Americans won, four were with birdies. That included a clutch one on the 15th from Bradley that closed out the match.

It's early at Medinah, and there are plenty of things that could happen over the next two days to say otherwise, but it appears Davis Love III saw a team in Bradley and Mickelson that could be the rocks while some of the other shoe-in groupings were struggling.

A person close to Bradley told me earlier this week that the kid mentioned to him once that he has never been nervous on a golf course. At the time, I was a bit skeptical. Now, those words seem incredibly accurate.

 
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