In fishing, you often hear the lament about the one that got away.
Well, here’s an example of one that got away from a bettor.
At the risk of repeating his name, my buddy Andy Bankuti recently tipped off readers of my blog that they should pay attention to Keegan Bradley (Srixon Z-Star).
“He could be the one that’s going to climb the most this season,” said Andy, who always looks for long shots when he’s making his weekly golf bets. “He’s probably 40 or 50th in the world right now (48th in the Official World Golf Ranking and 54th in the FedEx Cup Ranking). By the end of the year, he’s top-20 for sure. He might even be in the top-15 or top-10.
“I think he’s been a lot more comfortable with his putter, I believe. The intensity in his eyes is back.”
Well, it didn’t take long for Andy’s prediction to come true. Bradley won the ZOZO CHAMPIONSHIP this past weekend in Japan, recording his fifth win on the PGA Tour but his first since 2018. Bradley won the PGA Championship in 2011 in his first time in the event and in his first year on the PGA Tour. He was voted Rookie of the Year, and in his first two years won three PGA Tour events and tied for second in another. But his next win didn’t come until 2018.
Last season, he recorded a second, six top-10 finishes and nine top-25 finishes in 25 tournaments, making the cut in 19. He topped $3.6 million in earnings. This season, he’s won more than $2.2 million.
He’s currently ranked number one on the FedExCup and 23rd on the Official World Golf Ranking.
But here’s where the story goes sideways for Andy. Bradley was 40-1 and Andy liked him a lot and made a small wager because he never bets more than $20 and usually plays a few long shots. But he forgot to press in his selection with the online betting service he uses.
So as soon as Bradley won, I texted Andy to congratulate him. Andy then told me about his unfortunate mistake. Anyone who has ever done this or something similar – I once liked a horse and made a decent bet on it, only to find out later one I keyed in the wrong number – can appreciate what Andy is feeling.
When Bradley cried emotionally after ending his long drought, I’m sure Andy was crying, too, but for a completely different reason.
Hey, things happen.
But nothing can take away from the fact Andy was bang-on about Bradley.
By the way, it was good to see Rickie Fowler (TaylorMade TP5x Pix) post a second-place finish. He last won a PGA Tour event in 2019. Last month, he fell to 185th on the OWGR. Fowler had a one-shot lead heading into the final round. He finished with an even-par on the round, which unfortunately was three strokes worse than his other three rounds.
Fowler has a new caddie, a new coach and new clubs. Collectively, he’s had two top-10 finishes since the change.
He is due for a win, and when it happens my mother-in-law will be happy. Fowler is her favorite golfer.