Ryder Cup: Justin Thomas drops truth bomb about Keegan Bradley

The weeks leading up to the 2023 Ryder Cup sparked plenty of controversy as Team USA captain Zach Johnson selected Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth, and Rickie Fowler instead of Keegan Bradley, leading the former to wonder how that could be.

But less than a year after being looked over for Rome, Bradley will captain next year’s Ryder Cup team at Bethpage Black in New York, a decision that surprised the entire golf world.

And yet, Thomas, who has a remarkable record in match play against the Europeans, dropped a truth bomb about Bradley’s captaincy after his first round of the Genesis Scottish Open, where he holds an early one-stroke lead.

“I obviously love the pick, and I think it’s a change of direction for the best,” Thomas said.

“I just think it’s opening up a whole new opportunity, and I think no captain is going to know the players and their games than somebody who is playing with us at the highest level every single week.”

When the Ryder Cup kicks off next September, Bradley will be the youngest captain since Arnold Palmer served as a player-captain at East Lake in 1963. It’s a stark departure from where the PGA of America has gone in recent years, selecting older major champions in their mid-to-upper 40s to lead Team USA. But the Europeans have dominated the Americans since 2000, winning eight of 12 Ryder Cups, two of which have come on U.S. soil.

Something needed to change, so the powers that be selected Bradley, who admitted to “thinking about the Ryder Cup every second he is awake” last year, as the man in charge.

“My thing is I want to pick the best captain,” Thomas added, per Golf.com’s Sean Zak.

“I don’t want it to feel like it needs to fit a certain resume. It doesn’t need to fit this right mold. Whatever it is. It’s like, look, who is our best captain right now? It doesn’t matter what they’ve done—are the guys going to be excited to play for him? Is he going to mesh with everybody? That’s all that matters.”

Based on everyone’s reactions thus far, from Phil Mickelson to Bryson DeChambeau to Tiger Woods and now to Thomas, America’s powerbrokers have approved the decision to nominate Bradley as captain. Only time will tell if the move will pay off, as Rory McIlroy even said in Scotland, but Team USA needed a spark, and nobody has more passion, more fire, and more desire for the Ryder Cup than Bradley himself.

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough for more golf coverage. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko as well.

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