Xander Schauffele already has 1 suggestion for Ryder Cup captain Keegan Bradley

Pro golfer Xander Schauffele smiles to camera at the 2024 Genesis Scottish Open

Xander Schauffele at this week's 2024 Genesis Scottish Open.

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It wasn’t just golf fans and media caught off guard by Wednesday’s announcement of Keegan Bradley as 2025 U.S. Ryder Cup captain at Bethpage Black.

“Yeah, it’s surprising,” Xander Schauffele said on Tuesday at the Genesis Scottish Open, becoming essentially the first 2023 Ryder Cup player to comment on the newest captain. “You typically expect someone that’s a little bit older to get selected as a captain. I think a lot of people were banking on Tiger to do it. He obviously has a lot on his plate. So Keegan expressed his love for the Ryder Cup publicly, which we all saw. I haven’t talked to him or seen him yet, but I’m sure he’s over the moon and is going to do a great job.”

Last year, Bradley was a potential captain’s pick but was one of the first players left off the team. Netflix’s “Full Swing” captured the moments Bradley, with his wife, Jillian, found out he wasn’t selected. As someone who had long been vocal about how much the event meant to him, he was crushed.

“I think about the Ryder Cup every second I’m awake, basically,” Bradley said, weeks before the 2023 team was announced. “My biggest thing right now is trying not to think about it while I’m playing because it’s that important to me.”

Bradley, 38, played in two Ryder Cups, both losses in 2012 and 2014, and has a career record of 4-3 in the event. He was a high-energy player in those Cups — and still is today on Tour — although Schauffele said he’s not always like that outside the ropes.

“He is so laid back off the course,” Schauffele said. “If you get him in like a dinner setting or something, he loves sports. He’ll talk about sports all night long if you like. He’s a very passionate individual. On the course, he’s intense. That’s just how he competes and how he is. I’m sure as a captain he’s going to have sort of a mixed bag. He won’t be afraid and will get everyone going. I don’t know if he’s coached or captained any other teams in his life, whether it’s his kids’ teams or something like that, but when someone is really passionate about something, they usually do really well.”

Although, according to Schauffele, there are certain things a captain can do to make life easier on the team. For starters, he said, he hopes Bradley cuts down on all the obligatory Ryder Cup pomp and circumstance.

“Taking a bunch of photos all dressed up. I would be the first guy that I need to flee quickly. It just seems like it’s all these little, even like team dinners or things of that nature, we can have them sort of quick and inside versus having to go out, dress up and all those things,” Schauffele said. “It’s just small things. I think there’s two or three dinners that we have to go to that are kind of mandatory-ish, and I think if we cut it down to one or two versus three that would be a really big deal.

“I don’t dress up and go out to dinner,” he continued. “I play 24 events, and I don’t think I dress up and go to one dinner in all those 24 events. Plus my wife, she’s amazing, maybe for an anniversary or something like that. She knows when I’m here, it’s to keep my head down and compete and that’s what I try to do.”

Captain Bradley already has his first suggestion.

Josh Berhow

Golf.com Editor

As GOLF.com’s managing editor, Berhow handles the day-to-day and long-term planning of one of the sport’s most-read news and service websites. He spends most of his days writing, editing, planning and wondering if he’ll ever break 80. Before joining GOLF.com in 2015, he worked at newspapers in Minnesota and Iowa. A graduate of Minnesota State University in Mankato, Minn., he resides in the Twin Cities with his wife and two kids. You can reach him at joshua_berhow@golf.com.

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