The week before the PGA, Bradley was in position to win the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone Invitational, but he blew up on the final nine and was still shaken as he arrived in Atlanta. A practice-round pep talk from Mickelson helped him refocus, and Bradley was further buoyed by sharing a house with Kaye, his sister Madison and her son, Aiden Keegan, a 10-month-old charmer. Mom cooked dinner every night and every morning made the two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that Keegan eats during every round. He is a finicky, fastidious young man, and the PB&Js have to be made to his exact specifications. With a roll of her eyes, Kaye explained that Keegan likes a base coat of peanut butter to prevent the jelly from soaking through the bread.
The family's bond is palpable, and on Sunday evening, after the emotional finish, Aiden was the only one of the bunch who wasn't crying. (The Bradleys are divorced; Mark was at home in Wyoming, where he is head pro at Jackson Hole Golf & Tennis Club. Meanwhile, Aunt Pat monitored the telecast from her house in Hyannis Port, Mass., where she received an estimated 300 texts, e-mails and phone calls during the final round.) After the trophy ceremony Keegan and his mom and sister and nephew were ushered into the Atlanta Athletic Club's clubhouse for a champagne toast with club members and tournament volunteers. "This feels like a dream," Bradley told the room, in his typical aw-shucks way. "I hope it's real." He thanked the greenkeepers for their fine work and then drew a big laugh by saying, "If I could make one suggestion, I'd cut the rough on the back edge of the 15th green."
Bradley was hailed as the fifth winner in the history of the tournament whose father was a member of the PGA of America, and his voice caught a little when he said a few heartfelt words about his dad's influence. It was also pointed out that Bradley is only the third player to win the first major in which he competed. Ben Curtis did so at the 2003 British Open; he's often lumped in with PGA Championship winners Rich Beem and Shaun Micheel as Americans who have failed to build on their breakthroughs. Bradley knows there will be naysayers, and he says, "I don't want to be one of those guys that kind of disappears. I don't plan to."
The other player to win the first professional major in which he played was Francis Ouimet, a moonlighting caddie who was 20 when he shocked the world at the 1913 U.S. Open, a victory that went a long way toward popularizing golf in this country. The baby-faced Bradley seems like Ouimet's natural heir. That may be a lot of pressure for a rookie, but it's clear the new PGA champ won't let the sudden success go to his head. When it was time for the champagne toast, Bradley took only one dainty sip.