New Ryder Cup captain Keegan Bradley confirms whether he'd pick himself

Keegan Bradley outlined in his first news conference as a Ryder Cup captain he plans to try and qualify for the team as a player.

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley

Keegan Bradley used his first news conference as the US Ryder Cup captain to declare he wants to qualify for the team on merit. 

But the 38-year-old American confirmed he has no plans to pick himself should he finish outside the qualification spots. 

Bradley was overlooked as a player by Zach Johnson for the 2023 contest in Italy and the former Masters champion was widely criticised after leading the red, white and blue to a heavy defeat.

Six-time PGA Tour winner Bradley thought he had done enough to receive a captain's pick, but Johnson opted to select Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler instead.

The decision led to accusations of a 'boys' club', given Johnson roomed with the players before the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool last summer.

Bradley said on Tuesday that it was Johnson who called him and told him he would be the next captain. 

Remarkably, Bradley also said that he did not interview for the role and was offered the job with no warning. 

Bradley was also asked the inevitable question about selecting LIV Golf players. 

He said he wants the best 12 players possible, explaining he 'did not care' about the LIV stuff. 

"One thing that is important to me is that I want to play on the team," Bradley told reporters on Tuesday, 24 hours after it was confirmed Tiger Woods had rejected the role. 

He added: "I want to play on the team. I feel like I'm still in the prime of my career and can make this team.

"I will either make the team on points or not pick myself." 

The aforementioned Woods was the favourite to take over from Johnson. 

Telegraph Sport reported the hall of famer wanted reduced captaincy obligations given his role in helping the PGA Tour broker a deal with LIV Golf's backers. 

According to a statement read by a PGA of America official, Woods said he 'doesn't have the time right now' to be a captain. 

Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley

He hopes to throw his hat into the ring in the future, the official said. 

Woods later released a statement.

He said: "With my new responsibilities to the Tour and time commitments involved, I felt like I would not be able to commit the time to Team USA and the players required as a captain. 

"That does not mean I wouldn't want to captain a team in the future. If and when I feel it is the right time, I will put my hat in the ring for this committee to decide."

As for Bradley, he said he had no idea he was in consideration. 

"I didn't have a single conversation about this with anyone until I was told I was captain," he said. 

Europe will once again by led by former world number one Luke Donald

The 45th edition of the Ryder Cup will be played at Bethpage Black in New York over 25-28 September.

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