STJ Men's Golf alumnus Keegan Bradley and his mother Kaye sat down with the PGA Tour this week to reminisce about Mother's Day
Recently in Men's Golf Category
Senior Pat Wilson stopped by RedStormSports.com to talk about the team's confidence heading to Reunion Resort for the 2013 BIG EAST Men's Golf Championships, April 28-30.
Men's golf senior Ryan Gay and junior Ryan McCormick stopped by RedStormSports.com to talk about this week's Anteater Invitational.
Let the Games begin!! Pairing for opening round matchups tomorrow were announced and U.S. rookie Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson get the start in Match #2 vs. Europe's Sergio Garcia and Luke Donald at the 39th Ryder Cup at Medinah (IL) Country Club at 8:35 a.m. EST. The format is alternate shot to begin the morning session which also includes the following matchups: * Jim Furyk and Brant Snedeker (US) vs.Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell (Europe), 8:20 a.m. EST, Match #1 * Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson (US) vs. Lee Westwood and Francesco Molinari, 8:50 a.m. EST, Match #3 * Steve Stricker and Tiger Woods (US) vs. Ian Poulter and Justin Rose (Europe), 9:05 a.m. EST, Match #4 Thursday's Opening Ceremonies highlighted the day where tradition and respect for the game of golf was the overriding theme. The European squad lauded former Ryder Cup captain Seve Ballesteros, who passed away in 2011, as this year's captain Jose' Maria Olazabal fought back tears for his good friend and mentor. U.S.captain Davis Love III, talked about this not being a battle like the senseless wars taking place across the world, but more of an athletic competition among friends. "In today's society we need to rely on friends from all parts of the world," said Love III. That labor of love could also be seen as Bradley and Mickelson ended their final practice round when a boy slipped through the ropes and the two pros gladly signed his flag and took a picture with the young boy. Then, as the crowd chanted U.S.A., both players signed autographs as a huge throng gathered behind the 18th green. Sergio Garcia of Europe did the same as he walked down the 18th fareway and was greated by another young admirer - put his arm around him and signed his cap. Justin Timberlake, U.S. Ryder Cup Ambassador, and former American Idol vocalist Jordan Sparks added star power to the afternoon which concluded on a high note with both team's national anthems.
Day Two from The Ryder Cup - September 26 The 26 year old U.S. rookie strolled out for Day Two of his Ryder Cup experience, golf's premier event against Europe, with his Red (pants), White (cap) and Blue (shirt) tucked neatly into his slacks. Keegan Bradley, St. John's University alum, is awed by the magnitude of this global event but doesn't look out of place nor is he intimidated. A few butterflies maybe, but up for the challenge nonetheless. He was asked in his first Ryder Cup media session about being on a big stage and having to make a winning putt or shot to win the Ryder Cup for the U.S. "If it does come down to me I'd love it," Bradley said without flinching. "I can't speak from experience because I've never played a Ryder Cup, and it took me by surprise a little bit at how intense and into it every player is, so if I have to win my match on the final day I'd relish the challenge." Paired on Wednesday with Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and Jason Duffner, the foursome worked on different format elements during their practice round to prepare for the weekend competition (Sept. 28-30) ahead. A crowd of more than 25,000 flocked to Medinah (IL) Country Club just outside of Chicago to take in the festivities today, as players continued to engage the fans, sign autographs and soak up the atmosphere. A gala Ryder Cup dinner with performances by Justin Timberlake and the group Chicago headline Wednesday night's activities. Thursday it's all business with the announcement of team pairings and strategies put in place for the U.S. to try to wrestle the Cup away from the defending champion European squad and Bradley knows he can lean on the veterans of this U.S. team for support. "It's comforting as a rookie to know I can go talk to a Jim Furyk, Phil or Tiger (Woods) or any of these guys and they are there for you and want to help," added Bradley during the media session. Next up is the last practice round tomorrow and the formal Opening Ceremonies from 5-6 p.m. EST, complete with sport coats, shirts and ties before an outdoor (weather permitting) crowd on the 10th hole of Course #1 at Medinah.
Today was a big day for the 2012 U.S. Ryder Cup team as captain Davis Love III made his four picks to round out the 12-man squad. Of course, St. John's alumnus Keegan Bradley wasn't sweating on Tuesday as he was one of eight players to automatically qualify after this year's PGA Championship. Bradley - who finished fourth in the final point standings - solidified his spot with his win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and followed that up with a third-place finish in his title defense at the PGA Championship.
The Ryder Cup nod was a big moment for Bradley, who narrowly missed out on the 2011 President's Cup team, with team captain Fred Couples saying that Bradley was the next guy on the list after 2011 FedExCup Champion Bill Haas and Tiger Woods.
The current team, who regularly receives encouragement and advice from the PGA Tour superstar might look to Bradley for a little advice on its opening tournament. The Johnnies will start the fall 2012 campaign with a trip to the Ocean Course at Kiawah, which hosted the 2012 PGA Championship and has been billed as the toughest course in America.
A few of the current members of the team will be checking in with RedStormSports.com as we get closer to kicking off the 2012 fall slate, so stay tuned to the Eye of the Storm Blog for all of the latest news on the Red Storm and on Keegan Bradley as he finishes up the FedExCup playoffs (he's currently 12th) and gets set for the Ryder Cup.
Hello to all followers of St. John's Golf! It has been a great winter for us as a team and program as a whole. Here is what we have done for the past few months.
After our season ended in early November, we all took a few weeks off to recharge our batteries. During the winter break, we all headed to a warmer climate to practice and play. Jeremy headed down to southeast Florida and was able to practice with some of our STJ Alumni including Evan Beirne, Mike Ballo, Kevin Velardo and Casey "Seve" Calmi. Mark, who happens to live in Florida, was up in Orlando where he is a member at Isleworth Country Club. Dylan, who lives out in California, was able to fine tune his game while working with his swing coach back home. He also was able to gain valuable tournament experience by attempting to qualify for the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open. Pat and I traveled together and took a ten day trip to Florida to compete in the New Years Invitational in St. Petersburg. Pat played well and finished T-18th. Towards the end of our winter break, Mark hosted a two-man team tournament at Isleworth called the Cosi Bear Challenge. It was a fun way to end our break and also compete against some pros and fellow STJ Golf Alumni. Pat, Jeremy and I were able to make it from the current team and Velardo, Joe Yastrub, and Calmi. Other notables that were at the tournament were PGA Tour player JB Holmes, and Andrew Giuliani.
We welcomed in a new player to the program this spring, Mitch Hadfield. Mitch came over from England and has been a great addition to the team. Fortunately, since we have been at school, the weather has been good enough that we can go out and play. We have been using a lot of different facilities to practice at and also play. Glen Oaks Golf Club has been great to us and we use their outdoor heated hitting bay's to practice and also go out to play on the course. Craig Currier, their superintendent, has done a fantastic job at improving the golf course layout and condition. It is definitely an advantage to be playing at a course like Glen Oaks that is in great condition even in February. We have also used the facility over at Fresh Meadows Country Club, where they have heated hitting bay's. Two weeks ago, we had the pleasure of going up to Purchase Golf Club and meeting with Carl Alexander, their Director of Golf. Carl has been a great player in the Met Area for a long time and offered us advice on putting and general golf knowledge. We were able to use the indoor putting facility at the Golf Club that has video cameras to help improve your putting. During that time, we were all able to get some putting help and spent a little time each personally with Carl. As a team, we all greatly benefited from that day. Individually, Pat, Dylan and Jeremy have all gone back up to see Carl for lessons. Another course we have used to prepare for the season is Pelham Country Club. Mike Diffley (82'), who is the Head Golf Professional at Pelham and also our volunteer assistant coach has been a great help to the team and more specifically Pat and I. Mike is a great help in all aspects of the game, but is a great Mental Coach. He has been doing some hypnosis with us and has really been a great help. Pat and I have also been going up to Five Iron Fitness in White Plains to get our body's physically golf ready for the spring. Anthony Renna, who run's Five Iron Fitness, is incredibly knowledgeable and has really helped both Pat and I get ready for the season. Some other courses and facilities that we have used over the last few weeks include Old Oaks Country Club, Seawane Country Club and Spring Rock Golf Center.
For me, personally, heading into our first event, I feel that my game is in an awesome place. It is the most prepared I have ever been heading into a new year. I work a ton with Mike Diffley and he has been so crucial for me, in getting me ready for the year. Going down to Florida and being able to play under competitive pressure was a great experience to head into the spring with. Working with Anthony from Five Iron Fitness has also improved my flexibility, which is something I had struggled with in the past. Also, with the help of the weather up here, I have also been able to get out and play just as much as I would during the late spring, which is a great advantage over a players from other teams that haven't had that experience. I couldn't be happier with my golf game heading into Arizona.
We have a great schedule for this spring as we are heading to Arizona, Puerto Rico, Texas, Philadelphia, Southern California and Florida. As a team, we are looking forward to this spring and hope to start it off right with great play out in Arizona. We are currently on the outside looking in for our NCAA Regional hopes and look to make a run this spring to set ourselves up with a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships. With the current success of Andrew Svoboda, who finished t-2 at the first Nationwide Tour event of the year, and Keegan Bradley, who finished t-2 at the PGA Tour's Northern Trust Open, we hope to bring that momentum to Arizona and come away with a win. Thank you to all of the golf clubs and people who have helped us this winter in preparing for the season, and for all the people who continue to follow our program. Let's go Red Storm!
St. John's men's golf senior Mike Ballo Jr. gives an update, discussing what he did over Christmas break and what to expect for the Spring 2010 golf season!
Check out what St. John's senior Evan Beirne had to say about the men's golf team's fall and spring seasons!
The 2009 McLaughlin at Bethpage Red provided good start to our season. I did not finish off the tournament as well as I wanted to and neither did my co-captain Evan Beirne. But a lot of good things came out of it. Freshman Peter Ballo played very well and showed he can definitely be a factor this year. Junior Mark Costanza did very well, recording his best college round, a 70. That is very good thats a good starting point for his season. Senior Dan Mollicone shot a great 72 in his last round to gain confidence going into the next tournaments.
It was cool having my brother, Peter, out there playing with me. I was rooting hard for him from a few holes back. I have confidence in his game I know he will be okay and compete for us. Evan and I both finished in the top 15 this week, we both look to keep the trend going. The other players on this team all have the talent to finish in the top 15 week in and out.
Our next tournament is the Wolverine Invitational, running Sept. 26-17, and it is probably our best tourney of the fall. The team is really looking forward to heading up to Ann Arbor, Mich. The course looks great. It will be a real test and the field that's going to be there is really good.
Root hard, STJ golf fans!
- Mike Ballo Jr.
Today was my last practice round over at Cedar Ridge. The golf course is in perfect shape and is also a great test of skill. There are a few funky holes, but the golf course overall plays very long at almost 7,400 yards. Over the past two days I haven't really played all too well, yet today I finally had a practice session that I felt comfortable with and started hitting the ball great. I rediscovered some great swing thoughts and feel really good going into the U.S. Amateur. I am very far from peaking this week, which is good. I have a lot to look forward to.
The highlight of the day was the banquet I just attended. It was a players-only banquet with a few USGA special guests. It was a really nice treat for all the players in the tournament to be there in attendance. There was a great cocktail hour, followed by a wonderful dinner.
The guest speaker was University of Oklahoma football coach Bob Stoops. He did a wonderful job and it was a pleasure meeting him and listening to him speak. He really gave the competitors here kudos for what we do, recognizing how challenging golf really is. Golf gets undermined sometimes. Stoops explained golf as the second-greatest individual test behind boxing. Overall the speech and the banquet were very nice and quite fun.
Tomorrow is the day I have been waiting for: Day 1 of the U.S. AM. I'm starting to get excited!
- Mike Ballo
Welcome to the U.S. Amateur Championship. I finally realized where I was today, the USGA doesn't mess around. Southern Hills is an amazing course, such a great test of golf. It is perfect combination of long par 4s and some of the best short par 4s I've ever played, mixed with an unreachable 675-yard par 5 and par 3s all over 200 yards. This course is a real challenge. I'm excited to really test my game against the best amateurs in the world
I had a really long day. Left the hotel at 9a.m. and got home at 9 p.m.: practicing, playing and more practicing for 12 hours. I had some food in between as well. I am so tired.
Tomorrow I go over to the other course, Cedar Ridge, for my practice round there. I've heard from some buddies it's a great place and also very hard. I feel good about my game though. I hit great tee shots today along with solid iron play and my short game is coming around. It's difficult to adapt to the new types of shots and grass that need to be played out here in Oklahoma, but I will be fine.
I'm really impressed by the USGA. No disrespect to the U.S. Junior (Amateur Championship), but it doesn't compare to this. They started putting up all these new decorations for spectators. It's going to be so cool driving in on Monday. Today I even signed a few autographs! It was for little kids of course, but people are excited around here for this tournament.
- Mike Ballo
P.S. Thanks again to everyone supporting me, especially my mom, dad, girlfriend and my teammates.
Hi, this is Mike Ballo Jr. from the men's golf team.
I'm out in Tulsa, Oklahoma, right now for the U.S. Amateur (Aug. 24-30). I had totally forgotten how tiring nine hours of traveling is. Southern Hills Country Club is absolutely beautiful -- a golf course as pristine as I have ever seen before. Today was strictly a travel day. I didn't get to play any golf, but when I got here I went over to the course to get a peek. I was in awe.
I'm really excited to begin this experience. I have had a lot of summer success with winning a few tournaments and playing really well. I hope to keep it all going here in Tulsa. I have a lot of support coming out here. There are a lot of friends and family cheering me on from back at home. I can't wait to enjoy the next few days playing golf out here.
My St. John's teammates back home are all excited for me as well. Mark Costanza, Evan Beirne, Dan Mollicone, Peter Ballo and Jeremy Quinn are all getting ready for this upcoming season starting in September. We are all ready to get the season going and show everyone how good we can really be as a team.
Tomorrow I'm going to be getting up early to go over, check in and get a full day of practice in. So I'll have a lot more to discuss tomorrow. Right now I really just want to sleep!
- M. Ballo Jr.
P.S. The Outback special in Tulsa, Oklahoma: second to none.