BROOKLINE, Mass. — The day before, Keegan Bradley lived a dream, vaulting himself into contention in the U.S. Open near his home state of Vermont.
No one had more momentum entering Sunday’s final round than he did, entering the day just two shots out of the lead — until his dream was dashed by bogeys on the first three holes Sunday.
Bradley, who played his college golf at St. John’s, would never recover, finishing in a disappointing tie for seventh after shooting 71 and finishing 1-under par, five shots behind winner Matt Fitzpatrick.
“There’s a part of me that’s still happy that it’s over,’’ Bradley said. “I’m tapped out. What a week. I had the best time. I’m so thankful for the fans of New England and Boston. I’m proud of the way I played. I wish I had putted a little better today, but that’s the way it goes.’’
He said of the fans chanting his name on the 18th hole Saturday, “Man, I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.’’
If only Chris Gotterup didn’t have to play the 15th hole at The Country Club this week.
The 22-year-old Jersey Shore native, playing in his first U.S. Open, finished 8-over par for the tournament and in 43rd place.
But had it not been for the pesky 15th hole, which Gotterup played in 5-over par for the week (a four-putt double bogey in Thursday’s first round and bogeys in the final three rounds), he would have finished 3-over and in 23rd place.
“I’m happy I didn’t have to play that one again,’’ Gotterup told The Post afterward. “I hit a bunch of good drives on that hole and just never got it going.’’
Gotterup grew up in Little Silver, played at Rumson Country Club with his dad Morten as a kid and played four years at Rutgers and one year at Oklahoma. He called the week “a good experience,’’ adding, “I think I handled it really well. I played good. I’ll definitely take a lot from this week. I’m not overly pleased with how the weekend went, because I feel like I’m hitting it pretty damned good right now.’’
He was 3-under par on the front nine Sunday with birdies on Nos. 2, 4 and 8, before faltering with a five-bogey 39 on the back nine.
“I had a good day and I kind of finished poorly … some bad bogeys coming in with two three-putts,’’ he said. “I got ‘U.S. Opened’ a couple times. It’s going to happen. I’d have liked for it not to have happened.’’
Next for Gotterup is the Travelers Championship this week at TPC River Highlands, where he has a sponsor’s exemption, and then John Deere next month on another sponsor’s exemption. If he finishes in the top-7 among players who aren’t already qualified for the British Open, he can qualify for St. Andrews.
His overall take from his first career major championship?
“I definitely grew,’’ Gotterup said. “I didn’t make this week any bigger than what it was. I played terrible in Canada (a missed cut last week), so to come out here this week and hit the ball solid was a big step in the right direction.’’
Travis Vick, a 22-year-old from the University of Texas, was the low amateur among the four in the field who made the cut, finishing 8-over par and in a tie for 43rd after shooting 73 on Sunday. Sam Bennett finished 10-over, Austin Greaser finished 17-over and Stewart Hagestad finished 19-over.
“It’s just been an honor being here,’’ Vick said. “The whole experience was incredible. Then to top it off with low-am, it’s hard to put into words how awesome that is.’’
Vick, who just finished helping lead Texas to the NCAA title, said, “It’s kind of been like a golfer’s high in a sense.’’
Before the lead groups teed off, 25-year-old Italian Guido Migliozzi was posting the second lowest score of the day with a 4-under-par 66. “It’s been a great round of golf,’’ he said. “I played very, very solid from tee to green, and it was a long time that I was playing like that. I had nothing to lose, and I just wanted to play great golf.’’
Grayson Murray, who’s known more for his social media tweaking of fellow golfer Kevin Na for his slow play, was not having a day in Sunday’s U.S. Open final round.
Murray, who shot 80 Sunday and finished 18-over for the week and in 63rd place out of the 64 who made the cut, took his struggles out it out on his clubs.
After taking quadruple bogey 8 on the seventh hole, Murray angrily tomahawk-tossed his putter into the long fescue grass. He’d been even-par through the first six holes before making that mess on No. 7. He went on to card a triple bogey on the ninth hole and then, after hitting a poor tee shot on No. 10, snapped his iron over his leg.