SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Purdue’s Cole Bradley went 5 under in his last seven holes to win the Noblesville Regional and punch his ticket as an individual to this week’s NCAA Division I Men’s Golf Championship.
The junior rode that momentum 1,700 miles southwest to Grayhawk Golf Club to take the morning wave’s individual lead after an impressive bogey-free 4-under 66 during Friday’s first round of stroke play.
“I got a good look at the course and knew the spots you could be and couldn’t be and just kind of kept it in front of me today and played solid all day,” said Bradley after his round. “I’m just taking it one shot at a time and just having fun with dad.”
Dad would be Rob Bradley, Purdue’s head coach, who’s walking with Cole this week and got a front-row seat to the best round of the morning. Both father and son admitted that this week feels a little different, but they’re committed to treating it like a normal tournament.
“We just went out there and played solid and had fun,” said Cole. “My dad’s a great green reader and gave me some good reads today. I trusted a lot of them and just made good strokes, made a few putts and just keep doing the same thing tomorrow.”
“It was really cool for (Cole) to win regionals, walking with him there, so that was pretty special and then being able to come out here and get off to a good start, we had fun,” added Rob, noting how poorly his son played the day before during the practice round.
“And then today, he just did a better job of keeping the ball in play, hit less club off a lot of the tees and really didn’t have much to sweat out there. He hit a lot of fairways and a lot of greens, just kept the ball in the right places.”
No stranger to success, Rob has been at the helm of the Boilermakers program for eight years. Before settling in West Lafayette, Indiana, he played for longtime Purdue women’s coach Devon Brouse when he was at North Carolina. After his four years in Chapel Hill, Bradley played professionally on the Korn Ferry Tour (then the Nationwide Tour), including two appearances in the U.S. Open in 1997 and 2003. After his final professional season in 2008, Rob was an assistant at North Florida for three years and Alabama for one, when the Crimson Tide won the national championship in 2013.
How special it would be to win a second title with his son.