Bradley opens with 65 to take early lead at HSBC

Keegan Bradley knows everything that is on the line this week at the World Golf Championship - HSBC Champions in Shanghai, China.

The reigning PGA Champion opened the event with a bogey free seven-under par 65. Taking a two stroke lead over Fredrik Jacobson, Bo Van Pelt (who won last week in Malaysia) and Alexander Noren.

The PGA Tour rookie has been involved in a lot of talk the past few weeks. Concerning not only his absence from the Presidents Cup team, but also in the Player of the Year talk as well.

Obviously Luke Donald, who many consider the favorite for the award. Is not here this week as he and his wife are expecting the birth of their second child.

Bradley who already has two wins on the 2011 season, with a win this week, would become the only player with three wins on the year.

Add that with his major victory at the PGA Championship, could vault him to the top of the list for POY.

“You know, all I’m trying to do is win this golf tournament,” said Bradley after the first round.

“I know there’s a lot on the line, and there’s some awards to be won. I’m sure Luke is not very interested in this tournament. I’m sure he’s sleeping. But I hope to keep playing well and those fall where they fall.”

The 25-year old who just secured his PGA Tour card last season was paired with Lee Westwood and Adam Scott. Both carding three-under par rounds of 69.

“Every week, I’m amazed at who I’m around. And to be in a group like that in this tournament, and to play like that on this course is very rewarding and it means a lot to me.”

If Bradley can continue his impressive play throughout the event and claim his third title of the year, the conversation of Player of the Year will shift to him yet again one would think.

Not only will his name resurface in the POY talks, but as the Presidents Cup approaches, he will be discussed frequently if Tiger Woods continues his less than stellar play.

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