Dan Bradbury is a man on a mission. Not content with equalling the all-time winning record for the Lincoln Memorial University Railsplitters golf team after his eighth career victory at the Argonaut Invitational, the Yorkshireman made it a record-breaking nine wins as he roared to the individual title at last month’s prestigious South Atlantic Conference Championship.
Since arriving in Tennessee four years ago on a scholarship facilitated by ProDreamUSA, Bradbury has never looked back. Much like his beloved Leeds United under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, he’s been on an upward trajectory at the Railsplitters and credits head coach Travis Muncy for his continued improvement at the top ranked NCAA DII side.
“Coach Muncy has been so helpful and supportive, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more since I’ve been here. He’s very much a father figure for me and it backs up my decision to come to LMU. I had the choice of a few D1 universities, but I wanted to be playing regularly and get as good a scholarship as I possibly could, which they offered me.” said Dan, who can count himself unlucky not to be featuring in the GB&I side contesting this week’s Walker Cup at Seminole.
“The facilities here are fantastic and improving all the time. There’s a range on campus and a short game area, so there’s no excuse not to practice. The weather is great and we have a brilliant support network around us so it’s very much geared up for success.”
Bradbury boasts an impressive list of honours and his record-breaking 20-under par score at the SAC Championship is just the latest added to his blossoming CV, which now also includes selection to the England Men’s Squad as one of only four overseas players. He’s been ranked the No.1 golfer in NCAA DII; was awarded the SAC Freshman Golfer of the Year back in 2018, and named was Golfer of the Year in the Southern Atlantic Conference last season. The list is extensive – so what’s his secret?
“I guess I’ve developed a winning mentality since I’ve been here and won in my first year which was pretty special and gave me lots of confidence early on. I’ve also been able to score well even when I’ve not played particularly well and ground out average rounds into under par rounds.
“Some players thinking about going out here to college might think it’s all about playing for a D1 team but the standard in DII is very high and we can compete with some top schools in D1. For me, it’s been about getting the chance to play regularly and compete in lots of events, which a good DII university gives you the opportunity to do.”
“When I first signed with ProDreamUSA, I didn’t really know anything about the various divisions and the differences, so the advice I got from the team when it came to decision-making time was invaluable and they really helped point me in the direction.”
Dan will finish his US college career with a final year at Florida State University, with a move to the leading D1 side confirmed recently, but his initial focus will be on a successful summer season back home in the UK.
“I’m really excited about my move to FSU and it will be great to get experience of competing at a higher level on a regular basis and get myself up the rankings, as well as raising my profile out in the States. I’ve got a full schedule back home in the summer and looking forward to playing in The Amateur Championship and 6 or 7 other events. I thought I might have a chance of The Walker Cup but that wasn’t to be. There’s always 2023 if I decide to stay amateur until then, but I’ve set my sights on turning pro and the opportunity to stay and compete here in the States is something I might prefer to do.”
Given the mission he is on, the success he is enjoying and the records he is breaking, anything is possible.