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  • Brookline, MA - June 16: Rory McIlroy tees off on the 9th on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Brookline, MA - June 16: fans watch players warm up on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Brookline, MA - June 16: Rory McIlroy chips out of the rough on the 8th on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Brookline, MA - June 16: Rory McIlroy throws his club on the 9th fairway on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Brookline, MA - June 16: Pop up parking and ticket sales along route 9 on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Brookline, MA - June 16: Rory McIlroy watches his chip fall onto the 9th green on the first day of the US Open Championship on June 16, 2022 in , Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Stuart Cahill/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Phil Mickelson hits on the 16th hole during a practice round for the U.S. Open golf tournament at The Country Club, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Brookline, Mass. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): A sign indicates one of the designated US Open parking lots on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm putts on the 18th green during a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm and Phil Mickelson exchange a handshake on the 18th green after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Phil Mickelson eyes a putt on the 18th green during a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Phil Mickelson gives a thumbs up to fans on the 18th green during a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Phil Mickelson and Jon Rahm sign autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Phil Mickelson signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Phil Mickelson signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): during the US Open practice round on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm signs autographs after finishing a practice round at the US Open at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Brayden Kielt ,4, of Lynnfield sits on his father Kevin's shoulders as they look for autographs during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Brayden Kielt ,4, of Lynnfield sits on his father Kevin's shoulders as they look for autographs during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jim Furyk watches his tees shot on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Volunteer Marshall Ted Dane uses paddles to direct off the first tee during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): The Country Club employee Zach Varney waters around the 18th green during the US Open practice round on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): The Country Club employee Zach Varney waters around the 18th green during the US Open practice round on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Volunteer Marshall Ted Dane uses paddles to direct off the first tee during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Jim Furyk tees off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Keegan Bradley talks with Jim Furyk before teeing off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Keegan Bradley tees off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fans watch as Keegan Bradley tees off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fran Quinn hands a club to his caddy and son, Owen, after teeing off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fran Quinn grabs a club from his caddy and son, Owen, before teeing off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fran Quinn walks with his caddy and son, Owen, after teeing off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fran Quinn talks with his caddy and son, Owen, before teeing off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061522 Brookline, MA): Fran Quinn tees off on the first hole during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Wednesday,June 15, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Todd Sinnott hits on the driving range during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm tees off on the first hole during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Dirt goes flying as Rory McIlroy tees off on the 11th hole during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Fans line the practice area to watch golfers during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Fans sit-in the stands to watch golfers on the driving range during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Cameron Falcone ,9 , of Charlestown, looks to get autographs of his pin flag during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061422 Brookline, MA): Jon Rahm speaks at a press conference during the US Open practice round on Tuesday,June 14, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • Then new owners of the Baltimore Orioles, Peter Angelos and Tom Clancy joined Democratic Gov. William Donald Schaefer on 1994 for Opening Day at Camden Yards. (Gene Sweeney Jr., Baltimore Sun)

  • (061322 Brookline, MA): Standard Bearer Aditi Shankar stands at the 18th green during the US Open practice round atThe Country Club on Monday,June 13, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061322 Brookline, MA): Buckets of balls at the ready during the US Open practice round at The Country Club on Monday,June 13, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061322 Brookline, MA): About 20 grounds crew members push lawnmowers along the 18th hole in preparation of the US Open at The Country Club on Monday,June 13, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061322 Brookline, MA): About 20 grounds crew members push lawnmowers along the 18th hole in preparation of the US Open at The Country Club on Monday,June 13, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

  • (061322 Brookline, MA): About 20 grounds crew members push lawnmowers along the 18th hole in preparation of the US Open at The Country Club on Monday,June 13, 2022 in Brookline, MA. (Staff Photo By Nancy Lane/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

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BROOKLINE – Thursday is one of those days that proves that Boston is the center of the sports universe. The U.S. Open gets underway at The Country Club, the Red Sox host the Oakland Athletics in a matinee on what should be on a beautiful afternoon for baseball, and the Celtics are hoping to force Game 7 in the NBA Finals when they host the Golden State Warriors at the Garden.

Keegan Bradley, a Vermont native that played a year of high school golf at Hopkinton, is like putting a superfan into the field and he has never been shy about sharing his allegiances.

It was not much of a surprise when he ended his press conference Wednesday morning by predicting a Celtics win Thursday night in Game 6 against Steph Curry and the Warriors.

As a major champion, Bradley knows how to handle pressure. Throwing out the opening pitch before a Red Sox game was more nerve-wracking than stepping up to the first tee of a major.

“I was such a nervous wreck yesterday. I kept telling my wife, why did I agree to do this?” Bradley said. “This is like – this is all I need this week, you know, is the pressure of – I’m getting – every time I walk through the player dining, they’re all, like, ‘I’m going to the game.’ ‘I’m videoing it.’ ‘You better throw a good one.’

“I was actually standing behind the mound with the First Tee before the pitch. I started to, like – things were getting fuzzy. That’s how uncomfortable I was. I was proud of the strike I threw – or the ball I threw.”

Bradley’s spot in this year’s tournament was not set until he finished second about a month ago at the Wells Fargo at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. That result pushed him into the top 60 in the world golf rankings.

It meant he did not need to participate in final qualifying, 36 holes of what the USGA calls “golf’s longest day.” It also meant family and friends could finally discuss the Open with him.

“I tried to put this in the back of my mind because this was important to me,” Bradley admitted. “I knew it was a big deal when none of my family members would ever talk about it around me.

“It was never acknowledged or spoken about until I made it, and then I’m getting texts: ‘I can’t wait to watch you.’”

To do it on “New England’s best track” is a bonus.

“You find in most New England courses is the course has to kind of go with the terrain, so there’s some funky shots,” Bradley said. “It’s a little quirky. There’s some blind shots. You’re hitting down into fairways.

“It’s like how a lot of these courses are out here, but again, The Country Club growing up was always this mystical place. So to be out here playing the U.S. Open is pretty fun.”

Trying to keep up

Jim Furyk has been to the top of the mountain, winning the U.S. Open in 2003 at Olympia Fields and being a part of nine Ryder Cup teams, including “the Battle at Brookline,” where Furyk defeated Sergio Garcia 4 and 3 in Sunday’s singles match.

“It’s nice to be back,” Furyk said after completing the front nine in his final preparation before Thursday’s start. “I haven’t been back since 1999. Good memories. The golf course looks a little different, but it looks good.”

While he is still hitting the ball just as far as he did 23 years ago, the number of changes to lengthen holes will make it hard for him to be able to keep up with the younger bombers in the game.

Nos. 1, 3, 4, 14 and 15 have all been lengthen by at least 30 yards since the Ryder Cup. The 14th has gone from 486 yards to 619, though becoming a par 5. No. 10 went from 513 yards as a par 5 to 499 yards as a par 4.

“It’s a great golf course from tee to green,” said Furyk. “It’s funny, it’s only a handful of holes – five or six holes. Architects never add 40 yards to the 360-yard hole to make it 400 yards because it doesn’t change the hole that much. You take a little more club off the tee and hit your wedge in.

“They make the 450 hole 500 is what they do. … Those are the ones that are going to stress me out a little bit.”

He said it would take “stars and moons to align” to compete. But there was a full moon on Tuesday.

Ready if needed

Matt Parziale, the Brockton native who won the 2017 U.S. Mid-Amateur title, will serve as a marker if they need one over the weekend.

He could potentially be called on to tee it up in the first group of the day if the cut lands on an odd number and the first person to go would rather a marker instead of playing as a single.

“I’ve played the old (Open course), but not the new one,” Parziale said.

He said that he was going to be there on Sunday to “do some stuff with NBC” before taking in the rest of the day as a spectator.

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