When Wendy Ward qualified for the LPGA Tour in 1996, Pat Bradley had already won 31 tournaments, including six major championships, but Bradley remembers being impressed by Ward’s game when they were paired together late in her career. The two will team up this Friday, September 6, at The Ridge Club in Sandwich, Mass. for the 3rd annual BJ’s Charity Championship presented by P&G.
“Wendy has tremendous length off the tee and a complete game,” recalls Bradley, 68. “She is a great addition to our Legends Tour and an easy-going, pleasant player to be with. I look forward to teaming up with her.”
Ward, 46, debuted on The Legends Tour last year at the Suquamish Clearwater Legends Cup presented by Boeing held in her home state of Washington. A 4-time LPGA Tour champion, Ward teed it up in three Solheim Cup contests (2002, 2003, 2005) and is currently serving as Assistant Captain to Juli Inkster in the 2019 competition taking place later this month.
“Team events are so much fun,” says Ward, a former Curtis Cup competitor and three-time All-American at Arizona State University. “And the fun factor takes my game to another level. There’s just something special about walking the fairways with a partner and trying to accomplish a goal together.”
Ward could not have drawn a better partner. Bradley, an LPGA and World Golf Hall of Famer, won three of four major championships held in 1986 and completed the career slam. She represented Team USA in the Solheim Cup in 1990, 1992 and 1996 and served as captain in 2000. Bradley picked up a Legends Tour win in 2005 and was a stalwart competitor for the Americans in 10 straight ISPS Handa Cup appearances from 2006-2015.
A New England favorite, especially on the Cape, Bradley hails from West Hyannisport and was recently inducted into the New Hampshire Golf Hall of Fame.
“Pat is and always has been such a great competitor,” notes Ward. “That’s what I admire most about her. She comes to win, and I hope that’s what we can do together at the BJ’s tournament. The victory is that much sweeter when you share it with a teammate.”
The BJ’s Charity Championship features 14 teams made up of two Legends each who compete in nine holes of four-ball (better ball of partners) on the front side, followed by nine holes of a scramble format on the back. Now in its third year at The Ridge Club, this unique team event is a favorite stop for many veteran stars of the LPGA Tour, including World Golf Hall of Famers Juli Inkster, Betsy King, Jan Stephenson, Hollis Stacy, Donna Caponi, Sandra Haynie, and of course, Bradley.
“Wendy is a terrific person,” says Bradley. “It will be a lot of fun. You create camaraderie on the course in team events and you feed off each other. The fans and the players truly enjoy that atmosphere.”
Gates open at 9:00 a.m. with tee times starting at 10:00 a.m. Bobby Orr, NHL Hall of Famer and member of The Ridge Club, will greet the LPGA Legends on the first tee and serve as Honorary Starter. Admission is free. Park for free at the Holly Ridge Golf Course next door and hop the complimentary shuttle to the tournament entrance.