Arizona State senior Wendy Ward is learning how to walk the LPGA
walk -- even if she is still an amateur. Last week she needed
something to do during spring break, so with a sponsor's exemption
to the Standard Register-Ping tournament in Phoenix in one hand
and a deadly accurate driver in the other, she made her way onto a
prestigious leader board.
By shooting a nine-under-par 69-71-71-72-283 over a very long
6,495-yard Moon Valley Country Club course, Ward, the current
U.S. Amateur champ, finished tied for third. The only players
ahead of her were 1994 LPGA top money winner Laura Davies, who
finished first, and the '94 Player of the Year, Beth Daniel.
Among those left in Ward's wake were Betsy King, Nancy Lopez and
Ward's steady play all week earned her the trip of a lifetime for
the final round: an 18-hole jaunt with defending champ Davies and
Daniel, who has finished second in three of the four tournaments
she has played in 1995.
Would Ward panic? Could the new wunderkind of women's golf keep
from fainting in front of a packed 18th hole gallery? Could the
21-year-old bang in a 30-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of play
for a share of third place? No, yes and yes. ``I really enjoy
pressure,'' she says.