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 Lopez and Dottie Mochrie.
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.