Pat Bradley was one of the most consistent LPGA players on the LPGA Tour, but she made her biggest impact on the game with one glorious year.
In 1986, she won three of the LPGA's four major championships: the Nabisco Dinah Shore, the LPGA Championship, and the du Maurier Classic, failing to capture only the U.S. Women's Open.
Bradley has claimed six majors in all and is the only player to have won all four of the "modern" LPGA majors, having claimed the U.S. Women's Open in 1981 (she also won the du Maurier in 1980 and 1985).
Bradley grew up in Westford, Massachusetts, where she was an avid skier, but she worked hard on her golf game at Florida International University and joined the LPGA Tour in 1974. Her first win came two years later.
The high point of the first decade of her career came in the 1981 U.S. Women's Open when she shot a final-round 66 to outduel Beth Daniel and win by one stroke.
Until 1986, it appeared that Bradley was destined to be known more for coming close than for winning. She entered that year with 16 wins, but 35 runner-up finishes.
She had finished in the top four on the money list six times, but never in first place. Nor had she ever won the Player of the Year Award or the Vare Trophy for low-scoring average.
Bradley swept those awards in 1986 when she had five wins and six seconds, then repeated the feat in 1991 when she won four times.
Bradley's career took a downturn in 1988 when she was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. But, after taking time off to treat the condition, one of the game's most intense competitors came back determined to reach 30 wins and qualify for the LPGA Hall of Fame.
She accomplished her goal by winning eight times from 1989-91. Bradley added a 31st win in 1995 and totaled $5,755,951 for her career, which is 15th all-time.
In 1991, Bradley set a record for a 54-hole event with 19 under, which wasn't surpassed for 10 years.
In 2005, she was Patty Sheehan's partner as they tied the Jan Stephenson-Cindy Rarick pair at the BJ's Charity Championship on the Women's Senior Tour.
For more information about golf, see:
- The Best Golfers of All Time
- How Golf Clubs Work