From Fierce Competitors to Close Friends; Legends Championship 2014
|Lorie Kane (left) with runnr-up Laurie Rinker|
Competition is human nature. It can be a friendly rivalry like the Cats versus Cards, Boiler Makers versus Hoosiers or Buckeyes versus Wolverines; or it can be hard-core, like Jimmy Connors versus John McEnroe. The women on The Legends Tour know a thing or two about competition and it wasn’t always friendly. In the days when they were on the LPGA circuit, playing each other was not a walk on the course. It was serious business.
According to Legends Hall of Famer JanStephenson, “Back then, we never stopped long enough to smell the roses. Now we can and we do.” During last year’s inaugural Legends Tour Championship at French Lick Resort, we saw first-hand how well the ladies get along these days. They traveled together and socialized at the many events held as part of the championship festivities.
Solheim Cup team captain Lisolette Neumann said, “It’s so fun for all of us to get together. We’re all still competitive.” Now, they are more “golfing buddies” than opponents. The ladies still want to win, but they stop to have some fun while chasing victory.
|& Jean Bartholomew|
The Legends Tour, created in part by former PGA player Jane Blalock, so that women 45 and older could compete with other skilled professionals and continue winning accolades and prize money. The Legends Tour “keeps our dream alive. We still have competitive spirits,” according to World Golf Hall of Fame member Pat Bradley. “[The Legends Tour], also allows us to go back to communities and thank people for their support and encouragement. It’s a wonderful way of continuing the butterflies we had back in the day.” She continued, “I was so single-minded and yet [the tour] has given me a second chance to get to know a lot of wonderful women I didn’t take the time to get to know because I was [focused on] beating them.”
Not only are the ladies returning to communities that supported them in previous competitions, they now have the opportunity to give back to those communities by donating a portion of event proceeds to worthy charities around the country. This year’s event will benefit Riley Hospital Foundation in Indianapolis.