Monday, August 18, 2014

Despite late start, Seber-Bradley has record 7 WyCo Golf Titles


KANSAS CITY, KAN. ----- For many, life may begin at 40 but it started in earnest at just 36 years of age for Pat Seber-Bradley.

That’s when she first picked up a golf club. Now, a quarter of a century later, Seber-Bradley is one of Kansas City’s best women’s amateurs (senior or otherwise) and living proof you’re never too old to learn how to play the game.

“My husband (Dennis Bradley) taught me how to play in 1990,” say Seber-Bradley, a Basehor resident. “I had never played golf before and when he helped me as much as he could, I started taking lessons from Wayne Montgomery at Tomahawk Hills and I was hooked.”

Currently a three to four times a week golfer, Seber-Bradley plays in two leagues – the State Line Amateur run by the Kansas City Golf Association and a Tuesday league at St. Andrews Golf Club. She’s also the captain of an undefeated Kansas City Cup golf team at Sunflower Hills and a record seven-time winner of the Wyandotte County Open.

The oldest tournament of its kind in the Kansas City area, Seber-Bradley’s win in the 38th annual tournament at Sunflower Hills Aug. 9-10 was her third in a row – and her most challenging test. Trailing first time entrant Chris Baird by three strokes at the halfway point of the 36-hole stroke play tournament, Seber-Bradley rallied for a one-shot win (187-188).

“Every year it gets tougher, especially when you’re a repeat champion,” she says. “There’s a little more pressure.”

Tied with four holes to go, Seber-Bradley birdied Sunflower’s demanding 432-yard uphill par 5 15th hole.

“I had a very good drive and second shot and then an A wedge to the green and made a right-to-left breaking putt from about 10 feet,” she said of the pivotal birdie that put her ahead to stay.  “I played it safe on No. 18. I didn’t want to push or pull a drive into the hazards so I hit a 4 hybrid off the tee and then laid up with the same club, came up short and chipped on.”

“She’s certainly the best woman golfer right now,” says Sunflower Hills master head professional Jeff Johnson. “She’s a fanatic about playing, loves to compete and will play about anytime she has a chance.”

Seber-Bradley’s winning is not confined to Sunflower Hills, where she plays every Thursday morning. Earlier this season, she won a State Line Amateur event at Ironhorse, “That’s a harder league because there’s really a lot of good young golfers including some college players who can really hit the ball a long ways,” she says.

Her finest moment, however, came in last year’s club championship at St. Andrews.

“I shot even par (71). It was exciting. I had never shot par before. I was playing a 5-handicapper who was expected to win and I shot 71-76 and won by eight shots.”

Seber-Bradley credits her success to a “lot of lessons” and the fact that she walks while pushing a motorized pull cart. “I walk if they allow me to walk,” she says. “I feel I play better when I walk.”

That Seber-Bradley has excelled on the golf course despite getting a late start should come as no surprise. It’s not often you find a woman who for 26 years drove a semi-trailer truck hauling a BP Amoco tanker to locations with a radius of 200 miles of Kansas City. “I retired after 26 years and never had an accident,” she says with justifiable pride.

Growing up in Leavenworth County, Seber-Bradley attended a country school, which of course did not offer golf. “They didn’t have anything for girls in those days,” she remembers.

With her record seventh WyCo championship safely tucked away, Seber-Bradley’s next goal is the Kansas City Cup, where she and her partner are 5-1 in match play and the team is 6-0. “We’re in the quarterfinals,” she’s quick to point out


PHOTO: For 26 years the driver of a semi-trailer truck hauling a gasoline tanker, Pat Seber-Bradley of Basehor pushes a pull cart as one of Kansas City’s best amateur golfers. (Photo by Alan Hoskins)