FALMOUTH – Pat Bradley was in her best pro-am form Thursday at the Falmouth Country Club. High-fiving her amateur partners on a good shot, offering encouragement when a shot went in the wrong direction (there was a lot of that), and even giving a quick lesson or two.

It’s a role the former LPGA players are comfortable with. A key to the success of the Legends Tour is how the players interact with their pro-am partners, the spectators and the community they happen to be in that week.

Bradley is a natural.

In her LPGA playing days, the Westford, Mass., native was more single-minded.

“I played with blinders on,” Bradley said between shots in the pro-am. “I missed a lot of opportunities to get to know these women. I competed against them. I didn’t want to let my guard down.”

Bradley and the rest of the 40-player field open play today in the Hannaford Community Challenge of the Legends Tour. The final 18 holes will be played Sunday with the winner receiving $30,000.

Bradley, who won 31 tournaments on the LPGA Tour and six majors, is in the LPGA Hall of Fame. The Legends Tour allows players to continue to compete.

“It gives us a second chance to keep our dream alive,” said Bradley.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to give to the charities that are part of the tournament. We’re baby boomers enjoying what we do and hopefully it will show other women baby boomers that they can also play and compete in the game they love. It’s been a lot of fun.”

It’s also given Bradley another opportunity, one she missed on the LPGA Tour.

“I’m getting to know and hang with a tremendous group of women,” she said.

Bradley grew up with five brothers, two of them older. Mark, the next in line after Pat, is the father of PGA Tour standout Keegan Bradley, who won the PGA Championship last year. A younger brother, Chris, is caddying for her this week.

“My brothers were the ones who molded my competitive spirit. I had to go up against them in every sport we played,” said Bradley.

“In football I was the one who hiked the ball and blocked. They were the quarterbacks and wide receivers. I would complain but they would say ‘Pat, just hike the ball and block.’ What’s wrong with this picture, I’d wonder. Playing with them, I wanted to find a sport where I didn’t need to play with my brothers.”

Bradley took that sport to the highest level.

Golf now is the sport that helps her stay connected to her brothers.

“My brothers are all golfers. It’s nice I can play with them. We have a great time. It’s the common denominator,” she said.

The other favorite family activity, besides skiing, is watching Keegan on the pro tour. Mark Bradley is a longtime PGA club pro.

“His father really gave him his foundation in golf. I believe watching my career and seeing how well my career went enhanced Keegan’s desire to be inside the ropes. When we played together, I know Keegan was observing my course management. He would ask me about different situations,” said Bradley.

“It’s wonderful following Keegan. He’s doing really well. He’s already achieved one of the toughest accomplishments — winning a major. Keegan is very focused on making the Ryder Cup team. He started the year ranked second, now he’s 12th. He knows he has to turn his game around, post better numbers and finish better.”

Bradley said her nephew was born in 1986, her best year on Tour when she captured three of the four majors, won the LPGA money title and the Vare Trophy for lowest-scoring average.

She also pointed out another interesting fact linking aunt and nephew.

“When Keegan won the PGA, it was 25 years and almost to the day that I won the LPGA Championship,” she said.

Bradley hopes to stay competitive for one tournament she would like to see.

“It would be nice if the United States Golf Association would look into having a Women’s Senior Open like our counterparts on the men’s tour have,” she said.

“If they don’t hurry up, I might miss my tee time.”

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH