Bradshaw to take good genes, ambition to Georgia
OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. – If Collins Bradshaw is going to have success on the golf course, she knows it has to start with her short game.
“I’m not the longest hitter, so I need to drop some putts, and anything in between 130 (yards) and in, I need to be pretty nasty around the greens,” Bradshaw said matter-of-factly Tuesday. “I’ve been working hard on just making sure that I don’t give a lot of shots away. Today, that’s where my downfall came.”
63rd U.S. Girls Junior Championship
A look at the action at Olympia Fields for the U.S. Girls Junior Championship.
Bradshaw, of Columbia, S.C., shot 11-over 155 (78-77) and fell one shot outside the cut line at the U.S. Girls’ Junior at Olympia Fields’ South Course. It was not the end to her junior career that she had imagined.
The petite blonde doesn’t have size or length to her advantage, averaging just 230 yards off the tee, but she does have speed. Bradshaw spends little time over the ball, and her parents tell the story of an unofficial visit to Alabama during which head coach Mic Potter said Bradshaw was the only player he had ever seen sprint down the fairway.
Trace this kind of play back to Bradshaw’s younger years, when she often found herself on the course with older brothers Brewer and Thomas, who now play for Clemson.
“If you weren’t playing fast, you didn’t play with them,” she said. “I always had to be ready and on the go.”
Not only did those early days shape the tempo of Bradshaw’s game – which can sometimes be a bad thing, so she now is making a conscious effort to slow it down – but it also helped to be included as one of the guys on the course. Couple that with Bradshaw’s incredible gene pool, which not only includes the one-two Bradshaw punch on the Clemson men’s team, but also Collins’ father Bill, who played quarterback and wide receiver at South Carolina. Her mother Sherry was first runner-up at the 1985 Miss America pageant.
Bill concedes that watching his sons play for Clemson, a rival of South Carolina's, was tough at first. He was more prepared for Collins to commit to Georgia, and mostly is excited at what a golf legacy his three children are carving in the Southeast.
“It’s unusual to have three kids playing college golf,” he said.
Collins will arrive in Athens in the fall after graduating early from high school, a decision she made last December. She’ll have one year to play with recent Player of the Year winner Marta Silva Zamora.
“I’m really excited about being on the team with (Marta) and watching her and learning from her,” Bradshaw said.
Once at Georgia, Bradshaw plans to pursue a career in journalism, and hopes to keep her hand in sports. It’s hard to imagine that life for a Bradshaw could take place anywhere but the field – or the course.