Green hopes to qualify for Women's Open

JOHN HERBERT -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

If Angie Green can sell Dale Downie on a great deal, she must have some kind of talent.

The 24-year-old London golfer persuaded Downie -- a London car dealer -- to cover her expenses on the CN Canadian Women's Tour, which could easily total $12,000.

"She just sold me on her passion and lets face it, it took a lot of guts to come in and ask for dough," said Downie, who met the former Ontario junior champ six weeks ago at his Dundas Street East dealership.

She also brought along a DVD of her accomplishments.

"To get anywhere, you need serious financial backing," Green said yesterday from Daytona, Fla., where she's working on her game. "I made a power-point presentation with all my personal goals.

"I've been trying to find a sponsor for a couple years."

Green said sponsorship will allow her to play in more events in Canada and the U.S. She's planning to spend much of her time practising in Florida on the same course where the LPGA Tour qualifying school is held this fall.

Green and three other London and area players played the Canadian Tour season-opener this week in Duncan, B.C. Green opened with a solid 76 -- placing her in 10th spot -- but a second-round 83 dropped her to 15th. Green said yesterday she suffered an achilles tendon injury on the second day and played some of the round wearing one shoe.

Sunningdale's Maggie Steciuk shot 79-78 to tie for 13th, while Lindsey Edmunds, also of Sunningdale, shot 83-75 to tie for 14th with Cheryl Mitchell of Walpole Island, who shot 80-78.

Highland Country Club is also assisting Green, who has been awarded playing privileges by its board of directors. In return, Highland gets the exposure of Green playing out of the club and the satisfaction of helping the young pro. Club pro Mike Silver, who approached the board, also has nailed down sponsorship deals with Titleist for balls, Antigua for clothing and FootJoy for shoes.

Downie said he called Silver after Green's visit to check out her credentials and for his opinion on whether it would be money well spent.

"He said they were going to help so I said 'if you do, we can do it.' " he said. "I thought with the (CN Canadian Women's) Open coming to London and Mike buying in, why not?"

Silver said Green has played at the club a few times.

"She's confident, but not cocky," Silver said. "She handles herself well. She has that spark inside her to do well. I like that. I think she will be a good ambassador for all the people of London.

"I told Dale it's very difficult for these kids in Canada to get help and it's been that way for years. Unfortunately, to play competitively, it costs lots of money."

Though this is his first sponsorship involving golf, he routinely offers up cars for a hole-in-one at a charity tournaments, a giveaway guaranteed by insurance. He also sponsors minor hockey teams -- more than he can count, he said, and with partner General Motors, has supplied Fanshawe College and some London secondary schools with cars for auto shop students.

"London's been good to me. Why not?" he said.

Green grew up in London, attended Laurier secondary school and attended college in the U.S. on a golf scholarship.

She hopes to play in this year's tournament at the Hunt. She can qualify by winning a Canadian Tour event -- there are tournaments in Barrie and Ottawa before the Open in August -- or through Monday qualifying.

But, there will be no free ride.

RCGA tournament director Sean Van Kesteren said Green will not receive a sponsor's exemption because the tournament is in London.


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