Countdown to the Women's Open

JOHN HERBERT -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:06 PM ET

Aug. 7-13 at the London Hunt and Country CLub

In the Hunt

Taya Battisella doesn't know where London is on the map, but she thinks "it's pretty cool'' to be coming to the city for her first LPGA Tour event.

Battisella, who lives in Bellingham, Wash., near the Canadian border, earned an exemption into the national championship and the $5,000 winner's cheque for winning the Canadian Tour stop in Duncan Meadows, B.C., this month.

Battisella is playing Monday and Tuesday in the second Canadian Tour event of the year at Settlers' Ghost Golf Club in Barrie. While in Ontario, she is planning to call the Hunt Club to ask for a game after the Barrie tournament.

Battisella said she is playing her best golf in three years.

"I just broke up with my boyfriend. I'm a lot happier, my attitude's better, I'm a little more confident and I'm playing smarter,'' she said. "It should be a good year for me.''

Her previous best showing was winning a tournament and $5,000 US in Beijing, China. "But the Chinese government took $1,000.''

Barrie-bound

Maggie Steciuk of the Hunt Club and Lindsay Edmunds of Sunningdale, both recent university graduates, are entered in the Canadian Tour event in Barrie. Father Fred Steciuk said the two women are "dedicating the next couple of years'' to obtaining LPGA Tour status. Steciuk attended St. John's University in New York; Edmunds went to Western.

Volunteers

Heading the scoring committee is Hunt Club member Peter Johnson. Peter McCain is chairperson of the pro-am organizers, Bob Furlong and Bob Litchfield are the medical team. Don Organ, Paul Coates and Elizabeth Hewitt lead the team of 400 marshals. Scott Disney and John Webster head the caddie committee, providing those LPGA players without regular caddies an experienced caddie. Perry Ferguson, president of Voyageur Transportation and Checker Transportation, is responsible for player transportation.

This weekend

The LPGA players are at the Corning Classic in Corning, N.Y.


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