Countdown to the Women's Open

JOHN HERBERT -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

The London Hunt and Country Club is the site of the national championship Aug. 10-13. The field of 156 LPGA players and Canadians will compete for a purse of $1.7 million US -- one of the largest in 2006.

New date in 2007

LPGA commissioner Carolyn Bivens, who was in Toronto Thursday, said the Canadian Women's Open will get a better date next year, two weeks after the Weetabix Women's British Open. This year, the Canadian tournament immediately follows the British. The change might help the organizing committee in Edmonton, site of next year's championship, to attract European players, who this year are headed to Sweden after the British Open for Annika Sorenstam's tournament.

Pro-am

Canadian women's curling champion Jennifer Jones, who was in London earlier this year for the Scott Tournament of Hearts, has joined the field for the pro-am on Aug. 9.

Silent but deadly

A couple of London-bound players, Se Ri Pak and Brittany Lincicome, received the silent treatment from Michelle Wie in the Women's World Match Play Championship.

"She's not much of a talker," Pak said after her loss in the third round. "Me, I was having fun with my caddie. She wasn't really talking at all. We were not having any conversation at all, but this is a match game. It was a little weird, but that's fine. She wanted to win."

Lincicome beat the 16-year-old star 4-and-3 in the quarter-finals. "I would tell her 'good shot' and she would say nothing in return," said Lincicome, who went on to win the event. "Maybe she was just focused. Maybe I was messing her up by trying to talk to her."

Canadian tour

The third and final exemption into the Canadian Women's Open is up for grabs Monday and Tuesday in the Canadian tour event at the Ottawa Hunt and Country Club. The Royal Canadian Golf Association exempts the winners of the first three tournaments. The RCGA will also exempt the top four players -- other than the three winners -- based on their play in the three tournaments. The RCGA is also holding a qualifying tournament for 60 players at the London Hunt on Aug. 7. The entry deadline is Friday.

This weekend

The Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic at Highland Meadows in Toledo, Ohio, ending tomorrow, is the final North American event before the stars come here. The tour is off next week. Play will resume with the Evian Masters July 26-29 in France, followed by the British Open Aug. 3-6, then London. Se Ri Pak, the 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2004 winner in Toledo, is attempting to match Mickey Wright's tour record of five wins in one event. Wright won the Sea Island Open in 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961 and 1963.


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