Countdown to the Women's Open

JOHN HERBERT -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:02 PM ET

The London Hunt and Country Club is site of the 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.

TV crew

Rob Faulds, who started his career at CFPL Radio in the 1970s, will anchor the Rogers Sportsnet coverage. Faulds will be joined in the booth by 16-year LPGA player Gail Graham, who will serve as colour analyst. The Sportsnet team will also include former LPGA star Sandra Post and announcers Dan Murphy, Gerry Dobson and John Gordon.

Sportsnet will be on the air from 2-5 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday of tournament week and from 4-7 p.m. on Sunday, the final day.

Gulbis ready for London

"I like tough courses where par is a good score -- that would make it a great Canadian Open," Natalie Gulbis said this week from her home in Las Vegas. "The cool thing about the Hunt greens is they have quadrants to set the pins. It's just not like they have big, flat greens. The one quality I like about the Hunt greens is they have four little greens in one."

Gulbis also said she would never follow Michelle Wie's lead by playing a men's tournament. What if she was offered an exemption? "No thank you," she said would be her answer.

Beth Daniel enters

Hall-of-Famer Beth Daniel, who's won 33 tournaments and almost $9 million in her career, has joined the field along with Christina Kim, 42nd on the money list, Aree Song and Mi Hyun Kim, winner of last week's Jamie Farr Owens Corning Classic in Toledo.

Final qualifying

Sixty players tee it up Aug. 7 at the Hunt Club for four spots into the tournament. The Royal Canadian Golf Association has already granted seven exemptions to the two winners on the Canadian Tour this year and the tour's top five players in the Order of Merit standings. Those exempt include former London resident Jessica Shepley, who now lives in Oakville, and Cheryl Mitchell of Walpole Island, who plays out of the Baldoon Golf and Country club in Wallaceburg.

Money leaders entered

4. Mi Hyun Kim, $1,014,724 US

5. Juli Inkster, $975,571

7. Brittany Lincicome, $764,806

9. Pat Hurst, $719,154

10. Jeong Jang, $677,771

11. Cristie Kerr, $653,030

13. Se Ri Pak, $621,439

14. Natalie Gulbis, $573,441

15. Meena Lee, $420,905

Tickets

Call 1-866-571-5742, or purchase daily at the entrance gate to the Hunt club for $25 (Thursday-Sunday).

Parking is $5 daily.


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