Women's Open could stay awhile

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:10 AM ET

The Canadian Women's Open may be making a regular stop in London.

In an effort to offer some stability to an unstable Canadian golf situation at both the men's and women's national championships, there have been discussions about putting the tournaments on a five-year rotation in cities that have proven successful at holding them.

There's a lot of work to be done before a decision on whether a set rotation will even happen, but both Lindsey Elwood, president of the London Hunt and Country Club, and Rick Desrochers, chief operating officer and managing director of the Royal Canadian Golf Association, indicated information discussions have taken place.

"We haven't sat down with the club and formally said, 'Would you become part of a five-year rotation?' " Des-rochers said. "We've had casual conversations about that. I don't mind telling you, that this facility, if we're going to get into that kind of rotation, would be very high on the list."

Elwood confirmed there are some "informal discussions" about the club joining a rotation -- if that is the direction sponsors and the RCGA want to go.

"It's up to the membership, obviously," Elwood said. "But I can't imagine with all the good that this has done, I can't imagine the members being not receptive to it.

"There's been talk about it. We love hosting events. Some members don't. But when you look at it, it's only eight days (out of the club's schedule), it's not serious. This gives back to the community. It's a great event for the members to watch. I think they might be receptive. It's great for golf, great for London."

CN, the sponsor of the Open, is pleased with the early success of the tournament in terms of attendance and the positive response from the LPGA players.

"Our agreement with CN takes us through 2008 and then an option to pick up another two years," Desrochers said. "Certainly, if we went through the initial five years, which I'm confident we will, particularly with the experience we've had here this week, in the mix cycle, we'd look at coming here again."

Desrochers said the club's performance so far and the RCGA's reaction to how things have gone was "over the top."

"Would we come back to London Hunt?" Desrochers said. "The answer is yes, yes and yes again."

While sponsor preferences for where a tournament is held mean a lot, so does the reaction of the tour players. The course, the conditions and the treatment they are receiving have left them impressed.

"This feels like a major to me," Cristie Kerr said during a news conference Thursday.


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