6 represent Canada in final weekend

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:21 AM ET

Lorie Kane will have Canadian company on the golf course at the London Hunt Club this weekend.

Though the Charlottetown native is the lone Canuck with a legitimate hope of winning the Canadian Women's Open, the field for the final two rounds will include five other Canadian players, including former Londoner Jessica Shepley and top amateur Laura Matthews from Essex near Windsor. The two homegrown talents squeaked in when the cut line made a late move to five over par after the first two days of play.

Red Deer's 36-year-old Kim Brozer, who has played only 11 LPGA and Futures Tour events this year, fired a 71 to go along with her opening-round 73 to make her first cut in her national tournament and forge the best two-day total for a Canuck not named Kane.

"That's awesome. The more Canadians, the better," Brozer said. "I'm just playing really good golf right now. I don't know why -- it's a tough course and it's probably going to get tougher over the next two days."

Monday qualifier Jennifer Greggain, an American-born player who married a Canadian and now lives in Chilliwack, B.C., and Burlington's inspirational Salimah Mussani will also represent the home front.

It looked bleak for the Canadians after LPGA Tour veteran Dawn Coe-Jones and highly touted Hamilton up-and-comer Alena Sharp failed to make the cut early in the day.

"I had my chances out there," Coe-Jones said. "It's always disappointing when you don't make the cut and it's disappointing for the (Canadian) players, especially. You want to be there."

Oakville's Shepley, who spent the first few years of her childhood in London, posted a two-over 74 yesterday for a two-day total of five-over 149, but missed a birdie putt on her final hole -- the course's ninth -- that made her sweat it out all evening while waiting to watch the cut line. That pivotal putt was put on hold while Swedish playing partner Eva Dahllof -- still back on the fairway -- waited several minutes for a ruling.

"There's no answer for that one," Shepley said. "I probably should've putted out, but I figured there's going to be officials walking around behind me -- so I wanted to wait it out. If I make that putt, then it would've been the right decision to wait."

Matthews finished as low amateur and benefited from playing her two rounds with Vicki Goetze-Ackerman, who is well up the leaderboard.

In addition to two more instructional rounds, Matthews has a busy couple of months planned, including a trip to Stellenbosch, South Africa, to represent Canada at the World Amateur Team Championships in October.

Coe-Jones has often played her best LPGA tournament of the year at the Canadian stop and held the Hunt Club's record with a 64 in the first round of the 1993 du Maurier Classic. But neither factor helped the British Columbia veteran survive for the weekend.

"Unfortunately, that (round of 64) was 13 years ago," Coe-Jones said after carding a 78 yesterday for a two-day total of 151.

Playing for two days with calendar girl Natalie Gulbis was an eye-opener for Coe-Jones, who noticed a more youthful-skewed group of spectators following her.

"It was a refreshing gallery, I'll tell you that," she said. "There were some nice, good-looking young men out there for once. I don't know who they were following (Gulbis, Coe-Jones or Pat Hurst). You'd have to ask them."

It's difficult to gauge the condition of elite Canadian women's golf based on this tournament because many of the players are still in the salad days of their careers and a few more are battling injury. But six of 19 Canadians getting to play all four rounds here is not terrible.

Veteran A. J. Eathorne pulled out because of a wrist injury and a drained Isabelle Beisiegel -- who shot a pair of 75s -- was simply ecstatic to compete in her first tournament in 10 months since having her thyroid gland removed in her battle with Graves' disease.

"I was bedridden for six months and that's a big reason why I was spraying (the ball) all over the place," Beisiegel said. "My thyroid levels are low and I can really feel it out there."

Walpole Island's Cheryl Mitchell, the first native woman to play in an LPGA Tour event, recovered to shoot a two-over 74 yesterday to help forget an opening-round 81 on Thursday.


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