Brozer turns heads

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 11:09 AM ET

As everyone expected, a Canadian golfer fired a gutsy third round of one-under 71 to head into championship Sunday on a high note in the Canadian Women's Open.

But it was Red Deer's surprising Kim Brozer, not favourite Lorie Kane, who had the head-turning effort at the Hunt Club to set herself up for a shot at the biggest paycheque of her career.

Kane struggled to a one-over 73 on a day when she really needed to go under par and shoot a score similar to that of conditional Tour player Brozer, who is playing in just her fourth LGPA event this year and attracted about one-thousandth the gallery of her better-known countrywoman from Charlottetown.

"The biggest thing is it's been tough to get into events," said Brozer, who turns 37 years old next week. "I've been looking forward to this tournament all year and Ontario golf is just awesome. I played here in '93 (for the du Maurier Classic) and it's the typical layout. The support has been fantastic."

Had Brozer's putter caught fire, she acknowledged her 71 could've easily been a 67 because of strong iron play. If that had been the case, she would be one stroke behind Kane and fighting for top Canadian honours in the tournament.

Now, that'll get you noticed in a hurry.

"It's tough. She (Kane) has had opportunities," Brozer said. "It's still early and she's playing very well and every move of hers is being watched as all the top players are, and it's tough, let me tell you. She's doing a great job."

Brozer is used to flying under the radar with less than $9,000 in career earnings on the LPGA Tour but that should change today as she heads into the final round tied for 16th in the tournament at one-under par. She didn't just make the cut on Friday, she's making up ground on the weekend.

But no matter what she does here, she's still heading to the often humbling and nerve-racking qualifying school in the fall.

"All I know is the application has to be filed by Oct. 31," Brozer said with a grin.

Though some may have given up the dream of a pro golf career by now -- especially someone with a master's degree in industrial organizational psychology -- Brozer's play this week should strengthen her resolve to continue. She won a Futures Tour event last year and posted two victories on a short-lived West Coast series but there was little indication she would provide some Canadian excitement here.

"If I knew (what clicked), I'd bottle it," she said.

Brozer has worked with swing teacher Ted Sheftic in Pennsylvania for the past two years and picked up some pointers on her game from Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott in Phoenix. This week, she is working well with even-tempered caddy Bill Foster, a Brantford native working his first LPGA Tour event.

"I put my name in, Kim requested a local caddy and I got a call a week-and-a-half ago asking if I was willing to do it and I jumped at the chance," Foster said. "All the credit goes to her. She's doing a fantastic job."

Brozer already has her name branded on her golf bag. The biggest change between yesterday and today is few Canadian golf fans will have to scan that name to figure out who she is.


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