Canadian golf corner

Dawn Coe-Jones (left) and Lorie Kane have won more money at the Canadian Open than any other Canuck...

Dawn Coe-Jones (left) and Lorie Kane have won more money at the Canadian Open than any other Canuck golfer. (Sun File/David Bloom)

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:58 AM ET

To Canadian golf fans they represent the great Northern hope.

If a Canuck is going to win the CN Canadian Women's Open, odds are it'll be either Dawn Coe-Jones or Lorie Kane.

The two have won more money at this event than any other Canadian golfer. And they've come the closest to claiming the title.

"This is not only the highlight of my year, but it has been a highlight of my career," said Coe-Jones following yesterday's Women's Pro-Am event.

"I've been coming out here now for 24 years. I don't know how many more I'll get out of myself. But it's fun to come back and thank people for supporting you and that sort of thing over the years.

"It's fun to see the Canadian flag."

Coe-Jones has earned $339,120 competing in the Canadian Open, $87,230 more than Kane.

Last year Coe-Jones missed the cut, but in 2005 finished in a tie for 27th with Kane and in 2004 finish in a fifth-place tie with her fellow Canadian.

The closest the native of Lake Cowichan, B.C., has come to winning the tournament was in 1993 when she finished third - a stroke behind Betsy King and Brandie Burton, who went on to win the event in a playoff.

Since then she's gone on to post three more top-10 finishes.

"I used to put a little more pressure on myself to try and win this tournament, but I don't anymore," Coe-Jones said. "I'm out here enjoying myself, enjoying the attention and just enjoying being home and playing on Northern golf courses.

"I live in Florida, I have been since 1991, but I just love playing on Canadian golf courses."

A month ago Coe-Jones played a round at the Royal Mayfair on a promotional tour for the tournament.

The course has changed a bit since then.

"I think the rough's up from where it was a month ago. It's a lot greener and lusher, the greens are rolling nice and it's just a nice golf course to play," she said. " The holes are shaped with all the doglegs and visually it looks good to me.

"I like the golf course, the fairways are framed nicely, it's in good shape and the greens are great.

"Everything about the place is good and I think the other players are going to enjoy the golf course as well."

Yesterday those not taking part in the Pro-Am had a chance to get in a practice round. Teenage phenom Michelle Wie was out on the course, but did not talk to the media.

Neither did Kane for that matter.

The poster-girl for the tournament will address the media tomorrow.

She comes into the event having finished in a tie for 16th place last year. Her best finish was a tie for third in 2001, four shots back of winner Annika Sorenstam.

Kane also has four 10 top-finishes in the tournament.

"This tournament better be in the players' mind as being at least in the top one (on the LPGA tour)," joked Coe-Jones.

"CN has come in and done what we all in the back of our minds had dreamed of and hoped for.

"They saved a golf tournament, and not only have they saved a golf tournament, they put it in the top echelon. They have done such a fabulous job top to bottom."

It's the second time this event has been held in Edmonton.

The Edmonton Country Club played host to the event in 1996, won by Laura Davies. Kane finished 14 strokes back, while Coe-Jones was 18 back.

"I'm having great fun," Coe-Jones said. "I'm looking forward to going to the mall. I can't believe it's as big as they say it is. I'm looking forward and seeing some of the town."

Yesterday the fans who took in the Pro-Am enjoyed interacting with her. Coe-Jones hopes it continues throughout the week.

"I chatted with a guy that was working the ninth hole and he told me he used to watch me when I played in Hawaii in Kauai and looking back, that's 20 years ago," she said. "That's kind of neat. I hope everybody comes out and has a good time. And if you have met me, come up and say you have met me somewhere."


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