Lorena Ochoa was sporting the Maple Leaf on her belt buckle during the first round of the CN Canadian Women's Open.
The reigning No. 1 player in the world wore it at the urging of her Canadian friends.
"I have a lot of good friends here in Edmonton," Ochoa said. "They asked me to wear it so I did."
With a large number of extended family from Guadalajara, Mexico, having made the trip to Edmonton to study English over the last 35 years, Ochoa has ties to the city.
Next to Edmontonians Jeanette Kerr and Jade Polonich, the native of Guadalajara and recently crowned British Open champion probably has the biggest local following.
The 25-year-old shot a one-under 70 yesterday to sit five strokes back of the lead. Her round consisted of three birdies and a pair of bogeys.
"I hit the ball really well today, especially with my irons," Ochoa said. "I didn't hit it so well with my driver. It was an up and down round, but I'm pleased that I finished in the red numbers (under-par) and all that matters is being in a good position for the rest of the tournament."
When Ochoa walked off the course, there were 17 other golfers ahead of her. Today she'll be out in the morning group (8:49 a.m.) off the first tee with South Koreans In-Kuyng Kim and Mi Hyun Kim.
"I was a little surprised there were so many low scores," Ochoa said.
"I don't know what the conditions were like this morning; they were probably a little bit easier. But I hope (this morning) we get a good back wind and hopefully you can make a lot of birdies and catch up a little bit."