Granada happy to carry the flag for Paraguay

DEREK VAN DIEST, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:20 AM ET

Julieta Granada is turning into the Lorena Ochoa of Paraguay.

The 20-year-old is nearing icon status in the small South American country and took another step in that direction yesterday with an impressive five-under 66 at the CN Canadian Women's Open.

Granada had six birdies in the round and was challenging the Royal Mayfair course record before finishing with a bogey on 18.

"In Paraguay they are starting to follow golf a little bit more since me and my teammate won the World Cup in South Africa earlier in the year," Granada said.

CARLOS FRANCO

"Winning the ADT also helped. Paraguay is getting used to following golf and supporting it. We have Carlos Franco on the PGA Tour and he's won four times.

"There are only a few players from there, but they expect big things so I have to try and follow Carlos."

Granada went into the round having shot even par in the first two days of the event.

She started the day in a tie for 33rd place and walked off the course in a tie for eighth place.

"It was nice to start early, the first nine holes were nice and calm with no wind, it was perfect conditions," Granada said. "I was hitting the ball better, so all the putts that I made, instead of being for par, were for birdie."

Granada had four birdies through her first nine holes then picked up another two on her first four holes on the back nine. The previous day Karrie Webb set a course record with a seven-under 64. Granada found herself a shot off the mark with five holes left to play.

"I thought about that after I made a birdie on 13 and I had an easy 12-footer on the next hole and I missed that," she said.

"I was a little upset, after missing that birdie, because I knew I could birdie the par 5 and then the next holes are pretty easy holes, especially with where the pins were.

"But my scores have not been that low lately, so I was just trying to keep my round together and finish strong after I didn't make birdie on those two holes."

ROOKIE RECORD

This is Granada's second year on the PGA tour. She became the first Paraguayan to win an LPGA tournament when she claimed the ADT Championship last year and also set a tour record for most money earned by a rookie.

This year Granada has yet to win a tournament, but does have a pair of second-place finishes.

She came into the Canadian Open having failed to make the cut at her last two events.

"I've been playing well, but I haven't been able to put all the different parts of my game together," she said.

"Last week I was really working on my game and in the first two days it seemed like it was all coming together, but it wasn't. So I'm glad today it all came in at the right time."


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