Sunningdale Golf and Country Club wants the CN Canadian Women's Open back in London in 2010.
Club president Gordon Thompson confirmed yesterday club officials have informally approached the Royal Canadian Golf Association and expect to make a bid soon.
"That would be amazing for us with our history," Sunningdale's director of golf Patty Howard said. "It would be absolutely incredible."
The tournament was at London Hunt in 2006 and area golf fans came out in record numbers, including more than 16,000 the final day, swelling attendance for the week to 60,000. Thompson said it would be natural and the next step for Sunningdale to want to stage the championship, given its history. Last year, Sunningdale held the Canadian junior championship and this week the CN Canadian Women's Tour for young amateurs and professionals was played there.
"We've heard they liked it here and the support they received in London," Thompson said. "We are going to have a meeting at the club and decide how and when to officially approach the RCGA."
This year's Open is in Ottawa and next year's is in Calgary, but the 2010 tournament has not been awarded.
A return to Sunningdale would see the LPGA Tour come full circle to its roots in Canada.
In 1966 and 1967, Sunningdale's then president Jim Thompson -- Gordon's father -- started the Supertest Ladies Open, marking the first time the LPGA Tour played in Canada. The tournament, with purses of $15,000 and $20,000, ran for two years in London and two more in Toronto before Supertest gave up sponsorship.
The Supertest tournaments were only last year recognized by the RCGA as official Canadian Women's Opens.
In the past, the RCGA had considered the DuMaurier Classic, the Peter Jackson championship and the BMO Financial Group Championship as Canadian Opens, admitting they had overlooked Sunningdale's link to the past.
General manager John Adams said the club, after a new clubhouse was constructed and the courses renovated a few years ago, is capable of staging a professional tournament. He said the success the tournament has had in London, combined with Sunningdale's upgraded facilities and its relationship with the RCGA, puts it in a strong position to make a successful bid.
Though the tournament was a major success at London Hunt, RCGA officials let it be known they were not sure if the championship could be held in the future outside of major markets. They said it might come down to the sponsor -- Canadian National Railway -- wanting it played in major centres.
"I don't see why it should not be in London," Thompson said. "It's not always been successful in bigger cities but it's been successful here."