Dawn to rise once more

SHANE ROSS -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:59 AM ET

The last time the LPGA's Canadian Open was at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club in 1994, Dawn Coe-Jones scored a hole-in-one on the 170-yard, par-3 eighth hole.

When it returns Aug. 11-17, it will mark another milestone for the Campbell River, B.C., native: It will be her last Canadian Open.

"This is it, this is my last year," said the 48-year-old Coe-Jones, a Canadian Golf Hall of Famer who joined the tour in 1984. "Twenty-five years is plenty long enough. I challenge any of them out there now to be out there in 25 years."

BROKEN FOOT

A broken foot has limited her to just one tournament this year.

"I just don't have the game," said Coe-Jones, who now resides in Tampa, Fla.

She has three career Tour victories, the last in 1995, and has earned more than $3 million (all terms US) in prize money.

"I had fun," she said. "I was able to win, which I wish everyone could experience, what it feels like to be the best in your field."

At a news conference at the Hunt Club yesterday, she sat alongside three of the LPGA's up-and-coming stars -- Morgan Pressel, 20, Brittany Lincicome, 22, and fellow Canadian Alena Sharp, 27, of Hamilton -- as well as established players Meg Mallon, Laura Diaz and Charlottetown's Lorie Kane.

The players whispered and giggled with each other, showing a camaraderie forged by countless hours of walking up and down fairways together. Pressel drew laughs when her designer sunglasses, propped up over her blond ponytail, fell off her head and landed on the floor with a thud.

Coe-Jones says the younger players are more confident than when she was a rookie.

"I was a lot more intimidated by the veterans," she said. "We learned how to win and play well, but kids nowadays that come out are ready to win within their first year or two on tour and they're not intimidated by anyone, and I don't mean that to be negative. These gals are good and they've pushed the veterans to step up their games as well, so it works both ways."

This year's CN Canadian Open will also be the last for Annika Sorenstam, one of the best players in the history of the LPGA.

"I was going to (announce my retirement) on the same day as Annika, but I didn't want to steal her thunder," Coe-Jones joked.

NOTEBOOK

This year's purse is $2.25 million, with the winner taking home $337,500. It was announced yesterday that the purse will increase to $2.75 million next year in Priddis Greens, Calgary ... 10-year-old Annie Underhill, who won a three-year battle with leukemia, was presented with a set of clubs yesterday as CN announced that CHEO would be the beneficiary of funds raised through the tournament. "It's great that we can leave more than just divots behind," Kane deadpanned. Visit www.cnmiraclematch.ca to see how you can help ... Kane said the course was in better shape than she expected after such a harsh winter ... 1,400 volunteers have signed up for the event, said tournament director Sean Van Kesteren.


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