Driven to get in the Hunt

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:36 AM ET

The CN Canadian Women's Open is our country's national championship and its biggest professional golf event for women. The top 50 players in the world are expected at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club next month.

That apparently is not an intimidating prospect for our country's amateurs.

They are falling all over themselves at the top of the leaderboard heading into today's last chance to grab the remaining five exemptions into the Women's Open in the final event of the CN Canadian Women's Tour at the Camelot Golf and Country Club.

Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C., has made it her goal to get into the Open and she took a big step yesterday with a 5-under 67. The 21-year-old heads into today's final round of the final event on the CN tour with a four-shot lead over three others, all amateurs as well: Lauren Mielbrecht, also 21, of Gulf Stream, Fla., Sara Maude Juneau, 20, of Fossambault, Que., and Sue Kim, 17, of Langley, B.C., whose two wins on the Women's Tour have already gained her an exemption and sit her atop the Order of Merit.

The winner at Camelot earns an exemption into the Open Aug. 11-17, as will the next four players on the tour's Order of Merit who are not otherwise exempt.

HIT FAIRWAYS, GREEN

Dreher, who sits 10th on the Order of Merit, said she probably needs to win today to get her return trip to Ottawa.

"I'm just going to try and hit fairways and greens like (yesterday) and see if I can hold off the field," she said after hitting 16 greens and making seven birdies. "There's a lot of good players here and I'm hoping to get one of the spots."

Pros Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., and Megan Godfrey of Homewood, Ill., shot even-par to sit five back.

It was a pretty impressive show by the amateurs.

Kim is fresh off winning the B.C. Junior Girls championship last week by seven shots. She birdied the 10th through 13th holes yesterday and, "then I screwed up," bogeying 14 and doubling 17.

She said the level of competition is so good at the junior and college level, she's not surprised to see amateurs at the top of the leaderboard.

"College golf is helping them a lot and I play a lot of junior golf in the States and it's really competitive."

Despite her success, Kim has no plans to follow in the footsteps of other teens who have turned pro, but will attend college after high school.

"I think education is important," she said.

She'll be getting some important lessons next month at the Hunt Club.


Videos

Photos