Golfing for gold?

TODD SAELHOF, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:54 AM ET

With host pressure and extra media attention, it can be a three-ring circus for Canuck golfers playing in the CN Canadian Women's Open.

But it's arguably valuable experience if the likes of Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp and Jessica Shepley plan to attend the five-ring carnival of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

Such an opportunity might be in the offing with the International Olympic Committee executive board recommending three weeks ago golf be considered for the Olympiad seven years from now.

"I'm hoping it does go through," said Sharp, a native of Hamilton and arguably Canada's best hope to claim the coveted home-soil title this week at Priddis Greens.

"I'd love to play in the Olympics," she added. "I think I'll be 35 when that comes around, and I hope I'm still one of the top players in Canada."

With a young crop of Canadian talent coming up the pipe, it's possible by then Sharp will lose her place as Canada's best hope to win.

Up-and-comers such as Shepley and Jennifer Kirby are knocking on the door. But it's not as if age plays a critical role in the success of golfers. Tom Watson proved that at this year's British Open.

"I was trying to figure out how old I'll be in 2016," said Kane, 44, with a chuckle. "Age is only a number, and I believe I'll still be competitive.

"It would be unbelievable," continued the Charlottetown native. "It would be a whole different experience."

Especially for the older Canadians, it's not far off what they've experienced in the past. Even the younger set, particularly those on the national women's amateur team -- Sue Kim, Kira Meixner, Stephanie Sherlock and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc -- are getting the feel of Olympic-type format by competing in international tournaments.

"I played at the World Cup of Golf two years ago with Lorie," Sharp said. "And it was great camaraderie."


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