Top-notch field expected for Canadian Women's Open

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:54 PM ET

The CN Canadian Women’s Open will feature a top-notch field.

Not that this comes as a shock, but at a press conference to promote the $2.25 million LPGA Tour event, Golf Canada officially announced that each of the current Top-10 players on the LPGA Tour’s Rolex Women’s World Golf Rankings have confirmed their intention to tee it up at St. Charles Country Club from Aug. 26 to 29.

That means those in attendance will have the opportunity to see Cristie Kerr (the new World No. 1 and 2006 CN Canadian Women’s Open champion), Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel, Ai Miyazato, Yani Tseng, Jiyai Shin, Karrie Webb, Angela Stanford and defending champion Suzann Pettersen among other stars on the circuit.

“We’re confident all the best players in the world will be joining us,” said CN Canadian Women’s Open tournament director Sean Van Kesteren. “We’re very, very excited about that.”

Veteran Lorie Kane highlights a talented group of Canadians who will be in the field of 156.

She’s thrilled about the quality in the field, especially since there was some trepidation across the tour when Lorena Ochoa decided to retire earlier this year.

“I was a little concerned, just because of who Lorena is as a person and what she brings to the tour,” said Kane. “Having said that, we’re deep. The talent pool on the tour is the best it’s ever been. The fans here in Manitoba will get to see some real exciting golf.”

Kane believes a Canuck might even win their national championship for the first time since 1973, when Jocelyne Bourassa accomplished the feat.

“There’s been a lot of opportunity for us and we have a lot of great talent,” said Kane, who was on hand for the event and gave a clinic as part of media day at St. Charles. “We just have to get in the right frame of mind to play (in Canada).”

Other Canadians already confirmed in the field are Samantha Richdale of Calgary, Lisa Meldrum of Montreal, Jessica Shepley of Owen Sound, Ont. and Alena Sharp of Hamilton, who is the top Canuck on the LPGA Tour in 2010 with $62,872 in earnings.

Kane played in the event when it was last held in Winnipeg (at St. Charles) back in 1992 as an amateur and is excited for another crack at the legendary course.

“I know the tradition of St. Charles,” said Kane. “We’re all historians in golf and now golf courses are being designed for a) to help people build houses or b) to get people through them fast and that means the fairways are very wide and there are cart paths everywhere.

“For us on the (LPGA) Tour and the men’s tour, we like a target-oriented golf course, where the fairways are narrow. Here’s your landing area, here’s your next shot. The greens are usually a bit smaller and undulating.

“If the rough is this thick now, I can’t imagine how thick it will be in August. This is going to be a true test, but we are the best women golfers in the world.”

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


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