Bieber, Orr hoping to inject local flavour at Canadian Open

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:43 AM ET

There are no Manitobans currently in the field of the this week’s CN Canadian Women’s Open.

That could change on Monday.

A pair of Winnipeggers, Stacey Bieber and Rhonda Orr, are scheduled to compete in Monday qualifying at Elmhurst Golf and Country Club.

Forty-seven players will tee it up in the 18-hole qualifier, but only four spots are up for grabs in Canada’s only stop on the LPGA Tour this year.

The quartet that qualifies will have renewed optimism about their chances on the weekend after Arjun Atwal on Sunday became the first PGA Tour player in 24 years to win after getting into a tournament through Monday qualifying.

Bieber, 25, turned pro two years ago after winning the 2003 Manitoba junior women’s title and the 2005 provincial women’s amateur crown.

She currently plays on the Futures Tour, and her goal is to earn full status on the LPGA Tour in 2011. She has missed the cut in all seven Futures Tour events she has played in this year.

The former Texas Christian University golfer recently appeared on the Big Break Sandals Resorts reality TV program and is one of the founders and on-camera talent for a website called golfprogirls.com.

Orr, meanwhile, is an amateur from Southwood Golf and Country Club. She tied for 12th in this year’s Manitoba women’s amateur after shooting 84-90-84 at St. Boniface, but she was a solid fourth in 2009 with rounds of 80-78-79 at Selkirk.

Orr competed in the 2009 Canadian women’s amateur but missed the cut.

Of the 47 players registered for Monday qualifying, 20 are amateurs and 19 are Canadian. Ten, including Orr, are Canadian amateurs.

Bieber tees off on the 10th tee at 1:30 p.m., while Orr goes off the front at 1:40 p.m.

Another local player, Christin Thomson of Fort Frances, Ont., is in the Monday qualifying field. She tees off at 1:20 p.m.

MOTIVATED: There will be a few top players looking to bounce back after missing the cut at the Safeway Classic in Oregon over the weekend.

Paula Creamer (eighth on the money list), Morgan Pressel (11th), Azahara Munoz (22nd), M.J. Hur (23rd) and Christina Kim (24th) all failed to qualify for Sunday play in the 54-hole event.

Juli Inkster, meanwhile, was disqualified on Saturday after she used a weighted training aid to loosen up during a 30-minute wait on the 10th tee. She was tied for second when she learned after the round that she had been disqualified.

DOING GOOD: As with every professional golf tournament, one of the main goals is fundraising.

This week’s event is raising money for the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba through the CN Miracle Match program. More than $350,000 has already been raised.

“We hope to get it to a million bucks by the end of this,” tournament director Sean Van Kesteren said Sunday. “This week’s obviously a big week for us.”

Last year’s event in Calgary raised a record $1.6 million.


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