Round with defending champ humbling

KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:53 AM ET

WINNIPEG -- Ron MacLean probably thought dealing with Don Cherry on a weekly basis was tough.

Then the Hockey Night In Canada host played in the CN Canadian Women's Open pro-am on Wednesday at the tough St. Charles Country Club. Not only that, but he was paired with the defending champion, Norway's Suzann Pettersen.

"It was a real struggle," MacLean said. "Honestly, after four holes I was thinking of all the lessons I've heard about golf and intestinal fortitude.

"I had to pull them out just to carry on, because I thought, what am I doing to the defending champion? It was very humbling."

MacLean was asked what he thought the winning score would be, but he wasn't certain that anybody's going to be able to get the ball in the hole.

"I can't imagine anybody mastering these greens," MacLean said.

CANADIAN HOPE: P.E.I. native Lorie Kane, still the most famous Canadian female golfer on tour, didn't exactly guarantee a victory when asked about the state of her game going into her national open.

"The game is good. The game is progressing. Things are good," said Kane, whose best finish this year is a tie for 35th.

"I guess the readers get to see scores that aren't indicative to good golf, but I'm really judging it more on how I'm feeling with each shot, and I feel good with each shot, and I'll take it from there."

EXTERNAL FACTORS: The course should be playing hard and fast on Thursday, but at least the mosquitos shouldn't be a problem thanks to a forecasted wind of 30 km/h out of the south.

DIVOTS: Two of the top 50 money leaders -- Meaghan Francella and Jeong Jang -- dropped out on Wednesday, meaning 46 of the top 50 earners are in the field ... Gentlemen, Anna Rawson tees off on the back nine at 7:22 a.m. ... There are 14 Canadians in the field, but none is in the top 100 of the world women's ranking ... The tournament, with a $2.25 million US purse, is tied for the fourth-biggest purse on tour this season. The winner will receive $337,000.


Videos

Photos