McPherson battles through pain, earns best round

KEN WIEBE, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:48 PM ET

WINNIPEG - Sunday was a good day on many levels for Kristy McPherson.

McPherson shot the lowest round of the day at St. Charles Country Club on Sunday, a 6-under 66 that rocketed her up the leaderboard to a tie for second at the 2010 CN Canadian Women’s Open.

While she was excited about going low, McPherson felt a victory was there for the taking.

“That’s the thing, I missed a few six, eight-footers for birdie, especially early,” said McPherson, who had her second Top-10 finish of the 2010 season and moved past $1.6 million in career earnings on Sunday. “And I didn’t make any long putts, didn’t do anything fancy. I just hit the ball really well. You never want to say it was a bad 66, but to know that you didn’t make any mistakes and you had an opportunity to take it deep, that’s very encouraging.

“I hate that we have a week off next week. I’m just starting to figure it out. But yeah, this weekend was the way I was hitting the ball when I was playing my best last year.”

More than that, McPherson can serve as an inspiration to athletes and individuals around the world.

While she tried to downplay it as she spoke to members of the media, McPherson was diagnosed with Still’s disease (a form of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis) when she was 11-years-old and she’s been dealing with it ever since.

“I just take medicine every day,” said McPherson, who tied for second along with Suzann Pettersen, Jee Young Lee and Jiyai Shin and pocketed $142,248.

“It’s a little more difficult with the rain and when it gets a little cooler, but I’ve learned. I’ve played my whole golf career like that, so I’ve learned you make a couple of swing changes and you can’t quite get as much out of the ball as you expect and you just learn to deal with it.”

It usually doesn’t take long to find out how much McPherson will be able to do.

“Golf-wise, I can wake up in the morning and I can tell you if it’s going to be a good day or not body wise,” explained McPherson, who started playing junior golf when she was 14 and got a scholarship to the University of South Carolina.

“I take meds every day and do the normal things, but I would be completely surprised if I woke up and didn’t have any pain. There are some shots I can’t hit on bad days, but I know that and I know my game and I know I don’t try to (hit those shots).”

McPherson is determined not to be held back by the disease.

“I’ll play as long as my body will let me,” said McPherson. “You know, really it’s well under control now. I know what it’s going to do to me, so I know how to deal with it.”

ken.wiebe@sunmedia.ca


Videos

Photos