Less golf good as Shephard takes title

BARRE CAMPBELL -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

Linda Shephard admits she doesn't golf competitively too often.

Not nearly as much as before.

So when the 40-year-old co-owner of the Barcovan Golf Club in Brighton, won the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Tour event yesterday at Rivermead in Aylmer, she sheepishly accepted the winning trophy. And, more importantly, she got a berth in the only stop of the LPGA tour in Canada next month at Glen Arbour in Halifax.

"This was probably my eighth or 10th round this year. Less golf has actually been good for me. I hate to say that," said Shephard who shot a one-under 71 yesterday to win with a two-round total of 145.

FIVE TIED FOR SECOND

She beat five players by two strokes. Tied for second were Cortney Reno of Grosse Ile, Mich., Jan Dowling of Bradford, Nisha Sadekar of Stouffville, Leila Chartrand of Victoria and Marie-Josee Rouleau of St-Lambert, Que.

Shephard, the 1996 Canadian PGA professional of the year, began the day two strokes behind Catherine Fortin of Beauceville, Que., the only player to match Rivermead's par 72.

Shephard bogeyed both the 17th and 18th, but still got a $4,167 share of the $25,000 purse.

"I guess mentally I'm better. My head's good and I guess that counts," said Shephard, who plays in a group that includes her father, Jack, each Friday.

"A little bit of money usually changes hands. Most of the time, it's going to me," she said.

After receiving the championship trophy, she thanked her friend and competitor Rhonda Fleury for some advice before yesterday's round.

"I told her that if she attached to the target, she'd do fine," said Fleury who shot 77 in both rounds to finish tied for 11th.

"I didn't attach to the target, but Linda did and that's great."

Fortin, an amateur who led after the opening round, shot a 10-over 82 yesterday and finished tied for 11th.

Four players -- Reno, Dowling, Corina Kelepouris of Drayton Valley, Alta., and Tiarra Honce of Kelowna, B.C., also advanced to next month's LPGA tourney based on their top performances in the RCGA Order of Merit points standings.

The RCGA also awarded special exemptions to Kareen Qually of Olds, Alta. and amateur Eom-Ji Park of Burnaby, B.C.

BICKERTON TIED FOR EIGHTH

Ashley Bickerton of Ottawa shot a 77 yesterday on her home Rivermead course to finish tied for eighth with a 152 total, the best score by an amateur in the tournament.

But she wasn't happy with yesterday's effort.

"The putts didn't drop at all. I didn't make anything," said Bickerton who was most disappointed that she didn't qualify for an exemption into the LPGA stop.

"That was my No. 1 goal, and I came up short."


Videos

Photos