Decade-long drought ends

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:15 AM ET

BURLINGTON -- As long as golf carts steer clear of Lorna Miedema, the Calgary native will enjoy her second crack at professional golf a whole lot more than her first.

Miedema, 42, who didn't play for the past 10 years after she was hit by a golf cart at a pro-am in Florida in 1994 and suffered three herniated discs, made up for lost time yesterday at the 19th annual Canadian PGA women's championship.

The busy Orlando resident, who graduated from law school and opened a rental car business in her time away from golf, shot a tournament-best three-under-par 68 in the first round of the 36-hole event at Burlington Golf and Country Club. That gives her a two-stroke lead on Marie-Josee Rouleau of St-Lambert, Que., heading into the final round today.

With pain lingering after the accident and her game struggling, Miedema hung up her clubs.

"It was a local cop (who hit her), it was his first pro-am and he just had a bad day," Miedema said. "I was walking across to help other people look for a ball, he was driving over to help and he didn't see me walking."

With golf out, Miedema turned to Plan B -- the business and school.

"God closes one door and opens another," she said.

Then, this past winter, LPGAer Marianne Morris came down to visit her friend Miedema. Morris got sick during her visit and had to stay with Miedema for longer than expected. When Morris started hitting balls again, she took her pal with her.

"I thought this is kind of fun, maybe I should do this again," Miedema said.

This year, Miedema has played in a handful of events on the Canadian Women's Tour and the Futures Tour.

Jennifer Jaszek of Ancaster, Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Jan Dowling of Brantford and Kareen Qually of Olds, Alta., are three strokes back at 71. Defending champ Alena Sharp of Hamilton, who is 10th on the Futures Tour money list this year, shot 72.

"I was behind last year and won," Sharp said.

"I like coming from behind."


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