Kane Trying to End Canadian Curse

By Associated PressAugust 9, 2006, 4:00 pm
2006 Canadian WomenLONDON, Ontario -- Lorie Kane is hard to miss at the Canadian Women's Open.
The face of women's golf in Canada, her picture is seemingly everywhere at the London Hunt and Country Club. She draws cheers and shouts of encouragement at every turn and leaves a long trail of adoring fans clutching autographed hats and programs.
'I'm proud of that. I've worked hard on my game and myself,' said Kane, sporting tournament-saving title sponsor CN's logo on her red visor. 'For people to acknowledge my hard work and follow me, fellow Canadians or not, it's just a real honor.'
The 41-year-old Kane is trying to become the second Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event in Canada. Jocelyne Bourassa accomplished the feat in the 1973 La Canadienne. That event was the forerunner to the du Maurier Classic, a major championship for 22 years that folded after the 2000 event because of restrictions on tobacco promotions.
'I know that every fan out there wants a Canadian to win and I want it to be me,' Kane said Wednesday, a day before the start of play. 'But all I can do Thursday is put the peg in the ground and hit the first tee shot and then continue to chase it around for four more days.'
CN agreed to a three-year contract with the Royal Canadian Golf Association in October, taking over the title sponsorship after Bank of Montreal's decision to drop out after five years left the tournament in danger of folding.
'Obviously, CN is great,' said Kane, from Prince Edward Island. 'I played with some of the guys today and they're excited about women's golf.'
The railway has an option for an additional two years under the deal that includes the Canadian Women's Tour and Future Links developmental program.
'I didn't think we were going to be here,' RCGA executive director Stephen Ross said, recalling his pessimism about the event's future a year ago. 'We have our friends at CN to thank for that, for stepping up and ensuring that the LPGA stayed in Canada.'
Kane has three top-eight finishes in the tournament and also tied for fifth in the final du Maurier Classic.
'I think if you asked any of us Canadians, this is our open championship and I would love nothing better than to carry that trophy over my head Sunday,' she said. 'But there's a lot of things that have to go between now and that point. I really try to tell myself, once Thursday starts, that it's another golf tournament.'
The four-time LPGA Tour winner tied for 27th a year ago at Glen Arbour in Halifax, Nova Scotia -- 10 strokes behind winner Meena Lee -- amid the sponsor uncertainty.
'Last year, being in Halifax, my game wasn't probably where I would have liked it, but we were still trying to find somebody to take over,' Kane said. 'Lo and behold, in came the train with some people who are really excited about golf.'
The Hunt Club last hosted the national championship in 1993, Kane's first season as a pro. Brandie Burton beat Betsy King in a playoff that year, while Kane missed the cut. 'A lot of water under the bridge,' Kane said.
The tree-lined course, with large greens that cover nearly 10,000 square feet, was designed by Robert Trent Jones in the 1950s and renovated by Jones' son, Rees, in 2000. At 6,611 yards, it is the fourth-longest on the tour this year.
'I love the golf course,' Natalie Gulbis said. 'It could not be in any better shape. The weather is perfect. I think the buzz around with the players is that they are really excited to be here.'
Se Ri Pak, the McDonald's LPGA Championship winner, is in the field a week after a neck injury forced her to withdraw from the Women's British Open after a first-round 78. The South Korean star also is fighting pain in her left arm.
'I don't think it's getting worse, which is a good thing,' Pak said. 'I'm here and I feel ready to go. Hopefully, I'll have a good week.'
London is a city of about 350,000 roughly halfway between Toronto and Detroit. ... Meg Mallon has three victories in Canada. She won the 2000 du Maurier at Royal Ottawa, the 2002 Canadian Women's Open at Summerlea near Montreal and the 2004 event at the Legends on the Niagara. ... Kermit Zarley won the 1970 Canadian Open at the Hunt Club. ... The winner will receive $255,000 from the $1.7 million purse.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.