LPGA resumes with Canadian Pacific Women's Open

RSS

If there's a major feel to this week's Canadian Pacific Women's Open, it might be because this tournament used to be one of the LPGA's majors.

It helps, too, that the event has drawn a stellar field, as the Tour gets back into a full-fledged swing after a week off and last week's Solheim Cup.

The field of 156 competitors will vie for the $2.25 million purse as the championship returns to Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in the nation's capital for the first time since 2008. The 2017 winner's prize is $337,500 and 500 Race to the CME Globe points.

It's the 23rd event of the LPGA season and second of the year to be held in Canada.

This year's Canadian Pacific Women's Open will feature 92 of the top 100 players on the LPGA's Official Money List, including 22 of the top 25.

Leading the roster of players this week is top-ranked So Yeon Ryu of South Korea and defending champion and world No. 3 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand, who won in a playoff earlier this year at the Manulife LPGA Classic in Hamilton, Ontario.

Three-time Canadian Pacific Women's Open winner Lydia Ko of New Zealand looks to break through here for her first victory of the season.

Also in the field are former Canadian Pacific Women's Open champions Laura Davies of England (1996) and Australians Karrie Webb (1999) and Katherine Kirk, who won in 2008, the last time the tournament was contested at Ottawa Hunt.

Nineteen-year-old Brooke Henderson, who lives about 40 miles up the road in Smith Falls, Ontario, tees it up this week as the Canadian favorite and hometown hero. Henderson, who's ranked 10th in the world, won earlier this season at the Meijer LPGA Classic.

And while any victory is a good one, capturing the title here at her national championship would certainly be just that much sweeter.

"This championship isn't a major anymore, but for us Canadians, it really is," Henderson said of the event that was played as an LPGA major in 1979-2000 as the du Maurier Classic.

"This is a tournament that I would love to hoist that trophy, and especially here in Ottawa. Growing up, I dreamed of playing on the LPGA Tour. Now I'm fortunate enough to do that every single week and play against the best players. To now have them here, basically, in my backyard and to compete against them is pretty cool."

Henderson is one of 14 Canadian players trying to join Jocelyne Bourassa as the only native winner of this championship. Bourassa, who was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1996, won the inaugural event in 1973.

Lorie Kane, one of Canada's golf stalwarts and a member on the short list of this nation's most beloved athletes, will play in her 27th consecutive Canadian Pacific Women's Open this week. Kane has four wins and 99 top-10 finishes in her career, which began in 1996, while bankrolling almost $7 million in lifetime earnings.

"Holy smokes -- where has the time gone?" Kane said when reminded of a 27-year streak of playing in this championship. "What I'm looking forward to is teeing it up on Thursday and putting my best foot forward. I'm not getting to play a lot of tournament golf, but I do feel pretty good about things and ready to go."

Nineteen of the 24 competitors from last week's Solheim Cup are in the field in Canada's capital city, including nine golfers from the victorious U.S. squad. Included in that group is a trio of former Canadian Pacific Women's Open champions including Cristie Kerr (2006), Michelle Wie (2010), and Brittany Lincicome (2011). Stacy Lewis, Austin Ernst, Angel Yin, Brittany Lang, Paula Creamer, and Danielle Kang, a major champion this year, will join that threesome.

On the European side, 10 of the 12 competitors will head to Canada this week, including Suzann Pettersen of Norway, who had to withdraw last week because of injury.

She will be joined by Anna Nordqvist and Madelene Sagstrom of Sweden, Carlota Ciganda of Spain, Karine Icher of France, Caroline Masson of Germany, Emily Pedersen of Denmark and Mel Reid and Jodi Ewart Shadoff of England.

This week's Canadian Pacific Women's Open is the 22nd event in the season-long Race to the CME Globe (the Solheim Cup did not count for points).

World No. 2 Lexi Thompson currently leads the standings with 2,642 points, followed by Ryu (2,587) and Jutanugarn (2,204).