Meg Mallon will be leading the charge toward the $1.3 million purse as defending champion. Two of Mallons 14 LPGA victories have come in Canada; she also won the 2000 du Maurier Classic in that events last year as a major championship. Another Canadian victory would put Mallon into elite company with two LPGA Tour Hall of Famers who have won three or more tournaments in Canada'Carol Mann (5) and Pat Bradley (3).
In fact, Canadian tournaments boast an impressive list of former champions, so any of the 144 competitors in the BMO Financial Group Canadian Womens Open field would be well served to add the title to their resume. Of the 36 previous events staged in Canada, 19 have been won by current or future LPGA Tour Hall of Famers (including Annika Sorenstam and Karrie Webb). In addition to Mallon, past Canadian- event champions who are in this weeks field include Amy Alcott, 1979 Peter Jackson Classic; Brandie Burton, 1993 and 1998 du Maurier Classic; Laura Davies, 1996 du Maurier Classic; Tammie Green, 1989 du Maurier Classic; Juli Inkster 1984 du Maurier Classic; Nancy Scranton, 1991 du Maurier Classic; Sorenstam, 2001 Bank of Montreal Canadian Womens Open; Sherri Steinhauer, 1992 du Maurier Classic; and Webb, 1999 du Maurier Classic.
One very important past Canadian- LPGA event winner is not in the field, but is still an integral part of the BMO Financial Group Canadian Womens Open'Jocelyn Bourassa. Bourassa is the only native Canadian to have ever won an LPGA event on her home soil, and this year marks the 30th anniversary of that historic event. Bourassa, tournament director for the BMO Financial Group Canadian Womens Open, captured her only LPGA title at the 1973 LaCanadienne Golf Championship.
A total of eight Canadian LPGA players will be hoping to mark Bourassas anniversary with a special win of their own: Angela Buzminski; Dawn Coe-Jones; Liz Earley; A.J. Eathorne; Gail Graham; Nancy Harvey; Lorie Kane and Jennifer Wyatt.
At last years BMO Financial Group Canadian Womens Open, staged in Montreal, Quebec, Mallon fashioned one of her trademark come-from-behind wins with a solid 73 in the final round, defeating Michele Redman, Michelle Ellis and Catriona Matthew by three shots. Mallons 73 was impressive, given the 30 mile-per-hour winds that tortured players at Summerlea Golf and Country Club. It was Mallons 14th career LPGA title and her 10th come-frombehind victory.