VANCOUVER - One year after her historic win at Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, Lydia Ko will defend her CN Canadian Women’s Open title this week at Royal Mayfair Golf Club in Edmonton.
Ko, then 15, became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history when she beat South Korea’s Inbee Park by three shots to win at VGC. The South Korean-born New Zealand resident, who is still an amateur, has played nine LPGA Tour events this year and registered four top 10s.
Ko will have plenty of teenage company at this week’s event, including 15-year-old Canadian amateur Brooke Henderson of Ontario, Charley Hull, the 17-year-old from England who played so well at the Solheim Cup, and 18-year-old American Lexie Thompson.
This week’s field, arguably the strongest of the season on the LPGA Tour, includes three British Columbians: Sue Kim and Jessica Wallace, both of Langley, and Kelowna’s Samantha Richdale, who got into the event by winning a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event this past spring at Beach Grove Golf Club in Tsawwassen.
This is the final year of CN Rail’s sponsorship of the event. Golf Canada president Mike Carroll of Vancouver said Monday the organization remains optimistic a new sponsor will be found for the tournament.
SOLID GOLD: B.C. golfers cleaned up at the Canada Summer Games in Sherbroooke, Que., winning all four gold medals up for grabs.
Canadian Junior champion Kevin Kwon of Pitt Meadows and Taylor Kim of Surrey won individual golds and led their boys’ and girls’ squads to team titles.
The rest of the girls’ team included Naomi Ko of Victoria and Alix Kong of West Vancouver. Kwon was joined by Mark Valliere of Courtenay and Trevor Yu of Vancouver on the boys’ team.
DRIVE FOR FIVE: PGA Tour Canada begins its final stretch this week with the Great Waterway Classic in Morrisburg, Ont. It’s one of four events remaining on the inaugural nine-event schedule.
The top finishers on the money list at season’s end earn Web.com Tour status for 2014 and Abbotsford’s Nick Taylor enters the event in sixth place. He’s less than $2,000 out of the top five.
Riley Wheeldon of Comox leads the money list with $39,937. That’s about $3,500 more than American Wil Collins, who is in second spot.
PLAYOFF PUSH: It is almost playoff time on the Web.com Tour and Merritt’s Roger Sloan needs a big finish at this week’s Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb., to qualify for the four post-season events.
Sloan currently sits 89th on the money list with earnings of $51,573 and must move into the top 75 after this week’s final regular-season event to qualify for the playoffs. He’s currently more than $13,000 out of the top 75.
Abbotsford’s Adam Hadwin sits 64th on the money list with $76,182 and has clinched a spot in the top 75.
The four playoff events will include the top 75 Web.com Tour players as well as players who finished 126th to 200th on the PGA FedEx Cup points list. They will compete for a total of 50 2014 PGA Tour cards, but the top 25 on the Web.com Tour money list after this week’s tourney in Omaha are guaranteed 25 of those cards.
Ontario’s Brad Fritsch, who finished 129th on the FedEx Cup points list, will be among those playing the four Web.com Tour playoff events.
CHIP SHOTS: Frank Gerber of Kirkland, Wash., beat defending champion Kevin Vigna of Coquitlam 1-up in the 36-hole final of the Pacific Northwest Junior Boys Amateur Championship at Bear Mountain’s Valley Course in Victoria. . .The B.C. Juvenile boys and girls championships go this week at Crown Isle Golf Resort in Courtenay.
© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun