LPGA in Ottawa, Sorenstam, Ochoa and McBroom's Greens

So the LPGA is in Ottawa, and I think it is telling that neither of the national newspaper golf columnists are at the event. Not sure why Lorne Rubenstein of the Globe isn’t there, but I wanted to go. Budget restraints, coupled with Olympics coverage and the proximity of the Ottawa Citizen means I didn’t head up to Ottawa, which is too bad. I would have enjoyed watching Annika Sorenstam play in what could be the last time in Canada.

It turns out Sorenstam is going head-to-head with defending champ Lorena Ochoa, at least in the early going.

As the Citizen points out, Ochoa was nearly perfect on the day:

Ochoa gave a nearly perfect performance at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club Thursday, hitting 13 of 14 fairways off the tee and all 18 greens in regulation strokes on her way to a 6-under-par 66 and a one-stroke lead after the opening round of the CN Canadian Women’s Open.

Sorenstam finds herself one shot back — so a head-to-head showdown could be in the works, and would certainly bring attention to the tournament, which is being lost in the back pages with all the Olympics coverage dominating the front of sports sections.

Speaking of Sorenstam, the Citizen’s Gord Holder has a pretty good profile that brings everyone up to date of the Swede star.

And what of fading star Michelle Wie? She finds herself above the cutline, though a strong day could easily put her in the mix. As Ottawa Sun’s Chris Stevenson points out, there’s an interesting pairing for Wie — with Alena Sharp, the Canadian who claimed last year that Wie withdrew from the Ginn Classic because of her score (and the possibility of violating the so-called “88 rule,” rather than an injury.

I’m sure that will lead to plenty of conversation between the teen and Canada’s next hope during their round today.

Lastly, Bob Weeks points out that despite all the nice remarks about Ottawa Hunt, and its classic design (a phrase used by Ochoa), the greens resemble potato chips. Weeks said the greens are like having “the Mona Lisa with Alfred E. Neuman’s smile on it.” That’s because they were all reworked by Tom McBroom prior to 1994 when the last women’s event came through town. And they are really quite wild, significantly different than anything Willie Park would have done. At the time several were very critical of McBroom’s decisions, and it seems like little has changed.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Annika’s last time in Canada, defending champ & World #1 Lorena, 47 of top 50 Women golfers in the World, even some controversy with young Michelle at the media conference………….and you were not invited to the “Big Party”………….even Weeksie managed to get his media pass(after some entrance gate adventures….).
    Too bad !!
    Its been a great week and should be even a better weekend.
    Course looks in great shape and as Paula Creamer mentioned it is set up like a Major with the nasty rough.
    Suprised the scores are not higher…..???

  • it’s a shame you can travel all over Canada to play courses and your employer can’t find a thousand bucks to send you to Ottawa for the week.

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