In all, the field at Hillsdale will feature the top 50 players on the current LPGA Official Money List including defending champion Michelle Wie, world no. 1 Yani Tseng, Suzann Pettersen, Cristie Kerr and Jiyai Shin. In all, 97 of the top 100 players on current LPGA Official Money List will challenge for Canada’s National Women’s Open crown.
Wie, Tseng, Kerr, Pettersen and Shin headline a stellar cast that also includes fellow LPGA Tour stars Paula Creamer, Ai Miyazato, Morgan Pressel, Christina Kim, Natalie Gulbis, Britanny Lincicome, Stacy Lewis, Se Ri Pak, Karrie Webb and 16-year old sensation Alexis Thompson all challenging for the $2.25 million (US) purse.
Stunning. And the event still can’t get major status — that went to a tournament in France. Go figure. And don’t expect much media coverage — after all, the Toronto Star didn’t send a reporter to cover the men’s version of this event. I won’t be there either –none of the organizations I work for thought it necessary for me to go either, so it isn’t like I’m picking on the Star. It’ll be intriguing to see which news organizations have a presence there. Unfortunately it’ll be a tournament that gets lost in Quebec, where it will undoubtedly do very, very well.
There’s a good Canadian contingent as well:
The current field includes 17 Canadians looking to become the first Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on home soil since Canadian golf legend Jocelyne Bourassa’s historic victory in 1973 at La Canadienne Golf Championship.
Bourassa, a member of the Canadian and Quebec Golf Halls of Fame will serve as Honorary Tournament Chair for the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open.
The list of Canadians competing in the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open includes Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont.; Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, P.E.I.; Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont.; Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C.; Lisa Meldrum of Montreal; Isabelle Beisiegel of Sainte Hilaire, Que.; Adrienne White of Red Deer, Alta., Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont., Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C., Danielle Mills of Pointe-Claire, Que.; Sara Maude Juneau of Fossambault, Que; and Maude-Aimee LeBlanc of Sherbrooke, Que.; as well as Team Canada members Jessica Wallace of Langley, B.C.; Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Toronto; Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ont.; Augusta James of Bath, Ont.; and Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C.
Finally, does anyone have a feeling about what CN is doing with this event? They renewed through to 2013, with a possible extension until 2015, but the company doesn’t seem to do a lot with the event outside of the location where it is held. It hasn’t been in Toronto in a long time — and could benefit from returning here (Scarboro G&CC or Toronto GC?). Interestingly, when I asked to interview Claude Mongeau, CN’s relatively new CEO, about the tournament for Golf Canada’s magazine, I could never get him pinned down. Maybe his handlers didn’t care that much about talking up the tournament, but Gord Nixon gave me a half hour of his time last year, and he runs a pretty big bank….
Just because a company won’t put up its CEO to talk about a golf tournament doesn’t mean it isn’t important to them — but CN doesn’t seem to promote this one — especially one with such a great field — in the same way RBC does with its tournament.