The second stop on the 14th Canadian Women’s Tour saw rains come and go, but when play resumed following a three-hour delay, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Seul-Ki Park and Jennifer Greggain took to the course and conquered the wet conditions at Smiths Falls Golf & Country Club to take the lead.
Dark skies and heavy rains clouded the morning and allowed for just the first 10 groups to tee off on-time before unplayable conditions delayed the remainder of the field of 84. The downpour subsided and gave way to brilliant sunshine to mask the wet conditions on the course. Seul-Ki Park opened with a pair of birdies on her first four holes, but the Northbrook, Ill., native couldn’t maintain her quick start. She concluded her round with a bogey on hole 18 to finish at even par.
“My tee shots kind of cost me today, but I was able to make three birdies to even out my three bogeys,” said Park, when asked about her round. “I think if I tighten up a little bit, I can position myself a little bit better. But obviously, it’s not over until the last shot.
Park’s two co-leaders needed time to re-focus following the delay, but settled down as the round progressed. Chilliwack, B.C., product Jennifer Greggain finished the front nine with a bogey to fall to 2-over par, but a pair of birdies on the 13th and 17th holes drew her back to even.
Team Canada Young Pro Squad member Rebecca Lee-Bentham needed a moment to gather herself, but quickly regained her form to take a share of the lead. The Toronto native went bogey-free on her final 12 holes and added a trio of birdies, including one on her final hole, to move into the tie for first.
Team Canada’s National Amateur Squad fared well to open the competition. Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., carded four birdies and sits in a three-way tie for fourth. She and Christina Foster are currently knotted for low amateur honours.
The Henderson sisters, Brooke and Brittany, opened the two-day tournament on their home course with identical 2-over 73 performances. Brooke, the younger of the two, notched birdies on the 1st and 4th holes, but succumbed to the difficult course conditions. Sister Brittany found her form and ended her round even across the back nine. The two are part of a six-player tie for seventh alongside National Team member Jennifer Ha of Calgary.
The remaining members of Team Canada – Elizabeth Tong of Thornhill, Ont., and Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., – finished T13 and T15 respectively to put all six National Team members within the top-15 and within four strokes of the lead.
The purse for the tournament is set at $60,000 with $10,000 going to the champion. The tournament winner will join Canadian Women’s Tour – Alberta champion Michelle Piyapattra in receiving a prized exemption into the 2015 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open taking place August 17-23 at The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C.
The PGA Women’s Championship of Canada, the concluding event on the 2015 Canadian Women’s Tour, is set to be hosted at Burlington Golf & Country Club in Burlington, Ont., from July 20-22. In addition to the three winner exemptions, the top two competitors on the Jocelyne Bourassa Order of Merit, who are not otherwise exempt will join the trio at Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship, provided they have played in at least two of the three Tour events.
The five highest ranked players on the Canadian Women’s Tour Order of Merit will also be awarded direct entry into the second stage of LPGA Qualifying School.
The final round of Canadian Women’s Tour – Ontario is slated to get underway at 8 a.m. before the final threesome tees off at 10:10 a.m.
For full results and additional information, please visit the tournament’s official website.