CP Women’s Open takes Calgary
Thousands of fans, millions in donations and tons of fun at the 2016 CP Women’s Open
Brendan Stasiewich, Sports Editor
“Woah, it must be Burt Reynolds or something.”
The classic Happy Gilmore quote the fictitious golfer said when rival golfer Shooter McGavin pulled up in a limo could be used to sum up the crowds around the 18th green on Sunday of the CP Women’s Open. Except these crowds were all screaming (at least when the the patriotic “quiet, eh” signs were down) to see Canadian phenom Brooke Henderson.
Calgary hosted Canada’s National Championship on the LPGA Tour for the first time since 2009, again at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club from August 22-28. In 2009 crowds were dispersed somewhat equally to see the LPGA talent, however there was no 18 year old major champion from Canada that time around.
After watching Henderson up close, two things became apparent… she’s got major talent… and major obligations now that Canadian golf hopefuls already slate her as being one of Canada’s greatest athletes; even before she’s reached the legal drinking age in BC.
Henderson’s autograph line starting at the 18th green and neared the security guards at the clubhouse following play of each of the four tournament rounds, equating to over a half hour long signing session every day.
And this was just two days removed from representing Canada at the Olympic Games in Rio. The fact that Henderson went through all the stress and pressure of the two long weeks and still managed to earn a 14th place finish in Calgary is astounding.
While on the grounds I heard some whispers of the ladies not being as “flashy off the tee” as the men on the PGA Tour; but the more I watched I realized that they didn’t have to be. They were able to shoot lights out scores through precise iron play and a dominating short game. Not only this but they still drove the ball off the tee further than near any weekend golfer, male or female, that i’ve ever seen.
On Sunday evening it was Thailand’s Ariya Jutanugarn that came out ahead, besting the field by four strokes. Her score of 19 under, which included an astounding 27 birdies over the duration of the four day tournament, was her fifth tournament win in her past 10 events; ridiculous.
While Jutanugarn took home the trophy, perhaps the biggest winner was the Calgary Children’s Hospital, benefactor of the events many donations. The CP Has Heart campaign succeeded in every way, ending up donating $2-million to the hospital. About half of that donated by Calgarians themselves.
Give yourself a pat on the back, Calgary.