Women’s Canadian Features Solheim Rematch – and Then Some!
The various continents that send teams of top-rated golfers to international competition must be doing it right, and so must those who set the qualifying procedures for the various tours. It seems that, for the most part, the right players are getting through – the best players.
Now into the third round of the Women’s Canadian Open, this important North American event has not disappointed – it never does. In fact, the far northern championship in Edmonton is featuring the best in the game playing some of their best golf, and bearing out the rigors of qualification.
A bonus feature can be seen in the action thus far, with up to eighteen top players bunched up from four under to nine under, neatly categorized into continental platoons, and with few exceptions, the same lines that were drawn between the U.S. and Europe before last week’s Solheim.
With the action just getting underway for the third round, take a look at the standings of Americans who played last week in Colorado. Cristie Kerr is tied for the lead at minus 9. Not far behind are Paula Creamer and Angela Stanford at minus 6. Brittany Lang remains in contention at four under, along with Jessica Korda, Lexi Thompson and Brittany Lincicome. Any one of these women could win the Canadian Open from where they now stand. Notable exceptions are Salas, Piller, Wie (missed the cut), Pressel (missed the cut), and Stacy Lewis, who withdrew after the first round. It’s hard to imagine a leaderboard like this one without Stacy Lewis, but oh well.
So, the Canadian Open is looking good for the Americans? Hold on – look at the European team from last week, almost all of whom are present. The perfect match-play master, Caroline Hedwall is closing in at minus 8, one behind Kerr. Suzann Pettersen stands at 6 under along with fellow Solheim victor Charley Hull. Karine Icher is at 5 under, with Caroline Masson just one back, along with Jodi Ewart Shadoff. Even Laura Davies, who missed her first Solheim ever, sits at minus 4. Apparently, the only luminary missing this week is Beatriz Recari, but she’ll be back.
So, things are looking good for the Europeans? Hold on once more – This isn’t an American/European event, and if last week had included the Asians, who knows what might have happened? Case in point – joining Caroline Hedwall one back is Inbee Park – remember Inbee Park? A few scant weeks ago, she was the greatest wrecking ball of them all. But wait, there’s more – one behind her, two behind the leader is Lydia Ko. Anyone who watches the Canadian Open knows that she won it as a mid-teenager. Incidentally, I.K. Kim and Hee Young Park are only a few back, so three superpowers represent the entire top quarter of the leaderboard.
It almost makes you wish someone could come out of nowhere to take it away from the major golf blocs. Someone with a fresh new fact, maybe from…oh, I don’t know…Thailand? As a new center for golf, perhaps we don’t equate them with the Asian powerhouses. But wait, there are two Thais in contention as well. Maybe we have an emerging power ready to declare itself.
At the bottom of it all, golf is only used as continental competition once or twice per year, and is, at it’s most important, an individual, personal game. That’s why such a spirit of togetherness develops between players who spend such time together, and perhaps is the reason why a defeated continental team still smiles, laughs and hugs the victorious team. They’ve played with and against each other before, and the mutual esteem is in full view.
The Women’s Canadian Open is a stroke play tournament, and therefore, will not be won by a national team. But, the presence of the top dogs suggests that they were the right ones to send to Edmonton.