Canadian Players Given Exemptions into 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open

Samantha Richdale, Isabelle Beisiegel, Kirby Dreher, Sue Kim and Sara-Maude Juneau Given Exemptions into 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open

Team Canada members Jennifer Kirby and Brittany Marchand also extended
tournament exemptions to compete at The Vancouver Golf Club

Fourteen Canadians including four British Columbia golfers to challenge for
Canada's National Women's Open title

Coquitlam, B.C. (Golf Canada) - CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) and Golf Canada are pleased to announce that a trio of British Columbia golfers - Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, and Sue Kim of Langley - are among a group of players extended tournament exemptions to compete August 20-26 at the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open at The Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam, B.C.

Kim, a graduate of Golf Canada's National Amateur Golf Team Program, recently made the cut at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open for the second consecutive year, earning a 65th place finish at Blackwolf Run in Kohler, WI. Competing primarily on the Symetra Tour in 2012, Kim, a former 2-time BC Junior champion, has made the cut in six of eight events, and posted three top-10 finishes thus far this season, finishing as high as T6 at the Tate & Lyle Players Championship in mid-June. She will be competing in her fourth CN Canadian Women's Open.

Dreher, who bested the field as an amateur at a CN Canadian Women's Tour event in 2008, has competed in five Symetra Tour events in 2012, finishing as high as T4 at the Ladies Titan Tire Challenge in early June. A rookie on the LPGA Tour, Dreher competed at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic earlier this season. A product of Kent State University, Dreher will be appearing in her fourth career CN Canadian Women's Open.

Richdale, a former standout at Illinois State University and BC Amateur champion, will be competing at her fourth CN Canadian Women's Open and will look to improve upon a T75 finish in 2011. In five LPGA Tour starts thus far in 2012, Richdale has failed to make the cut.

Also earning exemptions into Canada's National Women's Open Championship are Fossambault, Que. native Sara-Maude Juneau and Isabelle Beisiegel of Sainte-Hilaire, Que.

Juneau, a graduate of Golf Canada's National Amateur Golf Team Program, has a pair of top-10 finishes on the 2012 Symetra Tour, including a T2 finish at the season-opener. A former Quebec Amateur champion, Juneau has also represented Canada internationally at the Women's World Amateur Team Championship. As a standout at the University of Louisville, Juneau was named the 2010 Big East Conference Player of the Year. She will be competing in the CN Canadian Women's Open for the third time.

Beisiegel has one top-10 finish on the 2012 Symetra Tour, and has competed in two LPGA Tour events thus far this season, finishing as high as T59 at the Manulife Financial LPGA Classic. A former Quebec Amateur and Junior champion and a graduate of Golf Canada's National Amateur Golf Team Program, Beisiegel made headlines in 2011 when she earned non-exempt status on the Canadian Tour through the 2011 Spring Qualifying School to become the first woman to earn a card on a men's professional golf tour. She will be competing in Canada's National Women's Open for the seventh time in her career.

Team Canada members Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont. and Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont. were also extended exemptions to compete in the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open.

Kirby's stellar 2011-12 season at the University of Alabama included two collegiate victories, helping the Crimson Tide to the NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship title. Kirby finished seventh on the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Order of Merit, placed T2 at this year's Ontario Women's Amateur Championship and was 12th at the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women's Amateur Championship. She will compete in the CN Canadian Women's Open for a third time.

Marchand, a junior at North Carolina State University, recently captured the 2012 Investors Group Ontario Women's Amateur Championship title. During a standout 2011-12 season with the Wolfpack, Marchand became the first Wolfpacker to win multiple events in a single season to make her the NC State career medalist leader with three women's collegiate victories. Marchand finish T6 at the 2012 NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championships and was named to the 2012 All-ACC Women's Golf team. Internationally, Marchand reached the match play portion of the British Ladies' Amateur Championship and also earned medalist honours at her qualifying site for the 2012 U.S. Women's Amateur. She will be making her first career start in Canada's National Women's Open Championship.

Kirby and Marchand will join previously exempt Team Canada members Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C. (CN Canadian Women's Tour - event winner) and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. (CN Canadian Women's Tour - event winner).

Earlier this year, five players earned tournament exemptions by way of the CN Canadian Women's Tour, including event winners Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C. (BC Tour event @ Richmond CC); Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont. (QC Tour event @ Beloeil GC) and Candace Schepperle of Birmingham, Ala. (ON Tour event @ Legends on the Niagara); as well as Order of Merit exemption winners Hye-Min Kim of San Diego, Calif., and Korea's So Yeon Park.

Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking No. 1 and teenage sensation Lydia Ko of New Zealand was also extended an exemption to compete in Canada's National Women's Open Championship. Ko finished T39 at the 2012 U.S. Women's Open, and also reached the semi-finals of the 2012 U.S. Girls' Junior Championship.

Joining Ko at The Vancouver Golf Club will be Women's World Amateur Golf Ranking No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn of Thailand who earned an exemption into the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open after capturing the 2012 Royale Cup Canadian Women's Amateur Championship.

With the announcement of these additional tournament exemptions, a total of 14 Canadians will compete at The Vancouver Golf Club looking to become the first Canadian to win an LPGA Tour event on home soil since Jocelyne Bourassa did in 1973. 

The list of Canadians competing in the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open includes Alena Sharp of Hamilton, Ont., Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, P.E.I., Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Richmond Hill, Ont., Maude-Aimée LeBlanc of Sherbrooke, Que., Stephanie Sherlock of Barrie, Ont., Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., Isabelle Beisiegel of Sainte Hilaire, Que., Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont., Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C. and Sara Maude Juneau of Fossambault, Que. as well as Team Canada members Jennifer Kirby of Paris, Ont., Jisoo Keel of Coquitlam, B.C., Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont. and Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont.

"We are proud to welcome each of these talented Canadian golfers to the field for Canada's National Women's Open Championship," said Sean Van Kesteren, Tournament Director of the CN Canadian Women's Open. "Providing an opportunity for Canada's top golfers to compete against the world's best has long been part of our mandate in conducting the event and I hope that the Vancouver and area golf community rallies in support of our Canadian hopefuls as they compete for Canada's National Women's Open title."

The Canadian and exemption contingent will join a world-class field at The Vancouver Golf Club that includes a number of confirmed LPGA stars including defending champion Brittany Lincicome and world No. 1 Yani Tseng as well as LPGA Tour stars Na Yeon Choi, Suzann Pettersen, Paula Creamer, Cristie Kerr, Katherine Hull, Michelle Wie and teenage sensation Lexi Thompson.

A field of 156 competitors will vie for the $2 million CN Canadian Women's Open.  The deadline for players to confirm their intention to compete at the 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open in Coquitlam, BC is Tuesday, August 14, 2012.

CN MIRACLE MATCH PROGRAM NOW ACCEPTING DONATIONS
The 2012 CN Canadian Women's Open will help to raise money for the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, the official charitable beneficiary of the CN Miracle Match campaign in 2012.

CN Miracle Match is a national charitable initiative designed to rally communities across Canada behind a very worthy cause, supporting children's hospitals. Each year since 2006, CN and Golf Canada have raised funds to support children's hospitals in the CN Canadian Women's Open host cities by matching funds raised through various initiatives that are connected with the championship. In the past six years, the CN Miracle Match program has raised nearly $6.5 million for children's hospitals.

Individuals and corporations looking to support the BC Children's Hospital Foundation can visit www.CNMiracleMatch.ca to make their donation. 

Topics: Richdale, Samantha, Dreher, Kirby, Beisiegel, Isabelle, Canadian Pacific Women's Open, Press Release [+]

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