JUTANUGARN HEALTHY AND READY TO DEFEND #CPWO WIN
Ariya Jutanugarn has won the last two times she’s stepped onto Canadian soil. This week, she’s hoping to make it three-for-three at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
Last year, Jutanugarn capped her five-win season with a four-stroke win at the 2016 CP Women’s Open at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club in Calgary, Alberta. And in June 2017, she won the Manulife LPGA Classic in Hamilton, Ontario, draining a 25-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole to beat In Gee Chun and Lexi Thompson.
“I love everything here,” said Jutanugarn, who also had success here as an amateur, winning the 2012 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship. “All the spectators, they’re so nice. They come support us and not only the tournament days. Even practice rounds they come out and give us full support. I feel (it’s) like my second home.”
Since Jutanugarn’s victory in June, a nagging shoulder injury dating back to 2013 has been bothering the young player from Thailand. She was forced to withdraw from one event and missed the cut at three of her last five starts. However, Jutanugarn comes into Ottawa off two weeks of rest and rehab and is ready to defend her title, saying “I’m getting better, and I work on it every day, so I feel better.”
Jutanugarn will tee off on No. 10 on Thursday at 1:42 p.m. with Angel Yin, who sank the clinching putt for the USA at last week’s Solheim Cup, and 2017 U.S. Women’s Open champion Sung Hyun Park.
KIRK RETURNS TO OTTAWA, SITE OF FIRST LPGA WIN
This week marks Katherine Kirk’s first visit to the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club since 2008, when she won the CP Women’s Open for her first LPGA victory. You might think that all the excitement would make this a can’t-forget moment. But with a sheepish grin, Kirk admits that it’s all a blur.
“I remember a little bit of Thursday’s round and a little of Sunday’s round, but Friday, Saturday, not so much,” said Kirk, who trailed Yani Tseng by six strokes going into Sunday’s final round. “If you asked me what I shot, I don’t think I could tell you actually I’d have to look it up.”
For the record, Kirk shot a final-round 69 to win by one stroke over Se Ri Pak and two strokes over Tseng. Of course, many people here at OHGC still remember the Australian for her 2008 success.
“I’ve had a few volunteers come up to me and say, hey, we met you at the volunteer tent back in ‘08 and you signed a hat for us,” said Kirk, who captured the third win of her LPGA career at July’s Thornberry Creek LPGA Classic. “Or people would come up to me, hey, hopefully you can repeat from ‘08. So obviously there are a lot of folks that have come back or either volunteered or they’re going to come out and watch the tournament this week.”
Kirk will tee off on No. 10 on Thursday at 1:20 p.m. with Paula Creamer and Inbee Park.
SO YEON RYU NOMINATED FOR SPORTSWOMAN OF THE YEAR
World No. 1 So Yeon Ryu, winner of the 2014 CP Women’s Open, has been nominated for 2017 Sportswoman of the Year by the Women’s Sports Foundation. Finalists in both individual and team sports have “distinguished themselves from the field with their amazing athletic performances” over the last year. Ryu is the reigning ANA Inspiration champion and is in the top three of numerous LPGA statistical categories: Rolex Player of the Year (first), Money List (first), top-10 finishes (first), Race to the CME Globe (second), eagles (second) and scoring average (third).
Ryu joins an illustrious list of 2017 nominees, including Olympic swimming star Katie Ledecky, Paralympic track-and-field sensation Tatyana McFadden, the WNBA’s Maya Moore and world champion bobsledder Elana Meyers Taylor. Past winners include LPGA stars Yani Tseng (2011), Lorena Ochoa (2007), Annika Sorenstam (2004) and Juli Inkster (1999), as well as international sporting icons Serena Williams (2015), Mia Hamm (1997, 1999) and Michelle Kwan (1998).
To vote for So Yeon Ryu, visit http://sportswomanoftheyear.com/. Voting runs through Aug. 27 and the winners will be announced at the 38th Annual Salute to Women in Sports on Oct. 18 in New York City.
BY THE NUMBERS
6 – Wire-to-wire winners in tournament history: So Yeon Ryu (2014), Michelle Wie (2010), Meg Mallon (2004), Martha Nause (1994), Cathy Johnston (1990) and Pat Bradley (1980)
8 – The tournament’s biggest come-from-behind victory, set by Cristie Kerr in 2006
62 – The tournament’s single-round scoring record, set by Song-Hee Kim in the second round of the 2009 tournament, conducted at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club in Calgary
64 – Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club’s course record, set by Yani Tseng in the second round of the 2008 CP Women’s Open
265 – At -23, the tournament’s 72-hole scoring record, returned by Ariya Jutanugarn (2016), So Yeon Ryu (2014) and Lydia Ko (2013)
“In golf we’re kind of fortunate that we can do a lot of fundraising through it, and I think there is certainly that aspect of it. We know that we can raise the profile not only of golf, but also of local charities and just bring awareness to different courses and obviously children’s health. Heart health is a big one, so it’s nice to be involved with that.” - Katherine Kirk, on giving back via the game of golf
“I remember I played with my sister and I beat her, yeah, that was a really good memory for me.” - Ariya Jutanugarn, on her best memory of the 2012 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship
“I’ve been hearing a lot, today especially, hey, I want you to come second today behind Brooke.”- A laughing Lydia Ko, on the support she receives from Canadian fans