JUNE 25, 2012
Brittany Lang had 31 putts in her final
round at Grey Silo Golf Course.
Tricky Greens Couldn’t Prevent Low Scores
WATERLOO, ONTARIO | Despite eventual winner Brittany Lang saying that
putting was difficult at Grey Silo, a
course designed by Canadian Steve
Young, low scores were to be had all
week, including the final round.
“A lot of putts broke two ways,” said
Lang, who had 31 putts in the final
round and clearly struggled to find the
cup on Sunday.
That wasn’t the experience of many
of the other players this week who
found Grey Silo’s soft, large greens
allowed for some low scores.
Chella Choi, who had 25 putts in her
final round, tied the low round of the
week with an 8-under 63 on Sunday
that vaulted her into a playoff, and Stacy
Lewis, Mindy Kim and So Yeon Ryu both
came in at 7-under 64 for the day. Lewis,
who made eagle on her 18th hole of the
final round, shot 29 on the back nine.
Alena Sharp and Maude-Aimee Leblanc
tied as low Canadians at 2 under.
Tseng’s absence wasn’t a big factor
to those asked about how strong the
“I think it’s very strong,” said Paula
Creamer. “We’ve got most of the top
players here. You have to look at the
three-week stretch, and we want to
come here, want to play in Waterloo, we
want to play in Canada, and it shows.
“I think that there’s going to be a
big crowd and it’s a good golf course
and it’s a new event, so there’s going
to be people who want to come. But
field-wise, it’s as good as any.”
Suzann Pettersen agreed. “We have
top players represented from all over
the world,” she said. “I think it’s impor-
tant that our Tour goes global. I think
it’s nice to show kids our skills.”
course at 5: 15 a.m. on the first day of the
tournament. Changkija billeted and used
volunteer transportation to keep her
expenses low during the tournament,
“(I’m) just trying everything out be-
cause I know renting a car and getting
a hotel is probably the easiest one, but
I figured I would try and try and save
some money,” she said. “Sometimes
it’s hard to get the volunteers to come
out at 5: 15.”
Leblanc turned heads by averaging
more than 300 yards off the tee through
the first three rounds, prompting Sharp
to say she’d never seen a woman hit it
as far as the Quebec rookie, who is No.
8 in the Rookie of the Year standings.
cheer for everybody. It’s so much fun to
have crowds like this and it’s not at a
major tournament. It’s really cool.”
Tournament director Richard
Kuypers noted the crowds exceeded
all expectations on Friday and several
nearby fields had to be mowed to
accommodate the extra cars.
“We printed 10,000 pairing sheets
and they are all gone,” he said. “And
we’re already in overflow parking.”
With world No. 1 Yani Tseng skip-
ping the event, questions naturally
arose about the quality of the field. But
First-round leader Sandra Changkija,
an LPGA rookie, had more trouble get-
ting to the course than playing it. Chang-
kija, 23, shot 8-under 63 to take the lead,
but the rookie, who has struggled to find
a sponsor and made only two of seven
cuts this year, had a hard time finding
a volunteer willing to drive her to the
Five Canadians made the cut at the
Manulife event, while six missed out
on playing the weekend. Heading into
the weekend Isabelle Beisiegel, from
Sainte Hilaire, Que., was the leading
Canadian. Beisiegel has received notice
in the past for holding down a spot on
the men’s Canadian Tour and trying to
qualify for the PGA Tour. She got into
the Manulife event as an alternate.
Promoters of the inaugural Manulife
Financial tournament were pretty convinced that fans would show up to see
the best the LPGA had to offer. After all,
the volunteer positions were filled almost immediately after the tournament
reached out to the community.
However, with more than 20,000
spectators estimated for Friday and
Saturday, and the tournament expected
to have more than 70,000 for the week,
the popularity of the event amazed
everyone, including the players.
“It feels amazing,” said Thompson.
“I mean, the crowds are just crazy out
here, they’re always cheering you on.
That’s a great feeling to have.”
Her perspective was echoed by Lang.
“I can’t believe how many tickets
they sold,” Lang said. “But they’re just
great fans, they’re nice people, they
LPGA Commissioner Michael Whan
announced that Mike Nichols has been
named Chief Business Officer of the
Symetra Tour, effective July 2. Nichols
will oversee the development of the
Tour’s strategic plan, budget, sales,
marketing, owned events, corporate
sponsorships and tournament partner
For A Better Roll Every Time.