News and notes from Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club for Thursday, August 24th

 OTTAWA (Golf Canada) –– Marina Alex took to Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club early Thursday and posted a 5-under-par 66 to take the opening-round lead at the CPKC Women’s Open. The American recorded six birdies against a lone bogey.

“The greens were rolling unbelievably well. Really quick,” she said. “The nice thing is they’re still a bit soft, so the shots are holding into the greens, so it kind of makes for a good combo. You can hit shots in there pretty tight, and then you have really nice pace to hold them.”

“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 like (it’s) my second home.”

Alex has notched four top-10s this season, but her best result of the year, a tie for seventh, happened in February at the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open. She credited her putting as the key to her success Thursday.

“I putted unbelievably well today. I rolled it so good. So I hope I can just carry that into the next couple days and just tidy up the ball-striking a little bit,” she explained.

England’s Holly Clyburn closed out her first round in style on Thursday, holing an eagle putt at the par-5 ninth to cap a 4-under round and sit in a tie for second with In Gee Chun.

“I’ve just been waiting for something to drop like that all day, actually,” said Clyburn, in her second year on the LPGA Tour and looking for her first career victory. “I played solid all day, and that was just a nice present on the last.”

With throngs of fans following her every move, Canada’s Brooke Henderson battled with her putter on Thursday and opened the championship with a 3-over 74, tied for 107th after the first round.

“I hit a lot of fairways, gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie and they just didn’t fall today,” said Henderson, who carded only one birdie to two bogeys and a double. “That can happen, and just hopefully I can just be a little bit better.”

While the score may not be what she wanted, Henderson could not help but smile when she talked about the tremendous support she has received from her hometown fans.

“8 a.m., there’s not normally (so many people) lining the fairways,” said Henderson, who lives an hour outside Ottawa. “It was pretty special, and I can’t thank them enough for coming out and supporting and just hopefully tomorrow I can play a little bit better for them.”

Fellow Canadian Hannah Hellyer is living a life-long dream this week at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. The assistant professional at Toronto’s St. George’s Golf and Country Club is making her LPGA debut after finishing tied for first at the Monday qualifier and earning one of the last four spots in the CPKC Women’s Open field.

“I don’t think I really was thinking straight,” said Hellyer of stepping onto her first LPGA tee. “My heart was pounding out of my chest. But I just had to kind of focus and try and get the ball in the fairway.”

Hellyer, who is paired with Tiffany Joh and Kelly Tan for the first two rounds, struggled in her maiden LPGA round, carding five bogeys and one double en route to a 7-over 78. But for the young professional who says she had thoughts of leaving the game, it’s still a dream come true.

“I’m glad that I stuck it out,” said Hellyer. “I think that golf has a lot of highs and lows… You have to persist.”

Canadian Scores – Round One
Augusta James – 73 (+2)
Maude-Aimee LeBlanc – 73 (+2)
Brittany Marchand – 73 (+2)
Brooke Henderson – 74 (+3)
Jennifer Ha – 74 (+3)
Jaclyn Lee * -75 (+4)
Anne-Catherine Tanguay – 76 (+5)
Samantha Richdale -77 (+6)
Alena Sharp – 78 (+7)
Hannah Hellyer – 78 (+7)
Maddie Szeryk * – 79 (+8)
Lorie Kane – 80 (+9)
Grace St-Germain – 80 (+9)
Naomi Ko * -83 (+12)

* Denotes Amateur

Friday is Red & White Day at the CPKC Women’s Open
Friday, August 25 is Red & White Day at the CPKC Women’s Open. Players, spectators and media are encouraged to wear red and white to show their national pride in support of the Canadians playing in Canada’s National Open Championship.

Pairing and start times – Rounds 2…
Pairings for the second round of the 2017 CPKC Women’s Open are available here.

Interview transcripts, audio files and video…
Interview transcripts, audio MP3 files, as well as downloadable royalty-free images and broadcast quality videos for all media interviews and scrums will be available online here.

CP Birdies for Heart – 12 birdies raise $60,000…
Title sponsor CP has stepped up to encourage players to make birdies on the 15th green during tournament play by offering a donation of $5,000 for each birdie made in support of pediatric cardiac care at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. During Thursday’s opening round, 12 birdies by LPGA Tour players raised $60,000 for charity.

Media Guide
Note to Media: Download the 2017 CPKC Women’s Open Media Guide by clicking here.

CP Has Heart charity campaign to benefit Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario…
Now in its fourth year, CP’s community investment program, CP Has Heart, is committed to raising funds in support of children’s heart health in the host community of the CPKC Women’s Open. The 2017 edition of Canada’s National Women’s Open is proud to have the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) as the beneficiary charity.

The CP Has Heart fundraising activities tied to the CPKC Women’s Open and CHEO are part of CP’s overarching “Beautiful Hearts” campaign across the Ottawa region which will also run during the CFL regular season, playoffs and Grey Cup.

The “Beautiful Hearts” campaign will support the refurbishment of facilities that patients use every day at CHEO and the University of Ottawa Heart Institute and celebrate the resiliency and spirit of the human heart.

Through August 27, 2017, CP will match all donations made towards pediatric cardiac at www.cheoheart.com. CP will also donate $5,000 to CHEO for every birdie made by a player on the 15th hole at Ottawa Hunt during this year’s championship. The 15th hole will also feature the 15th Green CP Fan Zone where golf fans can donate $20 to upgrade their grounds pass to access a covered greenside bleacher and viewing area with all proceeds to benefit CHEO.

Since 2014, the CP Has Heart charity campaign has raised more than $4.5 million in support of children’s heart health.

Kids 17-and-under Get in Free…
Golf Canada and CP are committed to offering a fan friendly, family event with the CPKC Women’s Open. To introduce more juniors to the sport, children aged 17-and-under get FREE admission to the CPKC Women’s Open for the entire week.

Juniors – 17 & Under Free
Anyday Grounds (Thurs-Sun) – $39.55
Weekly (Mon-Sun) – $90.40

Television coverage…
Friday, August – 25 Golf Channel – 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, August – 26 Golf Channel – 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Sunday, August 27 – Golf Channel – 2 p.m. – 6 p.m.

NOTE: All times listed are in Eastern Time. Times are approximate and are subject to change without notice.