50th edition of CPKC Women’s Open to put on historic show from Calgary

Lorie Kane, Brooke Henderson, Megan Khang

CALGARY – The CPKC Women’s Open has been given the LPGA Tour’s top award the last two seasons. Being named ‘Tournament of the Year’ is something that encompasses so much – from ticketing to marketing to fan experience and more.

And now Canada’s National Open is back to try to do it all again.

“Golf fans in Calgary are in for a very memorable week at a beautiful golf course where the world’s best will compete for our National Open Championship,” Tournament Director Ryan Paul said. “The CPKC Women’s Open is one of the top three women’s sporting events in Canada and this year is shaping up to be a special one.”

Earl Grey Colf Club with 50th CPKC Women's Open Flag

This year’s CPKC Women’s Open marks the 50th playing of the storied event, which last year’s winner Megan Khang says feels like the sixth major on the LPGA Tour.

There are plenty of notable highlights for this year. Firstly – and perhaps most importantly – the tournament has set an ambitious fundraising goal of $2.75 million, the highest number in recent history. Since 2014, the tournament (which is the marquee event for the CPKC Has Heart community investment program) has helped to raise over $19 million for cardiac research, equipment, and care across North America.

The fan experience is set to be the biggest and most impressive, too. Paul says the build-out on site at first-time venue Earl Grey Golf Club will be 95,000 square feet – far and away the most of any event on the LPGA Tour.

CPKC Womens Open Tournament Director Ryan Paul

The impressive effort from the entire CPKC Women’s Open management team means there is plenty of momentum behind doing things bigger and better. There’s been lots of good recognition for their work – not only is it the two-time Tournament of the Year on the LPGA Tour, but also the back-to-back winner of Best Sponsor Activation and it won Best Charity & Community Engagement in 2022.

The support from Earl Grey, just minutes from downtown Calgary, has also been overwhelmingly positive.

The targeted number of volunteers (which was 1,200 for 2024) was hit all the way back in March – and the event was named ‘Best Volunteer Program’ by the LPGA Tour in 2023. The support of the Calgary community, too, has been incredible. Ticket sales to this point in 2024 up 30 percent as compared to this point a year ago. This is the first time the tournament has returned to Calgary since 2016, with Priddis Golf and Country Club playing host that year along with 1999 and 2009.

Speaking of fans – ‘The Rink,’ the incredibly popular viewing experience, will make its return to the CPKC Women’s Open at the par-3 17th hole at Earl Grey.

Khang, who broke through for her first LPGA Tour title a year ago at Shaughnessy, recalled with a smile a nice moment with the crowds late in her day that is the exact one-of-a-kind interaction attendees get with LPGA Tour athletes.

Megan Khang: 2023 CPKC Women's Open Champion
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – AUGUST 27: Megan Khang of the United States pretends to take a selfie while holding the trophy on the 18th green after winning the CPKC Women’s Open at Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club on August 27, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

“I walked off the green on 16 and I looked at the leaderboard and I was like, of course it’s (former world No. 1) Jin Young Ko (making a charge). I was so concerned about Sei Young Kim in my group but of course Jin Young was right there. I’m looking at the guys all around the boards and I’m like, ‘I need me a drink too guys,’” she said with a laugh.

For all the awards and fan opportunities and exciting new things to see and do, there’s no event without players – and the CPKC Women’s Open once again will boast almost all the world’s best.

Early commitments include eight of the top 10 in this year’s Race to CME Globe standings plus 83 of the top 100. There will be nine in-season winners and upwards of 30 Olympians.

The star of the show will of course be Canada’s own Brooke Henderson. Henderson won this championship in 2018 and it’s not lost on her how special, or important, that win has been on her resume.

“It’s a huge highlight of my career being able to win this event back in 2018,” said Henderson. “I’ve always dreamt of winning this event. It’s always played an important role in my life.”

Brooke Henderson: 2018 CPKC Women's Open
REGINA, CANADA – AUGUST 26: Brooke Henderson of Canada lifts the champions trophy following the final round of the CPKC Womens Open at the Wascana Country Club on August 26, 2018 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)

Henderson will once again lead a hearty Canadian contingent at the CPKC Women’s Open which also includes fellow three-time Olympian Alena Sharp. Sharp finished fourth when the CPKC Women’s Open was last in Calgary, her best career LPGA Tour result.

“It’s good vibes only there,” Sharp said.

Ah, yes – good vibes.

If you ask Henderson about what she’s hoping for the most come July, it’s a lot of that exact thing. For the fans, for herself, for the community, and for charity.

“It’s so exciting to be able to be home and compete on home soil and to have the love and support of all the fans and everyone that comes out to watch, it’s pretty incredible,” said Henderson. “It’s kind of hard to put into words how grateful I am to everyone when they come out year after year and as we move across the country the crowds are always still huge and so much fun to be able to play in front of.

Brooke Henderson speaking from 2024 CPKC Women's Open Media Day in Calgary.

“I just hope I can put on a good show and give them something to cheer about.”

And if the current momentum of the CPKC Women’s Open is any indication, winning another set of big-time year-end awards may be something to cheer about, too.