With laser-like precision off the tee at Scarboro Golf & Country Club, Augusta James found herself atop a crowded leaderboard at the DATA PGA Women’s Championship of Canada.
The Bath, Ont., native and LPGA Tour rookie posted an opening-round 4-under-par 68 Tuesday to lead an impressive group of players that includes LPGA and Symetra Tour winners.
“Other than the eighth hole, I hit every fairway out there,” James said. “Hitting a lot of fairways and my accuracy with longer clubs are definitely the strengths of my game.”
Apparently, making birdies is another strength of James’. Her day included seven birdies and three bogeys.
Remarkably, James wasn’t the only one who made seven birdies Tuesday at Scarboro. Lindsey McPherson of Flushing, Mich., also made seven—however, she made all seven of hers in succession.
“I can honestly say I’ve never made seven birdies in a row, so that was pretty cool,” McPherson said. “It was kind of funny though because I didn’t feel like I was playing that great. But then I looked at the card and saw that I had made seven in a row.”
McPherson, along with former three-time Symetra Tour winner and LPGA Tour player Mina Harigae of Mesa, Ariz., are T2 at 3-under-par.
A trio of Canadian standouts—Anna Kim, Anne-Catherine Tanguay and Brittany Marchand (who is the most recent winner on the Symetra Tour)—along with Americans Madeleine Sheils and Samantha Troyanovich are all at 2-under-par, T4.
The DATA PGA Women’s Championship of Canada’s most decorated champion, Lorie Kane (a five-time winner) and Jenny Lee of California lurk just three back of James at 1-under-par.
Hannah Hellyer of St. Georges Golf & Country Club leads the Club Professional Division by a pair of shots over Rebecca Lee-Bentham.
The winner of this year’s championship will earn an exemption into the CP Canadian Women’s Open at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club, Aug. 21-27.
Scarboro Golf and Country Club, with a history dating back to 1912, has been the site of four Canadian Opens, the Canadian Tour Championship and several amateur championships. The course was originally designed by noted professional and Canadian golf course architect George Cumming, but underwent extensive changes in 1924 under the direction of Albert Warren Tillinghast. Tillinghast was one of North America’s premier golf course designers, who was at the peak of his career when hired to redesign Scarboro.
Scarboro is in great company among such renowned Tillinghast courses as Winged Foot, Ridgewood, Five Farms East, the redesign of Baltusrol and the fearsome Bethpage Black at Farmingdale, Long Island, N.Y. The latter literally consumed the games greatest golfers at the 2002 U.S. Open.
Scarboro remains the only course outside the U.S. designed by Tillinghast.
He masterfully used Highland Creek, which comes into play as many as 11 times in 18 holes, and the hilly terrain, gullies and trees as natural hazards, making artificial hazards almost unnecessary at Scarboro.
The PGA Women’s Championship of Canada was first played in 1987 and past champions include five-time winner Lorie Kane, Brooke Henderson, Alena Sharp, Cathy Sherk, Gail Graham, Nancy Harvey, and Jessica Shepley.
Admittance to the DATA PGA Women’s Championship of Canada is free and spectators are encouraged to attend during the 36-hole championship play.
To follow the DATA PGA Women’s Championship of Canada online throughout tournament week, visit www.pgaofcanada.com.
Click here for the full leaderboard.