Canadian Women’s Tour heads to Niagara Falls

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. – The Canadian Women’s Tour makes its second stop of the season in Niagara Falls, Ont. at the Battlefield Course at Legends on the Niagara, June 23-25.

Team Canada’s Brooke Henderson, No. 3 ranked amateur in the world, headlines the field of 90 players. Joining Henderson will be recent Canadian Women’s Tour B.C. champion, Michelle Piyapattra of Corona, Calif., 2013 Canadian Women’s Tour Ontario champion, Emily Childs of Alameda, Calif. and Samantha Richdale of Kelowna, B.C., the 2013 Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year.

In Niagara Falls, Henderson of Smith Falls, Ont. will aim to continue a stellar 2014 campaign that has seen her capture the South Atlantic Amateur Championship. On the professional stage, the 16-year-old recently finished T26 at the LPGA’s Kraft Nabisco Championship and tied for 45th at the LPGA Manulife Financial Classic.

“It’s a very strong field at the Tour’s second stop of the season, ” said Tournament Director Cam Crawford. “With another Canadian Pacific Women’s Open exemption on the line it should be an exciting two days of play and the course will definitely test the players in Niagara Falls.”

The event marks the second of three Canadian Women’s Tour events conducted annually across the country, featuring top amateur and professional players – from Canada and abroad – competing in a two-day 36-hole stroke play competition for a $60,000 purse.

A number of notable players will also join the field including Canadians Natalie Gleadall of Stratford, Ont., Danielle Mills of Pointe-Claire, Que., Erica Rivard of Tecumseh, Ont. and Ashley Sholer of Hamilton, Ont. Lauren Mielbrecht of Gulf Stream, Fla., who finished runner-up at the season’s first Tour stop is also in the field.

The par-72 Battlefield course at Legends on the Niagara played host to the 2004 Canadian Women’s Open. Designed by golf architect Douglas Carrick it should prove to be a challenge for the strong field.

“As the site of the successful 2004 Canadian Women’s Open, as well as a 2012 Canadian Women’s tour event, The Niagara Parks Commission (NPC) is proud to be building a rich tradition of hosting some of this world’s finest golfers here at our Legends on the Niagara Golf Complex,” stated NPC Chair Janice Thomson. “We look forward to working with Golf Canada to ensure our competitors and guests will have the most memorable of experiences, when they visit Niagara and Niagara Parks this summer.”

Four exemptions into the 2014 Canadian Pacific Women’s Open, an LPGA Tour event held August 18-24 at London Hunt and Country Club in London, Ont. are currently available to competitors. Exemptions are given to the winners of each of the three Canadian Women’s Tour events with two additional exemptions reserved for the top two competitors (not otherwise exempt) on the season-ending Canadian Women’s Tour Order of Merit. Michelle Piyapattra claimed the season’s first exemption with her win at Canadian Women’s Tour B.C.

In addition, the top five (previously the top 3) players on the Canadian Women’s Tour season-ending Order of Merit will be awarded direct entry into LPGA Stage-2 Qualifying.

The Tour’s final stop is scheduled July 29-31 at Firerock Golf Club in Komoka, Ont. for the PGA Women’s Championship of Canada presented by Nike Golf. It will count as the third and final stop on the Canadian Women’s Tour. Points will also be awarded toward the Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year at the conclusion of the championship.

Total season prize money for the 2014 season is $180,000 (CDN) for three events, which includes the PGA of Canada’s PGA Women’s Championship presented by Nike Golf. Each 36-hole championship purse will be $60,000 with the champion being awarded a $10,000 winners’ cheque.

Conducted since 2002, many of Canada’s elite female golfers have used the Canadian Women’s Tour to hone their skills and develop as athletes both on and off the course. Canadian Women’s Tour alumnae Lorie Kane, Alena Sharp, Jessica Shepley, Isabelle Beisiegel, Stephanie Sherlock, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Sue Kim, Jennifer Kirby, Sara Maude-Juneau and Maude-Aimée LeBlanc have all used their experiences as Canadians on the Canadian development circuit as a catalyst to future successes. Other Canadian Women’s Tour graduates include LPGA notables Yani Tseng, Ryann O’Toole, Candace Schepperle, Sara Brown and Katy Harris.

For more information on Niagara Parks golf click here.