SPORTS

Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont., lone Canadian left at Canadian Women's Open

08/24/2012 11:57 EDT | Updated 10/24/2012 05:12 EDT
COQUITLAM, B.C. - Jessica Shepley became the new torchbearer for Canadian women's golf Friday — at least temporarily.

Shepley of Oakville, Ont., was the lone Canuck to make the cut at the CN Canadian Women's Open as she drained a bogey-saving putt on the 18th hole.

"I'm just going to try my best," said Shepley. "I think every Canadian wants to be playing on the weekend. I feel for those girls. I've been in that position a couple times before, so I'm just going to go out and focus on myself and try to represent my country."

Playing among the last groups of the day, Shepley finished with a two-over 74 that placed her right on the cut line of 147.

"Obviously, that's not what I was looking for — to have a 10-foot downhill, left-to-right slider on 18 to make the cut," said the 29-year-old Shepley. "But it went in, so that's all that matters."

Shepley has played in nine LPGA tournaments this season, but she has non-exempt status and does not automatically qualify for every event. She managed to squeak in after missing the cut in her previous five LPGA tournaments.

She has not made a cut since April.

"I'm excited to be playing," said Shepley. "I haven't had a very good season this year. I didn't really play very well, so I'm excited that I was able to play a little bit better at the Canadian Open. It's always special to play well here."

Veteran Lorie Kane was heartbroken as she double-bogeyed her final hole. Her last putt came up just short as she posted a 4-over-76 to follow an even-par opening round.

As a result, the 47-year-old Kane posted a double-bogey and missed her chance to play in Saturday and Sunday's final rounds by one stroke.

"That's not the way I wanted to finish, and I worked very hard today and grinded hard," said Kane "Unfortunately, I'm kind of feeling like (disqualified 2012 Canadian Olympic relay runner) Jared Connaughton right now, like I touched the line."

The reference to fellow Charlottetown native Connaughton, who stepped outside his lane in the 4x100-metre relay, was appropriate for the occasion, because Kane said earlier in the week she was refusing to let go of the Canadian women's golf "baton."

Kane's early exit is the third time she's been frustrated when the national tournament was held in the Vancouver area.

She also missed the cut 21 years ago when the tournament was held on the same Vancouver Golf Club course. She was disappointed again in 2003 at the Point Grey Golf and Country Club. That year, she entered as a contender but had a temper tantrum in the first round, broke her putter and was forced to putt with her driver.

On Friday, she struggled with her real putter on greens that were too slow for her liking.

"Lorie's such a good ambassador and for the game that I hate to see that," said Shepley. "But I have to go and focus on myself now."

Note: Brooke Henderson, 14, of Smiths Falls, Ont., matched Kane's four-over 76 to finish at 9-over 153 for the tournament.

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