Royal Canadian Golf Association

Royal Canadian Golf Association

June 20, 2005 16:42 ET

AMATEUR SETS PACE AT BMO FINANCIAL GROUP WOMEN'S TOUR IN GATINEAU

- Five exemptions still up for grabs for Canadian Women's Open - Attention: Sports Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor GATINEAU, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - June 20, 2005) - 21 year-old amateur Catherine Fortin of Beauceville, Que., set the bar early this morning, shooting a even-par round of 72 to lead the first round of the BMO Financial Group Women's Tour event at Club de golf Rivermead in Gatineau, QC on Monday.

Fortin, who was in the first pairing of the day, registered the low-score and held the clubhouse lead from start to finish. Louis Zylstra of Toronto trails Fortin by just a single shot heading into the final round posting a 73. Marie-Josée Rouleau of St-Lambert, Q.C., Linda Shephard of Brighton, Ont., and Nisha Sadekar of Stouffville, Ont. sit tied for set third place just two strokes back.

Overall, Fortin played a consistent game posting an equal 36 on both the front and back nine, hitting five birdies and two-bogies. The only blemish was a triple bogie on hole#13.

"It's a big surprise for me to be leading right now, I only came here with a goal to gain some experience," said Fortin, a second-year player on the Eastern Michigan University Golf Team. "You have to play your best game when up against the pros. I'm not intimidated, but I'm learning a lot."

Zylstra, a veteran of the Canadian golf scene, thought it was great to see an amateur in the lead.

"It's great for her and this really says something about the quality of women's golf in Canada. We've got a lot of new girls taking up the game and the level of play keeps getting better and better."

If Fortin maintains her early first round lead, she could become the first-ever amateur to win a BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Tour event. Amateur Eom-Ji Park of Vancouver was the closes amateur to achieving this feat. Park lost in a playoff against Zylstra in 2003 at Fairwinds Golf & Country Club in Nanoose Bay, B.C.

Heading into tomorrow's final round there are still five exemptions available for the 2005 BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open held in Halifax, July 11 - 17. The winner of this event will automatically earn an exemption as well as the four top players on the Tour's Order of Merit.

Among the competitors still in search for exemptions are Kareen Qually of Olds, Alta., Corina Kelepouris of Drayton Valley, Alta., American Cortney Reno of Grosse Ile, Mich., and Park. All presently rank in the top five on the BMO Financial Group Women's Tour Order of Merit.

Outside contenders for the Order of Merit exemptions included Big Break III competitor Jan Dowling of Bradford, Ont. and three-time Canadian Amateur champion Lisa Meldrum of Montreal, Que.

Action at the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Tour event will conclude tomorrow with the leaders set to tee off at approximately 10:00am EST.

The following are opening-round scores from the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Tour for Monday, June 20, 2005 in Gatineau, Que. (Purse: $25,000 - 6,087 yards, par 72)

1 (a) Catherine Fortin, Beauceville, QC--72
2 Louise Zylstra, Toronto, ON--73
T3 Marie-Josée Rouleau, St-Lambert, QC--74
Linda Shephard, Brighton, ON--74
Nisha Sadekar, Stouffville, ON--74
T6 Leila Chartrand, Victoria, BC--75
(a) Ashley Bickerton, Ottawa, ON--75
T8 Katie Ferguson, Minett, ON--76
Corina Kelepouris, Drayton Valley, AB--76
Cortney Reno, Grosse Ile, MI--76
Jan Dowling, Bradford, ON--76
Lisa Meldrum, Montréal, QC--76
Tiarra Honce, Kelowna, BC--76
T14 Stefi Markovich, Welland, ON--77
Kareen Qually, Olds, AB--77
(a) Eom-Ji Park, Burnaby, BC--77
Rhonda Fleury, Stouffville, ON--77
Theresa McDermott, Toronto, ON--77
T19 Kari Hilton, London, ON--78
Nicole Keller, Hillsboro, OR--78
T21 Holly Reynolds, Morrisville, VT--79
Vicki Appleton, Halifax, NS--79
Claudia Beauchesne, Gatineau, QC--79
Marina Marselli, Settimo Vittone, IY--79
T25 Heather Lee, Edmonton, AB--80
(a) Stacey Bieber, Winnipeg, MB--80
T27 (a) Véronique Drouin, Ste-Agnès, QC--81
Anouk Guelidi, St. Cyr sur Mer, FR--81
(a) July Fraser, La Tuque, QC--81
T30 Suzanne Walker-Nicoletta, Dartmouth, NS--82
Susan Wright-Amendt, Breton, AB--82
Jennifer Layman, Pembroke, ON--82
T33 (a) Krista Bulow, Notre-Dame de l'île Perrot, QC--83
Jennifer Wiegand, Fairdale, IL--83-
(a) Lindsey Edmunds, London, ON--83
Jelana Duncan, Scarborough, ON--83
T37 (a) Patti Hogeboom, Kingston, ON--84
(a) Marie-Pierre Bernier, St-Sébastien, QC--84
39 (a) Louise Hotte, Buckingham, QC--85
T40 Sylvie Schetagne, Delson, QC--86
(a) Christine Arsenault, Rimouski, QC--86
(a) Susan Pearl, Ottawa, ON--86
43 Mary-Lee Cobick, Amos, QC--89
44 Rebecca Mulville, Smith Falls, ON--90
45 Stephanie Ceravolo, Beaconsfield, QC--91
46 Julie Cashaback, Ottawa, ON--96

(a) denotes amateur

Conducted by the Royal Canadian Golf Association and sanctioned by the Canadian Professional Golfers' Association, the 2005 Canadian Women's Tour will feature five championships with the first two (Victoria and Gatineau) serving as qualifiers for the 2005 BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open. Top golfers on the Canadian Women's Tour Order of Merit and champions of the first two Women's Tour stops will earn exemptions into Canada's only LPGA Tour event, July 11-17 at Glen Arbour Golf Course in Halifax, N.S.

Players competing on the Canadian Women's Tour will also earn points towards the Canadian Women's Tour Order of Merit. The winner of the Canadian Women's Tour Order of Merit will receive $3,000 and take home the Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year Award.

More information about the Canadian Women's Tour including a full listing of competitors, post-round results and championship start times will be available on the Canadian Women's Tour section of the Royal Canadian Golf Association at www.rcga.org.

About BMO's Involvement with Golf
In addition to being the proud title sponsor of the Canadian Women's Tour and the Canadian Women's Open, the only Canadian stop on the LPGA Tour, BMO Financial Group is also the title sponsor of Future Links, a national development program for junior golfers. The program is designed to make the game more accessible for young golfers aged 5 to 18. For more information please visit www.bmogolf.com.

About The Royal Canadian Golf Association
The Royal Canadian Golf Association is the governing body of golf in Canada, representing close to 400,000 members nationwide. In addition to providing core services such as the Rules of Golf, handicapping, support of turfgrass and environmental research, and BMO Financial Group Future Links, Canada's national junior golf program and supporting the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, the RCGA also conducts Canada's most prestigious golf championships. The Bell Canadian Open and BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Open attract the best professional golfers in the world, while six regional junior championships, 10 national amateur championships and the BMO Financial Group Canadian Women's Tour showcase the best of Canadian golf. For more information please visit www.rcga.org.

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For more information:
Michael Grobe
Senior Communications Coordinator
Royal Canadian Golf Association
Cell: (905) 467-2944
Onsite: (819) 778-0033
E-mail: mgrobe@rcga.org
IN: SPORTS

Contact Information

  • Michael Grobe, Senior Communications Coordinator, Royal Canadian Golf Association
    Primary Phone: 905-849-9700 ext. 230
    Secondary Phone: 905-467-2944
    Toll-Free: 800-263-0009
    E-mail: mgrobe@rcga.org