“We are delighted to have been chosen to host the prestigious 2017 Canadian Pacific (CP) Women’s Open. This will be an ideal opportunity for us to show the world class competitors our magnificently redesigned course,” reads the letter from Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club President, Allan Bulloch, a message sent to the historic club’s membership on Thursday.
With it he ended several years of speculation about the return of the LPGA to Canada’s National Capital, which was confirmed with a press release by Golf Canada just after the original version of this story appeared.
Coinciding with Canada’s 150th birthday, the 2017 championship is ideally timed to be part of the many celebrations and activities that will take place around the region.
The event will be boosted by the support of Ottawa Tourism, who have also engaged in a greater partnership with Golf Canada, one that was showcased with the sponsorship of the World Junior Girls’ Golf Championship last month at The Marshes Golf Club.
The return of the CP Women’s Open follows two previous visits to the Ottawa Hunt Club, one in 1994 and another successful stop in 2008. The tournament was also held in the National Capital Region in 2000 at The Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
“We could not be more excited for the return of the Canadian Pacific Women’s Open to Ottawa and the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club in 2017, ” said Tournament Director Brent McLaughlin in a quote included in the President’s message. “We are proud to add to the nation’s celebration as Canada turns 150. With an outstanding atmosphere and a passionate golfing community, we are confident Ottawa will be the perfect backdrop for the 45th playing of Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship.”
Allan Bulloch added in his message, “I recall how the city embraced the tournament in 2008 and anticipate our Club will again rally around Canada’s National Women’s Open Championship.”
In 2008 Katherine Hull of Australia won the CP Women’s Open (then sponsored by CN) at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club, shooting 277 (-11) for the four days of competition. The event had an attendance of 68,950 for the week, then a tournament record.
Bulloch revealed that Past Presidents Lori White and Ron Milligan will co-chair the event and have already embarked on the creation of an organizing committee.
The 2017 LPGA visit should draw heavy interest once again from the region, especially given the recent exploits of Canadian Brooke Henderson, now an LPGA winner and exempt on the tour through 2016. If Henderson should make it into the field, along with any other regional talent, it will surely send the attendance numbers again climbing to record heights. Henderson tied for 23rd at this year’s CP Canadian Women’s Open, closing with a 67.
The Ottawa Hunt Club dates back to 1908 and added golf with a Willie Park, Jr. design in 1924. The course received a mixed-review renovation of the green complexes by Thomas McBroom prior to the 1994 Canadian Women’s Open. Over the last two years the club has undergone a renovation in line with its architectural roots by Dr. Michael Hurdzan who has transformed the West and South nines.
In a recent interview with the golf architecture website “Golfclubatlas.com” Hurdzan named the opening hole on the West nine at the Ottawa Hunt & Golf Club as the favourite par 5 he has designed.
The club previously hosted the 1932 Canadian Open and Canadian Men’s Amateur Championships in 1937, 1960, and 1970.