Casey Ward Wins 66th Eastern Provinces Championship

Casey Ward and her spoils for winning the 66th Empire Life Eastern Provinces Championship (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick)
Casey Ward and her spoils for winning the 66th Empire Life Eastern Provinces Championship (Photo: Scott MacLeod, Flagstick)

Sixty-six times the trophy for the Empire Life Eastern Provinces Championship has been awarded.  Few winners have been more surprised to add their name to the top prize than Casey Ward of Picton.

The 25 year-old has been close to grabbing the honour previously at one of the most storied amateur events in Canada, but in 2009, when she lost the final match to Tara McFadden, she was playing a lot more golf.

This year Ward had played less than a handful of rounds before arriving at Cataraqui Golf & Country Club to compete. Scant days before she was graduating with a Masters degree in BioMechanics at California State University in Fullerton, California.

The focus of the Masters degree studies?  Golf, of course.

But while Ward was busy studying the movements of golf athletes it left very little time for her to play the game itself.

It did not show on June 15th as she dispensed of Team Ontario member Diana McDonald in the final of the Eastern Provinces Championship by a tally of 3&2.

“I think I’ve played three rounds since March,” the former Golf Association of Ontario Kingston District Champion shared after her win.  “I think the break kind of helped me.  The first round I played after I got back (from school) was really rough but I played well on Thursday (a casual round at Credit Valley). I played pretty well in the qualifier and then I think I was was three under in my first match.”

That first round match with Kelly Koselek ended in a score of 7&6.  Ward would go on to beat Natasha Lehman before dispensing of Allyson Harrison in the semi-final.

Ward says she did not feel she had her best stuff for the final against McDonald, a talented high schooler who came late to the game but has showed tremendous progress in short time.

“I didn’t play particularly well. I putted well this morning (in the semi-final) but just couldn’t see the hole this afternoon which is not particularly good timing.  I made a few putts down the stretch which kind of helped out.”

Ward had nothing but praise for her final match opponent. “She’s a really great player. I can’t believe she has only played for about three years.”

While surprised at her success Ward was pleased with the victory.  “It’s just nice to get a tournament under my belt. I’m looking forward to the summer. Obviously this starts off the season pretty well.”

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