On Thursday I had the opportunity to go to the first round of the CN Canadian Open held at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club an event that was both historic and of great interest to me. It was the 100th anniversary of the course, possibly one of or more likely the last professional tournament that Hall of Fame golfer and probably the greatest women’s golfer of all time Annika Sorenstam, plus just the opportunity to be there in person and see a live golf event firsthand. Though no longer a major many still feel that it is and the is why they managed to get some 48 of the top 50 players on tour into the field.
The event itself was first class all the way, well organized, good course and very accessible, great field and the fact that they managed to raise over $1 million for CHEO was just a great feat.
From a more selfish or perhaps a more personal angle, getting to go that round was awesome. One thing that find very difficult is to get people to go to important events such as this with me which has forced me to miss some things in the past that I would have liked to do and/or taken in but I guess that is out of my control. This time I supposed the stars aligned and I was able to take advantage and I am so glad that I did.
I got to see and follow some great golf from great players and see them all up close and personal.
That is where things hit the pinnacle for me on a personal level. As someone who enjoys acquiring autographs this was the perfect event. From what I hear and what I now know the two best professionals that make themselves the most accessible are NASCAR Drivers and LPGA Players. Big or small those ladies were terrific. I noticed it early with a ton of people walking around with signed hats that had been gotten during the Pro-Am and practice rounds. To make a long story short I managed to get a few ladies autographs some well known and some lower tier but at that point it didn’t matter it was still cool.
The ladies went out of their way to sign as much as they could and when you think of the demand on them it make is all the more impressive with how well they handle it and how good they are.
The two that I would have liked to get but was unable to was World #1 Lorena Ochoa whom I missed just because of bad timing and Michelle Wie who just passed me by but I was unprepared and didn’t get the book and Sharpie out in time…Rookie Mistake.
I was side by side Canadian favourite Lori Kane, Bombshell Natalie Gulbis, and walked with the rising star Paula Creamer. The highlight though for me was the main reason I wanted to go in the first place and that was to see Annika, whom I have loved since I was in high school, before she was the Hall of Fame golfer she is now. I watched her hit puts for maybe 20 minutes after her round. I not only did I manage to get her autograph on the cover of the program but was able to walk with her for a bit.
The beauty of this was there was no velvet rope or fence between us, no imposing police man or bodyguard, just her caddy and maybe 3 other people. She was nice made some small talk and was gracious the full time to all that were there.
So with that, thanks to the Ladies for making my week, month and probably more, and showing how great of people and golfers they truly are!