When the CN Canadian Women’s Open is played later this year at Priddis Greens near Calgary, the topic of conversation at some point will turn to Jocelyne Bourassa being the last Canadian ever to win on home soil.
Of course, the current crop of Canadians would like to put a more recent entry into the record books, thus ending Bourassa’s victory at the 1973 La Canadienne as the point of reference.
Some day, if not this year, that might happen, but it won’t erase the legacy that Bourassa created in Canadian golf. Her greatest contribution to the game in this country came as an administrator who cared about developing young women professionals, despite her accomplishments as a player.
It will be announced later today that former du Maurier Classic chief Jocelyne Bourassa is the latest recipient of the Trainor Award, which was established 10 years ago in honour of Duramed Futures Tour founder and former president Eloise Trainor.
The award is presented to those who make a significant contribution to women’s golf and Bourassa certainly fits that description.
After her career ended prematurely due to injuries, Bourassa went on to become executive director of the du Maurier Classic, a tour major that would become one of the most anticipated events on the schedule each year.
Her interest in the event ran much deeper than the tour event, which spun off another Bourassa creation, the du Maurier Series, which saw players such as Lorie Kane, among others, participate.
The Series was formed to help developing professionals gain experience and earn exemptions into the du Maurier Classic. Its concentration was not limited to fledgling tour pros, however. It was also designed to help those who enjoyed the competition, but wanted to become club pros.
The Series’ 18-hole pro-am format was designed to introduce club pros to dealing with the media and sponsors.
Players such as Claudia Beauschene and Linda Shephard were unfortunate enough to draw my name over the years, but were gracious in enduring my bad game and even offered tips along the way. Both are now teaching the game.
After 20 years as executive director of the Classic and Series, Bourassa ran into a major roadblock when federal anti-smoking legislation snuffed Imperial Tobacco as tournament sponsor and Bourassa feverishly worked to save the tournament, which lost its major status, and its development tour.
Both were saved when Bank of Montreal came on board as title sponsor and Bourassa would stay on to help in the transition, but even today, with CN doing a fine job as sponsor of both the Canadian Women’s Open and its development program, much of Bourassa’s work over the years is still a foundation.
Bourassa continues to work on grassroots programs, serving as a senior consultant with Golf Quebec and working on a pilot program that brings golf into elementary schools. She also works on women’s and corporate clinics.
She will receive the Trainor Award on Sunday at the conclusion of Florida’s Natural Growers Charity Classic in Winter Haven, Fla.
Canadian Tour News
Tournament Drops Off Tour Schedule: The Canadian Tour has decided not to put bailout money into the Spring International, which was to be played early next month in Modesto, Calif., and has taken it off the 2009 schedule.
New GNN Poll: The stock market was rallying last week, consumer spending in the United States was better than expected and some U.S. banks were reportedly showing good results for the first quarter of this year.
So, how do you feel?
Has your attitude towards the economy changed for the positive with all of this good news?
Why not wander over to the GNN Poll on the sidebar and voice your opinion?