Candace Schepperle of Birmingham, Ala. carded an opening-round five-under 67 on Tuesday in a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at Legends on the Niagara’s Battlefield Course in Niagara Falls, Ont.
Schepperle holds a two-stroke lead over Julie Shutler of Manteca, Calif. heading into final round play on Wednesday.
Schepperle, who captured a CN Canadian Women’s Tour event in Gatineau, Que. as an amateur in 2010, posted a bogey-free round that included five birdies, three of which came on her last nine holes.
“Playing in the pro-am (Monday) was good because I was dealing with the same windy conditions as (in the opening round),” said Schepperle, who competed in the inaugural Manulife Financial LPGA Classic in Waterloo, Ont., where she failed to make the cut.
“I’ve been playing a lot of golf lately and today I finally started striking the ball the way I wanted to. My ball speed was good, and putting was key. I was bogey-free, so it worked out well,” she said.
“I love these two-day events,” said Schepperle. “For me, I get out there and it’s up and go. That’s how you attack these tournaments. You go out and shoot a good score on day one and the second one you just keep it going. I like that.”
Shutler, meanwhile, who turned professional ahead of this week’s CN Canadian Women’s Tour event after reaching the Round of 64 at the 2012 U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championship, converted five birdies on the day to sit at three-under 69.
Australia’s Jody Fleming is third at two-under 70, while France’s Patricia Beliard and Carmen Bandea of Atlanta, Ga. are tied for fourth after each shot a 71.
Amateur Elizabeth Tong of Thornhill, Ont. is the top Canadian after 18 holes of play and is currently tied for sixth at even-par 72.
Anica Yoo of Coquitlam, B.C. is locked in a tie for 10th after shooting a 73 along with eight other competitors, including Nicole Vandermade of Brantford, Ont., and Calgary’s Jennifer Ha, an amateur.
Players competing on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour also earn points towards the CN Canadian Women’s Tour Order of Merit. The player with the most points at the end of the season earns the
Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year Award.
The top three players on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour season-ending Order of Merit will be awarded direct entry into the second stage of LPGA Qualifying School.
In addition, the top two competitors on the season-ending Order of Merit, not already exempt, also earn entry into the 2012 CN Canadian Women’s Open.
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