Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., wasn’t one of the names making a lot of noise in Sunday’s finale at the CP Women’s Open, but she has this year sent a message to anybody who cares to listen, and definitely to herself, that she belongs on the LPGA Tour and might one day contend.
Marchand finished with the week at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club with a respectable two-under 69 that left her tied for 30th at three under after all four rounds.
After putting up bogeys on the third and sixth holes, Marchand struck for consecutive birdies before making the turn and added a couple of more on the back nine.
“It was a rough start, but overall, I played well. After the first few holes, it was a good day. I think it was what I kind of wanted to finish the tournament,” said Marchand.
It was the second LPGA event this season in whicb Marchand has proven she belongs. She was tied for ninth going into the final round of the Manulife LPGA Classic, but finished with an 81 to for 46th.
“I think the experience is more valuable than the money. I mean, obviously the money is huge,” said Marchand.
“For me moving forward, wanting to play out here, knowing that I can put four solid rounds together and even with having a few mistakes here and there and still finish okay and be able to compete against players out here, it’s big for me moving forward on Symetra and into next year (on the LPGA Tour) hopefully,” she added.
Marchand will get another shot at the LPGA Tour next month when she plays in the fifth and final major of the season at the Evian Championship in France, a ticket she earned after her first Symetra win at the PHC Championship.
Playing at the top level is something she says she can get used to on a regular basis
“I felt that way at Manulife,” she said.
“It’s a grind on Symetra Tour and it’s just a whole other level and it can be rough at times when you’re not playing well and you’re not making any money,” said Marchand, who also won the Data PGA Women’s Championship of Canada recently.
“It’s just like why am I doing this kind of thing, but then, you have the moment I had at Manulife and this week, this is the reason why I’m doing what I’m doing. I’m excited to make the step forward to the LPGA eventually,” she added.
“There are a lot of different things here that are so different from Symetra Tour, just even like signing your ball and giving it to the guy at the end. You don’t do that on the Symetra Tour. It’s just a different level,” said Marchand.
“Just knowing your ins and outs of the clubhouse and where to be and knowing to remember to bring your credential because there is security, just those little things that you have to kind of get used to and they feel very intimidating at first, but I’ve been lucky enough to have experience at these tournaments that now I feel comfortable walking around and I don’t feel as much of an outsider,” she added.
“There’s a few people I know. Like Alena (Sharp) is one and I have a friend who plays on the LPGA a little more and she can kind of guide me, so that’s awesome,” she said.
Marchand is currently 17th on the Symetra Tour money list and will be looking to make it into the top 10 by season’s end, which would earn her graduation to the tour.
Otherwise, it’s a trip to Q-school, but should she make it next year, one thing she takes away from her LPGA experiences this year is that she can’t look too far down the road.
“I think a lot of it is just being able to handle my expectations,” she said.
“I think I handled that really well, just saying if I go out and play my golf game, I’m going to be fine, but not expecting it and pushing it too much,” said Marchand.