There was a time not so long ago when Hamilton’s Alena Sharp might have reacted negatively to rough start, either real or imagined, to a round, but things have changed over the past couple of seasons and her third round at the CP Women’s Open illustrates that.
“It started off kind of ugly. I was not hitting it well the first nine holes, but I hung in there and I think that’s something that’s gotten better with my game is when it’s not good, I realize, `Okay, just keep grinding away, it’s going to change,’ and the last six holes were great,” said Sharp.
“I started finding my swing and relaxed a little bit. I relaxed my right arm a little bit in my setup and I started hitting it like I was the last two days and just rode it and hit it close and made some putts. I’m really happy with how I finished,” she added.
A bogey on the par four second hole was the only one on her scorecard Saturday at Priddis Greens near Calgary, where she finished with a five-under 67.
At 11 under, Sharp is tied for fifth. six back of leader Ariya Jutanugarn, and top Canadian on the leaderboard.
“I feel great walking off this round, because like I said, it wasn’t a great start. To shoot five under today and be right there … I know that Ariya is playing really well, but I’m right in there,” said Sharp.
“I mean, who knows what happens (Sunday)? You never know. Things happen out here. You can get into trouble and if I can get another round like today, get right up there and give it a shot,” she said.
“Career best is kind of sitting in the back of my mind right now as I see the leaderboard, but I’m not going to change the way I play the golf course,” added Sharp.
“You’ve got to go after the par fives and try and make some eagles and then I have a lot of wedges in my hand, so I am going at the pins anyway, so I don’t think I’ll change anything,” she said.
“I won’t change what I hit off the tee because I’ve hit a lot of three woods. It gets me in a great spot for a full shot in, so I’m not going to really do much of that. I think if I can get going on the par fives, it’ll help, starting on No. 1. I’m not sure where the pin is tomorrow, but an eagle to start, that would be great,” said Sharp.
Her career best is a tie for fifth that came last year. This year, Sharp has risen to 79th in the world and arrived at Priddis Greens from Rio, where she represented Canada at the Olympics.
“I think this year, yeah, I’ve been in the hunt the last couple months, playing really well, and it’s like now it’s not a shock, this is where I am right now, and I’m riding my momentum and riding the confidence wave because I’ve definitely been on the other end of it before,” she said.
“It’s nice to be playing with no stress and really enjoying playing golf again,” said Sharp.
Brooke Henderson and Maude-Aimee Leblanc are tied for 21st at eight under. Henderson shot a 68 on Saturday, while Leblanc came in with a 70.
Calgary amateur Jaclyn Lee is at four under after she shot a 73 on Saturday. Anne Catherine Tanguay of Quebec City is at one over.