Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont. shot a final round four-under-par 68 and defeated Joy Trotter, 20, of Chino Hills, Calif., in a four-hole play-off to capture the season-opening event on the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Tour at Squamish Valley Golf Club in Squamish, B.C. on Tuesday.
Shepley, 28, a winner at last year’s CN Canadian Women’s Tour stop in Richmond, B.C., and the 2010 Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year, carded four birdies on the day and finished the tournament with a five-under 139.
Shepley capitalized on consecutive bogeys by Trotter on 17 and 18 to force the playoff.
“I’ve been working really hard lately and it’s been a huge goal of mine to come up here and start up the season with a win at this event,” said Shepley. “It was a good finish and having to play a few extra holes is always exciting. It means a lot. I just grinded it out today.”
With the win, Shepley earns the $10,000 championship share of the $60,000 purse and an exemption into this year’s CN Canadian Women’s Open, which will be held at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club in Mirabel, Que., August 25-28.
“I wasn’t sure if I would get in with my status, so this was great for me to know 100 per cent that I’m in,” said Shepley.
“The exemption sets the year up so nicely for me and it means a lot. To play in your country’s national championship is always an honour and I’m looking forward to having a great week this year in Montreal,” she added.
Jisoo Keel, 15, of Coquitlam, B.C., carded a course record six-under 66. Keel finished third overall and earned top amateur honors with a two-day total of 140.
“All of my shots worked for me today,” said Keel who also claimed the CN Future Links Pacific Championship last weekend. “I think I made 17 greens in regulation and I was really proud of myself for not hyperventilating on the course. I’m just very happy with my score.”
Rebecca Lee-Bentham of Richmond Hill, Ont., finished tied for fourth with LPGA Tour member Ryann O’Toole, 24, of San Clemente, Calif. with a two-day total of 143.
The next Canadian Women’s Tour stop takes place June 13-15 at Club de golf Beloeil in Beloeil, Que., while the final tour event is scheduled for June 27-29 at Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ont.