Brooke Henderson's withdrawal puts Lorie Kane in Pan Am Games golf spotlight

Chris Zelkovich
Eh Game
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 07: Lorie Kane of Canada plays an approach shot on the 15th hole during day two of the 2014 Ladies Masters at Royal Pines Resort on February 7, 2014 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

2014 Ladies Masters - Day 2

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 07: Lorie Kane of Canada plays an approach shot on the 15th hole during day two of the 2014 Ladies Masters at Royal Pines Resort on February 7, 2014 on the Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Matt Roberts/Getty Images)

Lorie Kane has learned how to handle pressure over her long career on the LPGA Tour, and that's a good thing as far as Canada's medal hopes go at the inaugural Pan Am Games golf tournament.

When competition begins next Thursday at Angus Glen Golf Club in Markham, Ont., the 50-year-old Charlottetown native will be Canada's lone entry in the women's flight after teenage phenom Brooke Henderson withdrew late last month. Golf Canada confirmed Friday that it is highly unlikely that Games organizers will allow a replacement for Henderson since the rules allow fill-ins only for medical reasons after June 15.

``It's unfortunate for Canada," said Golf Canada spokesman Dan Pino. ``But (allowing a replacement for a withdrawal) isn't fair to the other athletes."

There are three sets of medals up for grabs in the Pan Am event, which marks the first time golf has been part of a multi-sport Games since it was in the 1904 Olympics.

Austin Connelly, an 18-year-old native of Canada now living in Texas, and Garrett Rank of Elmira, Ont., will represent Canada in the men's competition.  Kane will compete against 30 others in the women's event.

All three will be part of the team competition, in which each country's top men's and top women's scores each day will count towards a final total. But with only one woman wearing the Maple Leaf, Kane won't be able to have any off days.

Whereas Henderson might have picked her up if she shot a 75, Kane will provide Canada's score every day during the 72-hole event.

``Lorie's really looking forward to this," said Team Canada technical director Adam Helmer. ``She's really focused."

Kane has competed in only two LPGA tournaments this season and failed to make the cut either time.

The competion, which features 11 pro golfers, has been enhanced by the addition of a secondary prize. The gold medal winners will earn exemptions into the RBC Canadian Open and the Canadian Pacific Women's Open.

 

 

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