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Putting the Canadian back into the Canadian Women’s Open not in the cards yet

P.E.I native Lorie Kane has four career LPGA tour wins. (The Canadian Press)

Canadians tend to keep track of our losing streaks, maybe even more than we remember our winning runs.

Everybody knows that no homegrown golfer has won the Canadian Open since Pat Fletcher pulled off that feat way back in 1954 and our long streak of futility at tennis received much publicity during the recent Rogers Cup tournaments. Let's just say long sideburns have come, gone and come back again since we last won any of these events.

So we might as well say it now: It's been 40 years since a Canadian won the Canadian Women's Open. And, as in the case of the three aforementioned tournaments, it's not likely to happen this year.

Barring a near-miracle, Jocelyne Bourassa's 1973 victory will stand at least until 2014.

The good news is that there's hope on the horizon. A total of 20 Canadian women will tee it up at Edmonton's Royal Mayfair Golf Club on Thursday -- a pretty impressive number. And there are plenty of them with estimable talent. All that most are lacking at this stage is experience.

Six have played regularly on the LPGA tour this season: Sara-Maude Juneau, Lorie Kane, Maude-Aimee Leblanc, Rebecca Lee-Bentham, Alena Sharp and Stephanie Sherlock. Combined, they have four career victories. Unfortunately, all of them belong to Kane and her last visit to the winner's circle came 12 years ago. Considering that Kane is ranked 272nd on the tour this year, she's not considered one of the contenders.

While the aforementioned young women represent a good part of Canada's golf future, the most serious threat to Bourassa's mark could come from Brooke Henderson. At 15, the Smiths Falls, Ont., native is Canada's top amateur and has a lot of this country's golf establishment members dreaming big -- as do many of the other young Canadian up-and-comers.

Henderson has competed on the LPGA tour this year, tying for 35th at the Manulife Classic and tying for 59th at the U.S. Women's Open. Pretty heady company for a girl not yet allowed to drive a car.

Of course, no one expects a 15-year-old to win an LPGA tournament. At least, not two years in a row.

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