When the best female golfers in the world descended on St. Charles Country Club in August, Michelle Wie stole the show at the 2010 Canadian Women’s Open.
Wie became famous at a young age, but her growth as a golfer was stunted somewhat by her quest to play against men.
However, this past summer the 20-year-old Hawaiian showcased her growth on the fairway and cruised to the second victory of her LPGA career, winning wire-to-wire against a top-notch field that included a handful of players battling it out for the No. 1 world ranking.
Wie created a major buzz during the opening round when her tee shot on the 183-yard,11th hole found the cup for a hole-in-one.
Through the course of the week, Wie’s group had a tremendous following and she didn’t disappoint, launching majestic drives and showcasing a smooth and powerful swing as she led wire-to-wire.
There’s no question she was a cut above the competition and if she can find a way to channel that energy going forward, Wie could be a dominant force on the LPGA Tour and she might look back to her days in Winnipeg as the ones which got her career pointed in the right direction.
Wie wasn’t the only player to impress. The entire field was courteous and the fan-friendly element was something to behold.
There was even an element of true Canadian as veteran Lorie Kane made a charge on the final two days to finish tied for 11th.
The ladies weren’t the only top players to grace the grounds at St. Charles either as 2003 Masters winner Mike Weir was in town for the charity event that bears his name.
Though Weir suffered through an injury-plagued season, he took part in the Mike Weir Miracle Golf Drive for Kids, raised plenty of money for the foundation and reminisced about his time on the Canadian Tour.
Speaking of the Canadian Tour, it wasn’t a great year for Manitoba’s four touring professionals but Adam Speirs and Matt Johnston of St. Charles, Ryan Horn of Dauphin and Tyler Mancini of Pine Ridge will be better down the road for the experiences they endured.
As for Manitoba’s Canadian Tour stop, The Players Cup battled some tough weather but featured another exciting finish as eventual Order of Merit winner Aaron Goldberg held off former PGA Tour member Jim Rutledge.
On the Manitoba PGA Tour, Dean North of Carman captured player of the year honours after another sound season.
The amateur golf scene featured a couple of breakthrough performances, including one from Aaron Cockerill of Teulon, who earned the nod as Golf Manitoba Amateur Golfer of the Year.
In his final summer competing as a junior, Cockerill outlasted friend and rival Myles Sullivan in a playoff to claim the Manitoba Junior Boys crown, won the Golf Canada Western Future Links Championship and had a Top-10 finish at the Canadian Junior Men’s Championship.
Garth Collings of Breezy Bend earned his sixth Manitoba Mid-Amateur crown but it was Peter More of Breezy Bend who won his first Manitoba Men’s Amateur title.
Speaking of first-time winners, Mindy Lichtman of St. Boniface won her first women’s amateur title, Mike Berney of Transcona won his first men’s senior title, Karen Saarimaki of Kenogamisis Golf Club won her first senior women’s title and Jenna Roadley of Glendale won the junior girls title.