Paula Reto sets course record at CP Women’s Open with 9-under 62

South Africa’s Paula Reto has set a new course record at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

Reto’s¬†nine-under 62 round rocketed her up the leaderboard for a two-stroke lead at the CP Women’s Open on Thursday.

That performance tops the previous mark set by Canada’s Brooke Henderson at the 2017 edition of the tournament.

South Korea’s Narin An sat second after a seven-under 64 in the LPGA event’s first round.

Canada’s Szeryk¬†starts strong

One of the best rounds of Maddie Szeryk’s LPGA Tour season could not have come at a better time.

Szeryk, from London, Ont., shot a four-under 67 in the first round.¬†She and Hamilton’s Alena Sharp finished the day as the low Canadians, tied for 16th with six other players.

The 26-year-old Szeryk missed the cut six straight times to start the season before a 67 and a 64 helped her tie for 36th at the Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational on July 13. She said on Thursday that she thought she was due for a solid round.

“I felt like I was really close and just wasn’t getting the results that I wanted,” Szeryk said by the 18th green at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club. “I just felt like I had a really good week of practice leading up to this and just really excited to be here.”

Canada’s Maddie Szeryk hits the ball along the fairway of the 14th hole during the CP Women’s Open in Ottawa on Thursday. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press)

Szeryk said she had lots of family in the crowd at the women’s national golf championship, the only LPGA event in Canada, including her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.

As one of five Canadians making regular starts on the LPGA Tour this season ‚ÄĒ along with¬†Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., Maude-Aimee Leblanc of Sherbrooke, Que., Calgary’s Jaclyn Lee, and Sharp ‚ÄĒ Szeryk said she’s been looking forward to the tournament for some time. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic forced its cancellation in 2020 and 2021.

“The Canadian Open is always like a major to the Canadians, so you always want to play well,” said Szeryk. “Just having all my family here and so many Canadian fans out here, we haven’t had the Canadian Open for a few years, so it’s great to be back here.”

Amateur Lauren Zaretsky of Thornhill, Ont., also made some memories on Thursday. She fired a hole-in-one on the fifth hole to finish the day three-under par tied for 30th.

Zaretsky qualified for the LPGA event when she won the 2021 Canadian Women’s Amateur and was grandfathered in after last year’s CP Women’s Open was cancelled.

“My reaction was pretty calm,” said the 18-year-old Zaretsky, who will begin her collegiate career on Monday when she starts her freshman year at Texas Tech. “I’m surprised. I haven’t had a hole-in-one since 2016 and actually made a joke before this tournament that maybe I’ll have a hole-in-one on live TV.”

Zaretsky’s ace means that CME will donate $20,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Canadian Pacific Railway will donate $15,000 to the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario if anyone makes a hole-in-one on No. 15 at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club this week.

World No. 5 Henderson and Selena Costabile, also from Thornhill, were tied for 51st at two under.

“It all evens out normally near the end,” said Henderson, who is the all-time winningest Canadian pro golfer of all time. “I just need to get my seven- or eight-under day hopefully in the next couple.”

Vancouver amateur Vanessa Zhang and Toronto’s Rebecca Lee-Bentham were in a group at one-under 70, and Megan Osland of Kelowna, B.C., had an even-par round.

Amateur Sarah-Eve Rheaume of Boischatel, Que., was 1 over. Leblanc, Vancouver amateur Michelle Liu, and Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., who turned professional on Tuesday, were tied at two over.

Valerie Tanguay of St-Hyacinthe, Que., 12-year-old amateur Lucy Lin of Vancouver, and amateur Savannah Grewal of Mississauga, Ont., were in a group at 3 over. Amateur Yeji Kwon of Port Coquitlam, B.C., shot a 4-over 75. Amateurs Katie Cranston of Oakville, Ont., and Monet Chun of Richmond Hill, Ont., had 6-over 77 rounds.

All-time Canadian golfing great Lorie Kane of Charlottetown, playing in her final CP Women’s Open, was 13 over.

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