National Women’s Open exemptions granted to Hamilton’s Sharp, Oakville, Brampton amateurs

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Published August 14, 2023 at 8:51 pm

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp is one of seven Canadians who have earned an exemption into the upcoming Canadian National Open Championship being held Aug. 22-27 in Vancouver. GOLF CANADA PHOTO

Hamilton’s Alena Sharp, Brampton’s, Oakville’s Katie Cranston and Brampton’s Brooke Rivers are among seven Canadians who have earned an exemption into the 2023 CPKC Women’s Open.

A total of 11 players in all were granted exemption into the 49th playing of Canada’s National Open Championship, which will be held Aug. 22 to 27 at the Shaughnessy Golf and Country Club in Vancouver.

Sharp of headlines the list of seven Canadians. The two-time Olympian and long-time LPGA Tour member will make her 18th appearance at the National Open Championship where she posted a career-best 4th place finish in 2016.

Sharp earned the exemption for winning the 2023 PGA of Canada Women’s Championship. She is ranked 13th on the 2023 Epson Tour points, winning at the Champions Fore Change Invitational and finishing two other tournaments with top-10 finishes.

Cranston, 19, and Rivers, 17, also received an exemption through the 2023 Canadian Women’s Amateur Championship along with fellow Team Canada amateurs Lauren Zaretsky, 19, of Thornhill, and Lauren Kim, 17, of Surrey, B.C.,

Team Canada professionals Brigitte Thibault of Rosemere, Que., and Sarah-Eve Rhéaume of Quebec City were also granted exemptions.

Cranston will be making her second CPKC Women’s Open start, while Rivers will make her first-ever start in the event.

Vancouver resident Victoria Liu has also accepted an exemption to compete at her home golf club.

Rounding out the list of current exemptions are a trio of international talents including 2023 British Women’s Amateur champion Chiara Horder of Germany, American rising star amateur Gianna Clemente and Australian Gabriella Ruffels who currently sits no. 1 on the 2023 Epson Tour money list.

“Together with CPKC we are very proud to welcome this exceptional group of Canadian and international athletes to Vancouver for the CPKC Women’s Open,” said Tournament Director Ryan Paul. “Extending playing opportunities through tournament exemptions is an important component of the CPKC Women’s Open and we are very pleased that these talented amateur and professional players can join us at Shaughnessy for the 49th playing of Canada’s National Open Championship.”

The group will join two Canadian LPGA Tour players at Shaughnessy including 13-time LPGA Tour winner Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, and Maddie Szeryk of London.

The stellar field also includes defending champion Paula Reto and world no. 1 Lilia Vu, along with global stars Nelly Korda, Minjee Lee, Jennifer Kupcho, In Gee Chun, Danielle Kang, Lexi Thompson, Jin Young Ko, Megan Khang, Sei Young Kim, Stacy Lewis, and Paula Creamer.

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