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Charlottetown's Lorie Kane prays for the day that the Canadian Women's Open is restored as a major LPGA tournament. ((Ryan Remiorz/Canadian Press))

At the risk of sounding like, well, precisely the type of Toronto-based yahoo that drives people in the other parts of Canada to distraction, what does it say about a golf tournament that managed to accomplish what the CN Canadian Women's Open did four years ago in Edmonton?

Back then, Mother Nature didn't exactly cooperate. While other parts of Canada and North America were basking in August sunshine, Edmonton was cold and damp. But the tournament left the City of Champions with an equally lofty title: the best non-major on the LPGA Tour.

It was well run and had a committed sponsor that seemed to understand the nuances of balancing brand exposure, supporting local charity and treating both the players and the paying public well. American and international players left the chilly Alberta capital saying all the right things. More importantly, you got the sense they meant what they were saying.

Championship Form 

One unofficial barometer of a well-regarded, well-run golf tournament is the type of champions it produces. Attract great fields, play on good courses — as the Canadian Women's Open has done since 2006 — and the player who wins tends to be among the best in the game. Here are the champions since CN assumed sponsorship:

2006: Cristie Kerr

Kerr's ascension to the top can be linked back to winning at London Hunt.

2007: Lorena Ochoa

Along with Annika Sorenstam, Ochoa is the biggest name in women's golf in the past 25 years.

2008: Katherine Hull

Not the biggest name on the list, but one of the tour's most underrated players.

2009: Suzann Pettersen

The best European player and perhaps the best in the world aside from Yani Tseng.

2010: Michelle Wie

Some day her win in Winnipeg will be viewed as the catalyst to fulfilling her vast potential.

— Robinson

Simply put, the event had settled in to its now-customary rhythm of attracting all of the best players in the world and leaving a good feeling wherever in Canada it was held.

Speculation had persisted since 2007 that the Canadian event could become a major again if the LPGA decided to add one. Canada's national championship used to be a major, but government legislation outlawing du Maurier's sponsorship ended that 22-year run in 2000.

Dreams were dashed last month when the LPGA decided to make the Evian Masters in France the tour's fifth major in 2013. It was a move that was both expected, but also a bit of a surprise because players respect the Evian event (its $3.25 million US purse is the biggest on tour) yet don't hold it in nearly as high regard as they do the Canadian stop.

Saying she was "hurt" by Canada being passed over for the major designation, Charlottetown's Lorie Kane addressed the issue Tuesday at the Hillsdale Golf and Country Club in Mirabel, Que., just north of Montreal and the site of this week's national championship. 

"I have lobbied hard and it's really out of my control as to where it goes from there," she said. "I don't know what more we can do."

"We were told three years ago that they were going to go to Evian first," Golf Canada executive director Scott Simmons acknowledged Wednesday, unbothered by the major passover.

"I respect that … I still think our tournament stacks up to any in the world and having a major [title] is not something I spend any amount of time thinking about."

The LPGA could be taking the view that many major sports organizations do with regard to a Canadian presence: it values what it has and wants to solidify its presence here, but Canada doesn't represent growth.

On the other hand, the tour's difficulties in filling out its schedule in recent years could represent a growth opportunity for the Canadian Women's Open.

When the dust settles, the LPGA may be looking to add global tournaments to better reflect its current membership and where the women's game is heading. That concept could be based loosely on what the PGA Tour has done for the past decade-plus with its World Golf Championships — and the Canadian Women's Open fits into that framework, however far off it may be down the road.

In that context, the securing of a second tournament next year in Waterloo, Ont., should be considered a coup for Canadian golf fans. In fact, if one accepts the argument that women's golf must grow internationally or it might die as a viable major-league sports property, perhaps Canada's two LPGA events (starting next year) could be seen as a solid consolation prize for now.

It's easy to be cynical in light of the decision to pass over the Canadian Women's Open. But with all 50 of the world's top-ranked players and 97 of the Top 100 in action at Hillsdale, it's the highest level of golf taking place in this country since last year's LPGA event at St. Charles in Winnipeg.

And isn't that precisely the point?

Past champions competing at Hillsdale