Sharp: Rested, ready for Canadian Women's Open

LPGA golfer Alena Sharp of Hamilton writes about rediscovering the right mental approach in time to compete in the Canadian Women's Open at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club in Mirabel, Que.

It is truly hard to believe that this week is the CN Canadian Women's Open in Mirabel, Que. The year has flown by, and now we have only three domestic events left before the Asian swing begins. It's always nice to play on home soil and it really doesn't matter to me what province we play in.

It's been a crazy week. We were in Portland, Ore., for the Safeway Classic last week and it's definitely tough getting to the east coast from Portland. I was scheduled to play Monday in Mirabel in the ladies pro-am on the tournament course — the Laurentien at Hillsdale Golf and Country Club. I've played the pro-am every year since 2007, so I took a red-eye flight from Portland to Montreal with a connection in Chicago.

The plane from Chicago to Montreal was quite small and there were a lot of players and caddies on my flight and I was quite worried if I was going to get my clubs on because those planes usually don't carry a lot of weight. But I was one of the lucky ones. I got both my clothes and golf bags on. I guess it's an omen for a great week.

It also pays to be loyal to one airline — that little priority sticker comes in handy!

I arrived at the hotel in Montreal in time to change quickly and head to the course to make my afternoon tee time. Somehow running on only two hours sleep, I managed to play decent golf and had a wonderful time with my group. I don't really remember the last time I slept for 12 hours. But I was fast asleep by 9 p.m. Monday night and slept until my alarm went off at 9 a.m. the next morning.

The Dorris Effect

My game is shaping up nicely. 

I've taken steps to elevate my mental game over the last few weeks. I'm working with a new mental coach. Christopher Dorris and I have worked together before — when I was trying to make it on tour in 2004. I was quite successful that year, winning six mini-tour events. It was a coincidence we started to chat again (Facebook).

It's truly amazing how off track you can get on the basic fundamentals of hitting, chipping and putting a golf ball. Basically, I had lost the "target focus" on and around the greens and was too into the mechanics and worried about missing the chip or putt. Now I'm back into picking out a very specific target and seeing how the ball rolls to reach that target.

My mind is also much stronger as Chris isn't specifically a golf guru, he coaches all sorts of people — CEO's and small business owners as well as athletes. I'm much more positive about everything and it definitely helps me play better golf.

This week is usually a pressure-packed week for myself and the other Canadian pros. It feels like everyone from tournament coordinators to fans to volunteers want you to win. A Canadian hasn't won the event since Jocelyne Bourassa in 1973. Of course, my dream would be to win the Canadian Open and, yes, it is on my list of goals. This tournament means to us what the U.S. Women's Open means to the Americans.

I'm really trying to keep things light this week and not think about it too much. But I've had some great practice and getting a second look at the course in the Wednesday pro-am is always helpful.

Now it's time to relax and let all the hard work that I've put in all year show for the hometown crowd and, more importantly, for myself.

Past champions competing at Hillsdale