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How golfer Cathy Sherk went from caddy to champion

Golfer Cathy Sherk won a number of high-profile amateur tournaments in 1978, but somehow the Front Page Challenge panel couldn't guess her identity.

Hanging out with her brother on the green put Sherk on the path to being a golf great

The Front Page Challenge panel failed to identify mystery guest Cathy Sherk. 1:17
Forty years ago, Canadian golfer Cathy Sherk was in the midst of turning pro after a year in which she'd been on fire on the golf course, no matter where she was competing in the world.

In 1978, she won the individual title at the world amateur championship in Fiji, as well as national amateur championships in Canada and the United States.

And despite these substantial achievements, the Front Page Challenge panellists somehow failed to guess her identity when she appeared on the program at the end of December in 1978.

'A girl from Quebec?' No.

Front Page Challenge host Fred Davis let the panel know they had not been able to guess the correct identity of Cathy Sherk. (Front Page Challenge/CBC Archives)

First the panel members thought Sherk was an actor before they sorted out the fact that she was a sports figure.

"A Canadian woman won a golf tournament here last fall or late summer, but I can't remember her name," said panellist Pierre Berton.

He and the other panellists guessed Sandra Post and then they thought she was "a girl from Quebec," in an apparent reference to Jocelyne Bourassa.

No and no, as it turned out.

"In spite of the confusion of the panel, we're delighted to have you here," the show's host Fred Davis said, after revealing that was Sherk was the mystery guest.

And though it was unstated to the panel, Sherk was from Ontario — not Quebec.

'I got tired of caddying'

On Front Page Challenge, Cathy Sherk explains how she got into the game of golf. 0:52

Gary Lautens, a newspaper columnist who was a guest panellist on the show, wanted to know how Sherk got her start as a golfer.

"Did your dad take you out on the course?" Lautens asked her.

"No, it was my older brother," said Sherk, 28, who had only started golfing as a teenager. "I used to caddy for him and I got tired of caddying for him and I asked him if I could play and I got started that way."

'You get into your own game'

And despite her ongoing success in competitive tournaments, Sherk admitted that parts of the game were tough for her.

In 1978, Cathy Sherk explains what she finds tough about playing golf. 0:21

Surprisingly, they were many of the same things that other golfers have to deal with.

"I think just trying to cope with the pressure and getting off the first tee," said Sherk, when asked what aspects of the game gave her trouble.

"Once you get off the first tee, you get into your own game and you don't worry about anything else."

Sherk was inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 1995, where her fellow golf greats Post and Bourassa have also been inducted.