Calgary lands 50th edition of Canadian national women's golf championship
All-time record of over 75,000 fans attended last year's tournament in Ottawa
The CP Women's Open is returning to Calgary.
Golf Canada named Earl Grey Golf Club in the city's southwest corner as the 2024 host of the Canadian national women's golf championship on Tuesday. Tournament director Ryan Paul said Calgary is the perfect location for the 50th edition of the Women's Open.
"We're very excited and we're very proud of what we do with the CP Women's Open and the alignment with Canadian Pacific Railway to keep bringing this great golf tournament across the country and showcasing the world's best golfers to all Canadians," said Paul, pointing out that CP, the event's main sponsor, is headquartered in Calgary.
"There's so many great Canadian golf markets and Calgary certainly is one of them. We know it's going to be a great show and to be in CP's headquarters for our 50th playing, it's just fitting that we're going to be back in Calgary."
Earl Grey will host the event July 22-28, a month earlier than its usual slot on the LPGA Tour schedule. This year's tournament is scheduled for Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in Vancouver from Aug. 21-27.
"Hosting this historic tournament gives us the opportunity to share our championship golf course to challenge the top players in the world," said Earl Grey Club president Marion Burnyeat in a statement. "The local golf community will come together in 2024 for this world-class tournament supported by the volunteer spirit for which Calgary is known."
Thailand's Ariya Jutanugarn won the Women's Open by four strokes in 2016 when Calgary last hosted the tournament at Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club. Paul said fans in southern Alberta will notice how much the event has grown since then.
WATCH | Reto captures 2022 CP Women's Open in comeback fashion:
"We're very proud of our tournaments. They're more than just golf tournaments," said Paul. "They're outdoor festivals, they're sports and entertain properties and golf tournaments, all rolled into one.
"Those who were with us in 2016, I think, will be very surprised and love what we've done over the last several years."
That includes a food festival that Paul said will have fare from several local restaurants, family zones and kids activities, and more accessibility at the closing holes.
13 LPGA titles for Henderson
Another big change is the emergence of Canadian golf superstar Brooke Henderson.
The product of Smiths Falls, Ont., played in the 2016 tournament as an 18-year-old, just three months after winning her first-ever major title at the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and two months after winning the Cambia Portland Classic, for her second and third career victories.
Since then, she has racked up 10 more LPGA titles for a total of 13, the most professional wins by any Canadian golfer regardless of gender.
Paul said Henderson's impact on the game is visible in the stands at the Women's Open.
"The amount of kids that come out to see these golfers and be inspired by them, especially Brooke Henderson, is incredible," he said. "Autograph alley is five feet deep for her, with kids trying to get an autograph from her and seeing her play.
"It's incredible to see what she does for golf in this country."
South Africa's Paula Reto won by a stroke at Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club last year. The Tournament Partners of the LPGA awarded the CP Women's Open with tournament of the year in 2022.
Golf Canada said more than 75,000 fans attended the Women's Open in August, an all-time record for the women's championship and an impressive rebound after it had to be cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism Ottawa projected that the golf tournament had an economic impact of $13.4 million in the region.
"Hosting this prestigious event is a tremendous opportunity to showcase to the world the outstanding local partners and experiences that make Calgary the Ultimate Host City," says Cindy Ady, CEO of Tourism Calgary. "It has been a pleasure to work alongside Golf Canada to secure the CP Women's Open for the city and we are thrilled to welcome world's best female golfers to Calgary in 2024."
Ticket sales and volunteer opportunities for the 2024 CP Women's Open will be announced by Golf Canada in the coming weeks.