Jessica Shepley of Oakville, Ont., shot a three-under-par 69 to take the opening-round lead at the season’s third and final CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at Blue Springs Golf Club in Acton, Ont.
Shepley, who secured a champion’s exemption into the 2011 CN Canadian Women’s Open with a victory at the season-opening event in Squamish, B.C., battled heavy wind at Blue Springs, but recorded five birdies on the day, including four on the back nine.
Shepley heads into Wednesday’s final round with a one-shot lead over fellow LPGA Tour member Beth Bader of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., who shot a two-under-par 70.
“I came in to today with a great game plan,” Shepley said. “I really planned out my round, exactly what I wanted it to look like and I stuck to it perfectly.
“I think that’s the difference between what I’ve been doing in Canada and in the U.S. I’ve been getting ahead of myself out there. Here, I did exactly what I wanted to do. I really stayed in the moment with every shot,” she said.
Coming off a missed cut at the Wegmans LPGA Championship in Pittsford, N.Y., Shepley explained that she has been working with coaches Sean Foley and Annie Mallory to modify her approach.
“At Wegmans, I really steered it around the golf course. I’ve been working with Annie [Mallory] the last couple of days to get my legs back in my golf swing and on really just letting go,” added Shepley.
“Sean [Foley] has been trying to get me to let go for a long time. Today, I played smart targets and aggressive on those lines, so it worked out well,” she said.
Sue Kim of Langley, B.C., shot an opening round, one-under 71 is tied for third along with Kirby Dreher of Fort St. John, B.C., while Stacy Bieber of Winnipeg is in a four-player tie for fifth at even-par.
The following are opening-round scores:
1. Jessica Shepley, Oakville, Ont, 34-35-69 -3
2. Beth Bader, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., 35-35-70 -2
3. Sue Kim, Langley, B.C., 35-36-71 -1
3. Kirby Dreher, Fort St. John, B.C., 36-35-71 -1
5. Noriko Nakazaki, Hanover Park, Ill, 37-35-72 E
5. Stacey Bieber, Winnipeg, Man., 34-38-72 E
5. Anna Scott, England, 34-38-72 E
5. Susan Choi, Natick, Mass, 36-36-72 E
9. Brittany Marchand (a), Orangeville, Ont., 37-36-73 +1
9. Lisa Meldrum, Montreal, Que., 39-34-73 +1
9. Jessica Carafiello, Coral Springs, Fla., 36-37-73 +1
9. Jessica Wallace (a), Langley, B.C., 39-34-73 +1
9. Jenna Pearson, Wheaton, Ill., 36-37-73 +1
9. Jacqueline Yanch (a), Barrie, Ont., 35-38-73 +1
9. Alexa Kim, Toronto, Ont., 36-37-73 +1
9. Bryana Gregory, Roseville, Calif., 37-36-73 +1
17. Alena Sharp, Hamilton, Ont., 38-36-74 +2
17. Rebecca Lee-Bentham (a), Toronto, Ont., 40-34-74 +2
17. Lisa Ferrero, Lodi, Calif., 35-39-74 +2
17. Lindsey Bergeon, Sarasota, Fla., 37-37-74 +2
17. Ashley Sholer, Hamilton, Ont., 36-38-74 +2
17. Laura Bavaird, Grosse Ile, Mich., 39-35-74 +2
17. Samantha Richdale, Kelowna, B.C., 39-35-74 +2
17. Tara Goedeken, Dodge City, KS, 35-39-74 +2
For complete scores, click here.
(a) denotes amateur