Mussani shakes putting demons in Barrie Women’s Golf triumph

BARRIE – Her biggest foe for two days became her biggest ally when it counted most.

Burlington’s Salimah Mussani sank a 25-foot putt on the first playoff hole that did more than win the CN Canadian Women’s Tour event at Settler’s Ghost Golf Club on May 30.
In beating Alberta’s Corina Kelepouris, Mussani earned an exemption into the 2006 CN Canadian Women’s Open. Mussani was forced into the extra hole showdown when she two-putted on the 18th hole for a bogey finish. She had taken a one-stroke lead to the final hole but the bogey allowed Kelepouris to drop her six foot putt and force the playoffs at four-under 140 after two rounds, on the par 72, 6,094 yard layout.

Mussani had struggled with her putting through out the tournament.

“I don’t know what finally happened but if I don’t cry in front of all these people, it’ll probably happen in the car,” said an elated Mussani. “My putter was letting me down both days but I tried not to let it affect me. “I could feel something magical was going to happen and I’m just so happy to finish out the way I did.”

If her finish wasn’t exciting enough, the tournament was delayed by a lightning show which lasted two hours. And when the playoff started, Mussani was charged up.

Off the tee, Kelepouris would find the trees and eventually chip out, opening the door for Mussani. Kelepouris recovered with an approach shot to within a foot to put the pressure squarely on Mussani, who calmly sank a 25-foot birdie putt to exorcise two days of flat-stick demons and capture the title.

With the victory, Mussani earns the $5,000 winners share of the $30,000 purse as well as an automatic exemption along the pathway to champions into the $1.7 million (US) CN Canadian Women’s Open, Aug. 7-13 at the London Hunt and Country Club.

South African Santie Koch and Michelle Simpson of New Smyrna Beach, Florida finished tied for third at two-under. Jessica Sharpley of Oakville finished the day in record fashion with her final-round three-under 69 en-route to finishing alone in fifth at even-par 144. The ink was barely dry on the previous record of two-under 70, having been set only a day earlier by Mussani, Kelepouris and Simpson.

The next stop on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour is set for July 16-18 at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.

Mother Nature made an appearance at Settlers’ Ghost where the weather ranged from scorching heat and humidity to the eventual lightning storm that halted play. During the tournament, nearly 2,000 bottles of water had been consumed by the record 90-player field as well as caddies, volunteers and spectators with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius.

In a true show of support for the CN Canadian Women’s Tour, Canadian LPGA Tour player Alena Sharp of Hamilton made a surprise appearance at Settlers’ Ghost Tuesday. The former CN Canadian Women’s Tour player chatted with competitors before caddying for friend and Tour competitor Tara Bateman of Phoenix.

Now in its sixth year, the CN Canadian Women’s Tour has established a reputation as one of the premier women’s developmental golf tours in North America. Many of Canada’s top professionals have competed on the Tour including Lorie Kane, Isabelle Biesiegel and 2006 LPGA Tour rookie Alena Sharp. Each event plays out over 36 holes culminating with the season-ending 54-hole CN Canadian Women’s Tour Championship August 29-31.

The 2006 CN Canadian Women’s Tour features five events with a total purse of $175,000, including three qualifiers for the 2006 CN Canadian Women’s Open and the season-ending $50,000 CN Canadian Women’s Tour Championship. Players competing on the tour will vie for seven exemptions into the CN Canadian Women’s Open as well as the Jocelyne Bourassa Player of the Year Award for the top finisher on the CN Canadian Women’s Tour Order of Merit. This year the CN Canadian Women’s Tour will award a $5,000 purse for the top finishers on the Order of Merit.

Final scores

1 Salimah Mussani*, Burlington, 70-70–140
2 Corina Kelepouris, Drayton Valley, AB, 70-70–140
T3 Santie Koch, Potgietersrus, South Africa, 71-71–142
Michelle Simpson, New Smyrna Beach, FL, 70-72–142
5 Jessica Shepley, Oakville, 75-69, 144
T6 (a) Karly Pinder, Exeter, Ont., 75-70–145
Jan Dowling, Bradford, Ont., 73-72–145
Cheryl Mitchell, Walpole Island, Ont., 73-72–145
Cindy Pasechnik, Calgary, 72-73–145
T10 Kathleen Robinson, Alexandria, VA, 75-72–147
(a) Stephanie Sherlock, Barrie, Ont., 73-74–147
Shayne Wild, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, 72-75–147
T13 Jan Kleiman, Lakeland, FL, 77-71–148
Wendy Posillico, Huntington, NY, 77-71–148
Lanie Cahill, Brockville, Ont., 74-74–148
T16 Katherine Quinney, Jacksonville, FL, 79-70–149
Amanda Minchin, Estevan, SK, 77-72–149
Taya Battistella, Bend, OR, 76-73–149
Liz Earley, St. Catharines, 75-74–149
Sarah Tiller, Nampa, ID, 74-75–149
Carrie Vaughan, Burlington, 74-75–149
Kareen Qually, Olds, AB, 73-76–149
Allie Blomquist, Afton, MN, 73-76–149
(a) Sara-Maude Juneau, Fossambault-sur-le-Lac, QC, 73-76–149
Carmen Hajjar, Mesa, AZ, 71-78–149
T26 Kim Kouwabunpat, Upland, CA, 78-72–150
Marcela Leon, Monterrey, MX, 77-73–150
Angie Green, London, Ont., 77-73–150
(a) Catherine Fortin, Beauceville, QC, 76-74–150
Christine Boucher, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, 76-74–150
Anna Yu, Hong Kong, 73-77–150
Linda Shephard, Brighton, Ont., 72-78–150
T33 Vicki Appleton, Halifax, 76-75–151
Marie-Josée Rouleau, Saint-Lambert, QC, 73-78–151
(a) Seema Sadekar, Stouffville, Ont., 73-78–151
T36 Jessica Carafiello, Coral Springs, FL, 78-74–152
(a) Mary Ann Lapointe, Georgetown, Ont., 78-74–152
Jillian Wyne, Calgary, 76-76–152
Katie Ferguson, Minett, Ont., 74-78–152
T40 Lisa Meldrum, Montreal, 77-76–153
Samantha White, Atlanta, GA, 77-76–153
Shannon Hanson, Sulphur, LA, 75-78–153
Claudia Beauchesne, Gatineau, QC, 75-78–153
Mary-Pat Quilty, Midland, Ont., 75-78–153
Rhonda Fleury, Stouffville, Ont., 75-78–153
Jennifer Greggain, Chilliwack, BC, 73-80–153
(a) Lauren Mielbrecht, Gulf Stream, FL, 72-81–153
T48 Stephanie Donkin, Edson, AB, 80-74–154
Melissa Sneller, Holland, MI, 80-74–154
T50 Tiarra Honce, Kelowna, BC, 80-75–155
Louise Zylstra, Toronto, 77-78–155
52 (a) Kim Carrington, Calgary, 76-80–156
T53 Lauren Schreel, Orlando, FL, 83-74–157
(a) Brittany Henderson, Smith Falls, Ont., 82-75–157
T55 Cuyler Hedley, Cobourg, Ont., 81-77–158
(a) Jacklynn Miller, North Bay, Ont., 79-79–158
Sylvie Schetagne, Delson, QC, 78-80–158
Karlie Ward, Coto de Caza, CA, 76-82–158
Jeannine Fiorito, Las Vegas, 75-83–158
T60 Tara Bateman, Phoenix, 76-83–159
(a) Kristy McLaughlin, Wasaga Beach, Ont., 76-83–159
T62 Mary-Lee Cobick, Amos, QC, 82-78–160
Tina Clahane, Mississauga, Ont., 80-80–160
T64 Nadine Foreman, Keswick, Ont., 87-74–161
Donna Basil, San Francisco, 78-83–161
T66 (a) Claudine Foong, Aurora, Ont., 79-83–162
(a) Marie-Pierre Bernier, St-Sébastien, QC, 77-85–162
T68 (a) Nonie Marler, Tsawwassen, BC, 83-80–163
(a) Jennifer Lochhead, Burlington, 82-81–163
Andree Lapierre, Mississauga, Ont., 81-82–163
(a) Stephanie Lam, Toronto, 76-87–163
T72 (a) Maggie Steciuk, London, Ont., 88-76–164
(a) Patti Hogeboom, Kingston, Ont., 86-78–164
Susan Horton, Essex Junction, VT, 86-78–164
(a) Marjorie Thuot, Joliette, QC, 82-82–164
(a) Paige Esford, Kingston, Ont., 82-82–164
Melissa Keller, Temecula, CA, 82-82–164
Theresa McDermott, Toronto, 81-83–164
79 (a) Lindsey Edmunds, London, Ont., 85-80–165
T80 Jennifer Wiegand, Fairdale, IL, 84-82–166
Carrie Vaughan, Scottsdale, AZ, 83-83–166
82 Lorna Miedema, Calgary, 84-83–167
83 (a) Natalie Desjardins, Haileybury, Ont., 83-85–168
84 Angie Schweishelm, Collingwood, Ont., 83-87–170
T85 Julie Cashaback, Ottawa, 90-83–173
(a) Laila Rintamaki, East York, Ont., 88-85–173
(a) Isabelle Gendreau, Quebec City, 90-83–173
88 (a) Addi McLaren, Port Perry, Ont., 90-84–174
89 Susanne Westwood, Midland, Ont., 84-93–177
90 Jessica Blackley, Barrie, Ont., 94-95–189