AURORA, Ont— With all eyes on crowd favourite Brooke Henderson, an unlikely hero presented herself in front of the Canadian fans at Magna Golf Club on Thursday afternoon.
Tanguay shot lights-out in her first round of the CP Canadian Women’s Open as the University of Oklahoma alumnus went six-under, with six birdies and no bogies.
The magic was put on full display when she sank a long putt on the 8th hole to pull even with fellow Canadian Brooke Henderson’s total score.
“I was over the ball and I was just laughing because I just had this feeling that I was going to hole it again,” said Tanguay. “I thought it was just hilarious that everything literally was going in.”
Tanguay got into a rhythm on the back nine, where the Québec City native sank five of her six birdie putts.
Henderson, the Canadian phenom, was the subject of numerous headlines going into the tournament, but by the end of the day, Tanguay was awarded her share of praise.
Both Henderson and Tanguay shot six-under, but the expectations for Tanguay were much lower. In fact, she surprised herself with the performance.
“To be honest, I just didn’t expect anything out of it because it’s been four weeks since my last competitive round,” Tanguay said. “I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”
Although she didn’t expect a big round, Tanguay delivered, putting on a show for the crowd at Magna Golf Club.
Consistency in the driver as well as irons, led to hitting greens in regulation and played a big part in Tanguay’s success during the first round.
“I hit 18 greens today, so that really helps,” said the 28-year-old. “I just put myself in position to at least make good pars. When it fell — I mean, I had a bunch of maybe 20- 25-footers that fell.”
Going into the second round, Annie Park leads the pack with a score of seven under, but with two Canadians tied for second place, it’s a testament to the rising state of golf in Canada.
Both the skill level of athletes and popularity from fans contribute to the ascending acclaim of the sport according to Henderson, who won the CP Canadian Women’s Open last year.
“It’s really exciting. It’s a pretty cool time to be involved with Canadian sports,” said Henderson. “This week is amazing. To have this many people out on Thursday morning is pretty special.”
Tanguay, who is a graduate of Team Canada’s amateur squad and currently in the second year of her professional career, is familiar with golf on Canada’s largest scale.
“We’ve had a really great program at Golf Canada,” said Tanguay. “I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of the team … the amateur team and now the young pros squad.”
Tanguay is one of 15 golfers within the tournament to hail from Canada and also, one of five from Québec.
“Canadians love golf, and Québecers as well,” said the second-year pro, “I was shocked at how many people came up to me today and spoke French. I thought it was amazing.”
Tanguay will be looking to keep the momentum going in the second round of the tournament, teeing off at 7:37 a.m. local time, where she will look to improve upon her previous personal best of 11th place.