Candiac, Que., native Marie-Thérèse Torti fired a 1-over-par 73 in round one of the Canadian Women’s Senior Championship at Humber Valley Resort to hold a two-stroke lead over Jackie Little of Procter, B.C., and Terrill Samuel from Etobicoke, Ont.
Torti had two birdies in windy conditions during the opening round, including one on the par-5 18th hole. She credited her putting with keeping her momentum going throughout the day.
“I saved a great par putt on hole No. 13 and was able to make a nice birdie putt coming in,” said Torti. “I tried to play smart out there with the wind and I was really happy with my round.”
The 54-year-old came to Humber Valley riding the momentum of a win at the Quebec Senior Amateur Championship at Dufferin Heights Country Club last month.
“Dufferin Heights is very similar to Humber Valley with lots of hills and elevation,” added Torti. “So, I felt very comfortable coming here to play this tournament.”
Little – who won this event in 2007 and 2008 – battled the wind to fire a 3-over-par 75 in round one and grab a share of second with Samuel.
“I was hitting the ball really solid, and that really helps in the wind,” said Little. “I had a couple three putts but being in the fairway all round made my day a lot easier.”
At 59 years old, Little is thrilled to be in contention to chase down another Canadian Women’s Senior Championship.
“I’m getting close to 60 so my time is running out,” smiled Little. “It would be a great thrill for me to get another one under my belt.”
Samuel – the 2015 Canadian Women’s Senior champion – matched Little’s score of 3-over-par 75 on the strength of three birdies. She is leading the 40-and-over Mid-Master competition by 4 strokes over Australia’s Sue Wooster, who posted an opening round 7-over-par 79.
Clermont, Que., native Marlène Desbiens posted a 4-over-par 76 to sit in solo fourth in the senior division. Canadian Golf Hall of Fame honoured member Mary Ann Hayward (St. Thomas, Ont.) is tied for fifth with Diane Dolan (Gatineau, Que.) at 5 over par.
Dolan is leading the 60-and-over Super Senior division by three strokes over defending Super Senior champion Holly Horwood of Vancouver, B.C.
On the strength of Torti and Dolan’s strong starts, Quebec is leading the inter-provincial team competition at 5 over par. British Columbia is in second at 11 over par and Alberta is third at 13 over par.