Brampton golf star Brooke Rivers qualifies for CPKC Women’s Open after turning pro at B.C. Women’s Open


Published June 26, 2024 at 12:48 pm

Brampton's Brooke Rivers poses with a trophy at the Pinehurst No. 2 Golf Course in July 2022. (Photo: Instagram)

As Ellie Szeryk lined up her final putt to seal the win at the B.C. Women’s Open, she spied longtime friend and Brampton’s own Brooke Rivers lurking around the green with a bottle of water.

Sure enough, when Szeryk made the putt, the chase was on with Rivers trying to douse her with water.

“I ran as far as I could, but she still got me quite good,” Szeryk said of the spritzing from her Brampton friend with a laugh. “But it was fun. In golf you usually do that to your really good friends when they win.

“So it was really sweet that she did that. It’s like an unspoken honour.”

Szeryk beat Rivers by four strokes at Pitt Meadows Golf Club on Sunday in their professional debuts, but both golfers earned berths at the CPKC Women’s Open next month at Calgary’s Earl Grey Golf Club.

“It was just really nice to be able to have followed through on something that I had been thinking about,” said Szeryk. “It’s not always easy to golf. It’s just three rounds and you have no idea what the course is like and how it’s going to play.”

Earning their way into the national women’s championship, rather than relying on a sponsor’s exemption, was a relief to both players.

“I knew that there’d be a good opportunity for that,” said Szeryk, from London, Ont. “It’s been on my mind the last couple of months, like since I signed up.

“I knew I needed to make sure I had my game right so I could take advantage of it because I knew that they weren’t going to be a lot of sponsored exemptions for this Canadian Open.”

Rivers agreed.

“It does feel really good to earn the exemption spot on my own through good play,” said the Brampton native. “It also feels a little more rewarding while being there because you feel like you had done everything in order to put yourself there.”

Rivers added with a laugh: “It’s a little bit easier when booking travel that you don’t have to do it the week before.”

Both Szeryk and Rivers turned pro after the conclusion of the NCAA golf season. They’re both spending time with family and practising before the ORORO PGA Women’s Championship of Canada tees off at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon on July 2.

“I’m really excited to turn pro, and it’s something that I’ve wanted to do my whole life,” said Rivers, who played one season at Wake Forest University. “It’s something I’ve been working toward my whole life.

“I just felt that I was in a position where I was ready to turn pro and I was ready to start competing.”

In April, the Brampton native sank a 12-foot putt on the 18th green to lift the Wake Forest Demon Deacons to the ACC conference final with a 3-1 win over North Carolina. Wake Forest women’s golf coach Kim Lewellen said Rivers has shown in her freshman year that she knows how to rise to the occasion.

Golf Canada announced the early commitments to the 50th playing of the Women’s Open on Monday, with eight of the current top-10 and 83 of the top-100 players on the Race to the CME Globe Standings entered in the national women’s championship.

The 156-player field will be competing at Earl Grey Golf Club for the first time in tournament history. It will be the seventh time that Alberta hosts the Women’s Open and first time since 2016.

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