Zaretsky has the best reason to be late for college registration – an LPGA Tour event

OTTAWA – Most freshmen spend their first week at university buying books and meeting new people. Lauren Zaretsky is competing in her first event on the LPGA Tour.

The 18-year-old from Thornhill, Ont., delayed her arrival at Texas Tech for a week so she could play the CP Women’s Open. Betting on herself paid off as Zaretsky is the only Canadian amateur to qualify for the Women’s National Golf Championship.

“It just brings a good boost,” Zaretsky said of the LPGA Tournament before starting his college career. “I know what it takes to be on the Tour and I think I belong and I just have to keep grinding.”

That grind will continue Monday when Zaretsky is scheduled to travel to Lubbock, Texas, for his first day of school. She will travel from the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club to Toronto Pearson Airport and Dallas-Fort Worth Airport before ending her stay with a one-hour flight to Lubbock.

Two days later, Zaretsky and his Red Raiders teammates will travel to Pebble Beach, Calif., for the Carmel Cup, the first NCAA golf tournament of the season.

“It’s going to be tough because it’s just a little goodbye to my family, but I know it’s going to come with a lot of success and a lot of hard work,” said Zaretsky, who had her family with her at the CP Women’s Open. “Then I’ll come back even stronger.”

Jojo Robertson, head coach of the Texas Tech women’s golf team, said she was already impressed with Zaretsky’s maturity and looked forward to her coming to Lubbock.

“Her team supports her. They are ready for her to come here and join them,” Robertson said over the phone. “We never hesitated that she had the opportunity to play in this great tournament she is currently participating in.”

Zaretsky won the Canadian Women’s Amateur in 2021, which would normally be an automatic spot for the CP Women’s Open. However, the Women’s National Championship was canceled last year due to COVID-19, so Golf Canada reserved a spot for her at this year’s CP Women’s Open, allowing her to capitalize on her win at enthusiasts.

She showed some of the fire that won her the women’s amateur on Saturday. She raised her fist after birdie on the last hole of her third round, finishing the day 2 of 73 to sit tied for 71st at 1 under.

“It was a struggle the last few holes, so getting that putt for a birdie was really nice and to get it in front of the crowd I had to pump my fist,” Zaretsky said. “I like big crowds and I’m very confident that I like getting my punches done.”

Maddie Szeryk of London, Ont., is the weakest Canadian after three rounds. She shot a 2-under 69 to end the day tied for 11th at 9 under. Hamilton’s Alena Sharp (68) was tied for 33rd at 6 under.

World No. 5 Brooke Henderson of Smiths Falls, Ont., struggled to score 2 of 73 to find herself tied for 60th at 3 under. Rebecca Lee-Bentham (74) of Toronto finished 77th at 1 over.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 27, 2022.

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