Nerves can be a hard thing to overcome when competing in an LPGA event for the first time, so Saskatoon’s Anna Young is bringing a long-time friend to help put those to rest.
Young received a sponsorship exemption to compete in the CP Women’s Open, which is being held in Saskatchewan for the first time, when it takes over Wascana Country Club in Regina.
“It’s nice that I am finally getting a chance to compare my game to best in the world,” the 25-year-old golfer said. “I think it will be really good for me to see it and see how close I am or how far I am and what aspects of my game need to be better.”
She mentioned she always joked with Prince Albert’s Danny Klughart, who is one of her best friends who she’s golfed with since she was 12, that he would be her caddie at her first LPGA tour event.
And having him there is already paying off before the championship rounds get started.
“It was pretty cool playing my practice round with Anna Nordqvist (Tuesday) morning and I thought ‘Alright, if I didn’t have someone who I was really comfortable with on the bag, I might be a little more nervous right now,’” Young said.
Klughart said Young first asked him to be her caddie after the first round of the Saskatchewan Amateur golf tournament, which he was playing in, vying for a spot on the Canadian Amateur championship.
“I knew it overlapped with the Canadian men but it was just something I was really excited to do and I was honoured she asked me to do it,” Klughart said.
He agreed with Young that the biggest asset he will be is being able to clam her nerves throughout the tournament.
“I can give her the yardages and help her with putts and stuff,” he said. “I think just keeping her emotions level throughout the day will be the biggest thing.”
Both golfers never thought they would ever see an event like this taking place in Saskatchewan, much less getting a chance to be a part of it.
“It’s great to have an event like this, it’s great for the game in Saskatchewan, you can see already how many people are excited to be here,” Klughart said.
With it being the first ever LPGA event in the province, it might just give Young a Saskatchewan advantage.
“If we get a Saskatchewan windy day it’s going to be tough, it’s very windy here. I lived in Oklahoma for a year, and Oklahoma is windy, but they got nothing on our windy days.”
Young will also be seen wearing a Humboldt Broncos ribbon in honour of the team and those who lost their lives back in April.
Young said she has a connection to Humboldt and the hockey team — her mom is originally from there and her uncle played for the Broncos.
She said she was in Orlando and saw #HumboldtStrong on social media and had to wait until she got home to look at it because she had a feeling tragedy had occurred.
“It was pretty sad. I was really proud to be from Saskatchewan because everyone pulled together so much, it was amazing how much money they raised for the families and the funerals and hospital costs and everything.”
Young isn’t the only player honouring the team; Alena Sharp will be sporting a Humboldt Broncos bag all week. After the tournament, it will be donated to the Jim Pattison kids foundation.
The championship rounds will begin Thursday.