by THE CANADIAN PRESS
PRIDDIS, Alta. — She was the fresh face of Canadian women’s golf a year before Brooke Henderson was born.
Now Lorie Kane, who at 51 is making her 26th straight appearance at the Canadian Open, is being inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame.
“I’m very honoured to be able to say I’m going into the hall but at the same time but at the same time I’ve always thought of the Hall of Fame as something that happens at the end of your career,” Kane told reporters Tuesday. “The day that Mike Weir accepted the invitation to the Hall of Fame was the day that I said if they come to me while I’m still playing I will welcome it.”
Kane will tie the record for most consecutive starts at the Canadian Open with Hollis Stacy when she tees off Thursday at Priddis Greens Golf and Country Club, southwest of Calgary.
The Charlottetown native began her career on the LPGA Tour in 1996 at the age of 29 and earned four career Tour victories.
“I’m proud of myself. I’ve accomplished some things that I never thought would have been possible. To think in 20 years what I have achieved…the four wins? It took me a long time to win the first one and then the next three came pretty quickly after that,” she said with a chuckle.
She recorded three Tour wins in 2000, becoming the second Canadian to win multiple events in a season. Sandra Post performed the feat twice in 1978 and 1979.
Henderson joined the multiple win club this year.
“She’s not afraid to be out in front. I truly respect the way she plays in that she’s accepting of what happens and she moves past it,” Kane said of Henderson, who recently tied for seventh at the Rio Olympics.
“I’ve had enough time to play with her to see she’s got all kinds of game. She swings a very big driver a very long way and I’m extremely proud of her.”
Newcomers to the golf world say Kane has shown them kindness and some mentoring.
Calgary’s Jennifer Ha, who turned professional last year, said she played with Kane at a mini-tour event in Daytona earlier this year and received some tips after the round was over.
“It was 30 minutes but it was awesome. It was very insightful. She invited me to her house to stay there if I had any tournaments up in Orlando,” said Ha.
“Every time I’ve seen her since then she’s given me a big hug. She’s been a great role model for all Canadians.”
Jaclyn Lee of Calgary, who will be playing in her first big event, met Kane in Edmonton a couple of years ago.
“She’s definitely been a great ambassador for Canadian golf and definitely an inspiration to people my age and a little older.”
Kane said her one regret is not getting to represent Canada at the Olympics but said she will have to console herself with being named Canada’s Female Athlete of the Year twice.