Skip to main content

Alena Sharp tees off on the tenth hole during the first round of the CP Women's Open in Aurora, Ont., on Aug. 22, 2019.

Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press

Alena Sharp wasn’t expecting an extra month of time off – but she’s glad to have it.

Sharp flew home from the ISPS Handa Women’s Australian Open on Feb. 16 after the LPGA Tour announced the cancellation of the Honda LPGA Thailand and the HSBC Women’s World Championship in Singapore. Those events, along with the Blue Bay LPGA on China’s Hainan Island that was scheduled for this week, were all cancelled over fears of spreading the new coronavirus.

That means that when the Volvik Founders Cup kicks off on March 19 in Phoenix near Sharp’s home, the Hamilton native and the rest of the field will have had four weeks off.

Story continues below advertisement

It turned out that Sharp’s trip home was timely, as she and her partner continued to mourn a death in the family and one of their dogs needed emergency surgery.

“It’s a long break, but it’s gone by kind of fast because I’ve been a little bit occupied with things. So, but it’s been nice to be home, honestly,” said Sharp, who turns 39 Sunday. “I’d love to be playing golf, but it’s kind of worked out to be able to be home to take care of our dog and then get some rest because the off-season was so short, so it might have been a blessing in disguise a little bit.”

After taking just a few weeks off following the 2019 season, Sharp played in three tournaments to kick off the new year. She missed the cut at the Gainbridge LPGA at Boca Raton, Fla., in January, tied for ninth at the ISPS Handa Vic Open in early February, then missed the cut at the Women’s Australian Open.

Once Sharp had settled back home in Arizona, she started focusing on her golf again and making the most of the surprise down time. That meant regular rounds at Seville Golf and Country Club, her home course, consulting with coach Brett Saunders, and competing in a Cactus Tour event, a local professional women’s circuit.

“Even with all this time off I’ve been up on the course, like three hours a day, not five or six,” said Sharp, who prefers intense, high-quality practices over long meandering sessions. “I’m like, ‘Okay, I’ve been done what I need to do, I don’t need to be grinding super hard right now. I still have two weeks. I’ve got to pace myself.’

“So next week, I’ll play maybe once with some of the members [at Seville] and then play in that Cactus Tour event. I think I’ll be ready.”

One benefit of the time back in North America has been that Sharp got to work in an impromptu visit to Saunders, who is based at Morgan Creek Golf Course in Surrey, B.C.

Story continues below advertisement

“All athletes are very competitive, they want to get at it as scheduled but in Alena’s case I think it’s really helped,” said Saunders. “She had a long season and she played well and she played a few extra events last year that and off the course she had a few personal issues so she didn’t really have an off-season.

“So this little break has helped. It enabled her to come and see me last week which was kind of unexpected and unplanned, but was nice to see her and get back on track, review and monitor the plan.”

Sharp travelled up to British Columbia rather than bring Saunders south to Arizona – she’s quick to point out the weather is better in the desert this time of year – but the coach has access to better swing analysis tools at Morgan Creek.

“You can really see the work that I was doing,” said Sharp, who proudly posted a photo of her changed backswing to social media in a post thanking Saunders for his help. “It changed my position at the top, which is resulting in better ball striking.”

Coronavirus information
Coronavirus information
The Zero Canada Project provides resources to help you manage your health, your finances and your family life as Canada reopens.
Visit the hub

In the interests of public health and safety, our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access. However, The Globe depends on subscription revenue to support our journalism. If you are able, please subscribe to globeandmail.com. If you are already a subscriber, thank you for your support.

Your subscription helps The Globe and Mail provide readers with critical news at a critical time. Thank you for your continued support. We also hope you will share important coronavirus news articles with your friends and family. In the interest of public health and safety, all our coronavirus news articles are free for anyone to access.

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies