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Jennifer Kirby wins professional debut in Quebec

Jennifer Kirby

Bernard Brault/Golf Canada

Jennifer Kirby completed a successful professional debut with a three stroke victory at the CN Canadian Women's Tour stop at Club de Golf Cowansville in Cowansville, Que. on Wednesday.

The 22-year-old from Paris, Ont., who closed out a successful amateur and collegiate career last month, made three birdies over her final six holes to hold off fellow Canadian Samantha Richdale, who carded a final round 72.

With many of Kirby's former Team Canada teammates waiting for her at the 18th green, the former Canadian and Junior champion birdied the final hole to seal the victory, which carried with it an exemption into the CN Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton this August.

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"That's awesome, that was definitely a little extra perk in winning and it was the goal to get into the CN Canadian Women's Open somehow or other," said Kirby. "It was nice to pull through this week and kind of get that done and it will be really fun to play again."

For Richdale, the runner-up result comes on the heels of a victory at the season opening Women's Tour event last month in Victoria.

Defending champion Brooke Henderson, who played in the final group with Kirby, had an eagle and a birdie over her final four holes to finish in third place. It was her second straight top-3 result which also earned the 15-year-old low amateur honours.

Brittany Marchand of Orangeville, Ont., and Americans Lauren Mielbrecht and Elise Swartout all finished tied for fourth  at even par.

The final stop on the CN Canadian Women's Tour takes place next week at Ambassador Golf Club in Windsor, Ont. The third and final exemption into Canada's National Women's Championship will be awarded to the winner of that event along with two more exemptions for the top two players on the season ending Order of Merit.

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