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Shepley gets much-needed confidence boost

Jessica Shepley didn't factor into Sunday's historic victory by Lydia Ko at the CN Canadian Women's Open. But the Oakville, Ont., golfer was pleased with her performance this week at Vancouver Golf Club.

In a week that began with a media spotlight on 14-year-old Brooke Henderson, it was up to Shepley - the only one of 15 Canadians who started the tournament to make the weekend cut - to carry the Canadian flag on Sunday.

Coming into the event, Shepley had missed her last six tournament cuts. She needed to scramble to make bogey on Friday afternoon just to make the cut on the number and salvage some Canadian pride. However, Shepley says she felt no added pressure as the lone Canadian on the course.

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"I love playing here and in front of my family and friends," said the LPGA semi-regular the last few years. "I wish more of the girls were playing on the weekend but at the end of the day this is an individual sport. I had great support both days all the way around so that's all I can ask for."

Things didn't start out well for the 29-year-old as she carded a pair of bogeys through her first nine holes. She would add a third after making the turn before picking up her first birdie of the day on the par-5 13th.

In each of the first three rounds, Shepley bogeyed the 18th hole. On Sunday, she broke that streak, sinking a long and winding 40-footer for birdie for a round of 73 to finish off her best Canadian Open result, tied for 41st.

"That was just a cool way to end for everybody," said Shepley, who picked up the Sandra Post medal for the second consecutive year as the low Canadian.

"I made a couple of putts when I needed to and I really just didn't let my round get away from me. That's just experience and a little maturity. Ended the weekend nicely."

With her first solid result in four months behind her, Shepley is looking forward to the remainder of the LPGA sesaon.

"I haven't really played very well, but I did have a good weekend and I think in golf, confidence is so important. Hopefully some good play [in the two remaining domestic events] might qualify me for the post season in Asia."

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