Alena will look sharp in Canada’s colours

Hamilton Spectator

Alena Sharp hasn’t officially made the Canadian team for this summer’s Olympic golf competition in Rio de Janeiro later this summer, but that didn’t stop Golf Canada from having her front and centre this week in Toronto for the official unveiling of the team clothing line.

Let’s be clear, unless the Hamilton native trips over a tee block, Sharp will join Brooke Henderson as our two female reps in Rio.

Officially, the team will be our top two women on the world rankings as of July 11. Today Henderson is fifth, Sharp is 121{+s}t and her nearest pursuer is Samantha Richdale at 374 with just eight LPGA events before the cutoff day.

As the event gets closer, Sharp admits that she’s getting more excited about competing in the Olympics.

“To win a medal would be the biggest thing I could ever accomplish,” she says.

And while some players on the men’s side are taking a pass on the Olympics, Sharp says most LPGA players are embracing it as a way to promote the women’s game globally.

It’s likely going to be very hot and windy in Rio, but Sharp says that doesn’t matter to her. She’s also not overly concerned about the Brazilian mosquitoes. They can carry the Zika virus, which can spread from pregnant women to their baby causing severe brain damage in the child.

“I really don’t see having a child in my future,” she says. “I’m 35 and I’m playing the best that I’ve played and I right now I don’t want to take a year off to have a child and who knows how many years I’m going to be playing. I might still want to be playing in four years for the next (Olympics).”

And the way she’s playing right now that might be a distinct possibility.

This is Sharp’s 10th full season on the LPGA Tour. She’s just coming off her best year ever.

Although she’s had a penchant for changing coaches during her career, Sharp has been working with Tristan Mullally, Canada’s national women’s coach, for more than a year now and seems to like where they’re going with her swing.

“We talked about making her swing a little more solid and because wind will be an issue at the Olympics we’ve also spent a bit of time working on things like knock-down shots,” says Mullally.

“Her miss used to be high-right, which in the wind isn’t particularly good, so the main thing was to hit it more solid.”

Sharp also admits she’s become friends with Henderson and is feeding off the youthful exuberance and positive energy that she brings to her game.