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One-on-one with Wayne Gretzky: The Great One talks golf, family and McDavid

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WATCH ABOVE: Quinn Phillips chatted with The Great One about his golf game, family, Connor McDavid and the NHL opting out of the Olympic Games – Aug 1, 2017

No. 99 himself was hitting the links at the Oil Country Championship in Edmonton, so Global News took the opportunity to catch up with Wayne Gretzky about a variety of topics, including his golf game, playing with Dustin Johnson and the NHL’s decision not to send hockey players to the Olympic Games in 2018.

Gretzky on golf

“I play and I have fun and I’m not very good, and that’s OK.”

Gretzky said golf is an an activity he enjoys doing with his family, but stops short of asking his daughter’s partner Dustin Johnson for pro tips.

“He loves the sport… but he knows when he and I play together, we just play… We just have fun.”

WATCH: Wayne Gretzky teaches grandson to stick handle 

Johnson and Paulina Gretzky announced their engagement in August, 2013. The couple has two children.

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Gretzky on Olympics

Echoing the sentiments of players like Connor McDavid and Taylor Hall, Gretzky expressed disappointment with the NHL’s decision to opt out of the Winter Olympic in South Korea next year.

“I was a player. I can’t speak for the players of today but the honest truth is we all want to play, we all want to be part of the Olympics… it’s disappointing that we’re not sending our best players there.”

READ MORE: Connor McDavid disappointed at NHL decision to not participate in 2018 Olympic Games 

He said it’s simply a business decision by the NHL and NHLPA. Still, Gretzky believes it’s a missed opportunity.

“It only enhances the sport and makes the sport bigger and better worldwide.”

Gretzky on McDavid

Despite a banner year that included winning the Hart Trophy and earning a contract extension worth $100 million, Gretzky said McDavid won’t buckle under additional pressure.

READ MORE: Connor McDavid signs contract extension with Edmonton Oilers worth $100M 

“A guy like Connor was under the microscope since he was 10 years old, like I was. You understand that it doesn’t matter if you’re making $100,000 or $10 million, people expect you… to produce and be a winner.”

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Gretzky said a big pay cheque isn’t really the difference maker.

“He’s a really mature young man and I think he’ll do a great job.”

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