It’ll be a home game for two golfers when the Oil Country Championship tees off at the Edmonton Petroleum Golf & Country Club next Thursday.
“I grew up here, about age eight to 13,” Will Bateman said on Monday. “It’s a good test of golf — lots of variation in holes.”
“I think we have a great closing stretch at the club,” Chris Ward said. “There’s a good mix of holes of here. There are some scoring opportunities for sure.”
Bateman and Ward are two of six golfers to receive sponsor exemptions to the tournament. Bateman, 24, has been playing pro golf since 2012.
“I definitely think it’s consistency,” Bateman said of the difference between the PGA and MacKenzie tours. “They’re just a few shots better.”
Ward is an assistant pro at the Petroleum Club. The grad of the St. Francis Xavier High School Golf Academy enjoys teaching when he’s not competing.
“I just love seeing those magic moments for people when you’re teaching them. It could just be getting the ball airborne for the beginner golfer,” Ward explained. “Golf is one of those things where you’re going to have one of those shots per round that’s going to bring you back.”
The other sponsor exemptions include former Edmonton Oilers goalie Grant Fuhr and two-time World Long Drive Champion Jamie Sadlowski.
Fuhr will also tee it up in the Celebrity Pro-Am on Tuesday, July 31. Current Oilers Cam Talbot, Matt Benning and Kyle Brodziak will also play. The tournament will run Aug. 2-5.
Tickets for the tournament are available at OilCountryChampionship.com. The Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation will donate net tournament funds raised to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation in support of its pediatric procedure room.