Canadian golfers brushed up on their skills Wednesday ahead of the first round of the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open.
The event, part of the Mackenzie Tour, begins Thursday. Fifteen of 156 competitors are Canadian, including professional golfer Jared du Toit.
Du Toit grew up in Kimberley, B.C., but visited southern Alberta frequently when he was younger.
“I played a lot of hockey in Lethbridge growing up,” he said.
“Southern Alberta was a lot closer [to Kimberley] than Vancouver, so it felt like we were in either Lethbridge, Taber or Medicine Hat every second weekend… I’ve got good memories in southern Alberta and hopefully I can keep that going.”
Du Toit hopes to finish this week in the top five or 10 and move onto the Web.com Tour.
“A lot of guys who have had success on this tour have had success on big tours, so everybody knows that if they can play well out here, they can play well down the road,” he said.
Canadian Taylor Pendrith is one of those golfers. He graduated to the Web.com Tour in 2016 after spending 2015 on the Mackenzie Tour.
Over the past two years, Pendrith suffered injuries that affected his game. Now, he is feeling better and ready to compete.
A native of Richmond Hill, Ont., Pendrith said golf continues to grow across Canada.
“You see lots of Canadians on the PGA Tour now, a bunch on the Web.com Tour and a bunch out here as well,” he said.
“So any week you’re playing and you see a Canadian flag on the leader board is great.”
The tournament runs from June 20 to 23.