INNISFAIL — Among a field of 120 of Alberta’s best golfers is a 16-year-old Hunting Hills student who is aiming for a top 10 finish in the Sun Life Financial Alberta Men’s Amateur Championship.
Over the next four days, Chandler McDowell will square off against a large, skilled and competitive field including the 2015 winner Brett Hogan.
McDowell, who’s home course is the Red Deer Golf and Country Club, said he will rely on his ability to accurately hit with his irons.
“I’m really aggressive and hit the ball pretty long,” said McDowell. “I think this course sets up well so I can hit 2-irons while most of these guys will need their 3-woods.”
Just before teeing off on Monday for a round with tournament sponsors and media, McDowell worked on his putting on the practice green at the Innisfail Golf Club — the tournament host.
He earned his way into the field by making team Alberta, which gave him an exemption into the tournament. A field of 341 golfers competed to enter into the tournament. After the first two rounds, the field will be cut to the top 60 golfers plus ties for the final two rounds.
This season he placed second in the CN Future Links Western Championship and tied for fifth in the CN Future Links Pacific Championship. The high school student from Springbrook has his sights set on pursuing golf after he graduates and wants to go play for a U.S. College team to further his goal.
“It’s the first time I’ve made it into this tournament, so being here is pretty exciting,” said McDowell. “You always hope for the win, but getting a top-5 or top-10 I’d be pretty pleased with.”
It’s been about four years since McDowell played the course, but he remembers it as a short and really narrow course.
For the tournament the Innisfail Golf Club will play at 6,605 yards for a par 72. The first place finisher will join the Pacific Coast Amateur team for the 2017 tournament in Washington State. The top three make Team Alberta heading to the Canadian Amateur Championship in Ottawa this year and the top 24 can earn a Golf Canada membership card.
The tournament tees off this morning and concludes with the final round on Friday.
Other Central Albertans in the field include: Carter Graf of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Ron Harder of the Innisfail Golf and Country Club; Colby Massignan of the Innisfail Golf and Country Club; Michael McAdam of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Tom Mckinlay Jr. of the Lacombe Golf and Country Club; Kyle Morrison of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Kyle Neilson of the Innisfail Golf and Country Club; Jared Nicolls of the Wolf Creek Golf Course; Grant Numrich of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Brett Pasula of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Cash Reumkens of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club; Garrett Scott of the Red Deer Golf and Country Club and Robert Weseen of the Olds Golf Club Association.