AJ Armstrong salts away his first professional victory at the Alberta Men’s Open Championship at Wolf Creek Links with this par putt on 18 on July 30. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

AJ Armstrong salts away his first professional victory at the Alberta Men’s Open Championship at Wolf Creek Links with this par putt on 18 on July 30. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

First pro title comes at Alberta Men’s Open

It was a hot final four holes that earned an Edmonton golfer his first victory as a professional.

AJ Armstrong, who golfs out of the Windermere, stayed consistent and won the Alberta Men’s Open Championship at Wolf Creek’s Links course with a score of seven under par.

The 54-hole event, attracting 120 golfers, wrapped on July 30 with Armstrong managing to hold off Edmonton’s Wilson Bateman, who finished at two shots back, and Camrose’s Andrew Harrison, the defending champion who shot a final round 67 to end up just a single shot behind.

“Obviously, I knew what Wilson (Bateman) was doing as we were in the same group, but I wasn’t sure where the guys ahead of us were at,” Armstrong said in an interview.

“So, I just tried to keep the pedal down. Pars are good around this course. I did get a few birdies early in the (final) round. I didn’t play conservative but rather just smart.”

Armstrong, — who shot rounds of 69, 68 and 69 — added he struck the ball really well during the opening two rounds, but the final day was a lot more scrappy.

“My putter really bailed me out on the front nine, then I found a bit more of a groove on the back. Wilson and me battled back and forth all day, but it was good to come out on top,” Armstrong said.

“I was really impressed with how they got the course in pretty good shape. I played here a week earlier, it was soaked and played super long with standing water all over. This week, the greens were still at bit slow, but overall the course definitely played a lot better.”

The fact his first pro victory came here wasn’t really the plan, as Armstrong was due to play on the PGA’s Canadian Mackenzie Tour this season. However, COVID-19 foiled that, which meant he had to find a new schedule for the summer.

“I spent last winter playing out of Superstition Mountain Golf and Country Club in Mesa, Arizona to get ready for this season,” he said.

“So when (the tour) got scrapped, I went to find some events and it’s so awesome that Alberta Golf was able to continue.”

While he wasn’t planning on playing a lot more this summer, he is looking forward to playing in some rescheduled Mackenzie tour events — two on Vancouver Island this month and two more in Toronto this September.

For Alberta Golf, the hot weather meant exceptional conditions that helped with the first-class event hosted by Wolf Creek Golf Resort.

“We’d like to thank the players for making a fantastic week. You made it so enjoyable and we witnessed some great golf,” said Wolf Creek head pro Aaron Miller.

“We love hosting these type of events and I want to thank all of our staff and especially the grounds crew, who worked morning and night during the event and in the lead up to it. As well, a huge thank you goes out to all of the volunteers from the surrounding area that came to help, because without them we couldn’t put on such a good event.”

The sweltering temperatures for the event matched many of the golfers that had their irons and putters firing on all cylinders. However, only one local area golfer managed to make it into the final round of 66 golfers with the cut line set at 14-over.

Lacombe’s Brady McKinlay finished up at five-over, but was consistent throughout shooting 73, 73 and 72.

Ponoka’s Tim Boston struggled, missing the cut at 33-over, while Sam Hancik from Sylvan Lake — who’s home course is Wolf Creek — also missed the cut after carding a score of 29-over.

Bentley’s Liam McKeen, who also calls Wolf Creek his home course — was middle-of-the-pack at seven-over following the opening round, but fell well back to 18-over in round two to miss the cut.

Golf

Just Posted

Orange shirts, shoes, flowers and messages are displayed on the steps outside the legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Tuesday, June 8, 2021 following a ceremony hosted by the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations in honour of the 215 residential school children whose remains have been discovered buried near the facility in Kamloops, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Alberta city cancels Canada Day fireworks at site of former residential school

City of St. Albert says that the are where the display was planned, is the site of the former Youville Residential School

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Intricate cloth masks with Indigenous design made by Teresa Snow. Facebook/ Masks4Maskwacis
‘Masks 4 Maskwacis’ wins Northern Lights Volunteer Award

The group received recognition for their efforts to support their community during COVID-19.

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Alberta reports 100 new cases of COVID-19

The Central zone sits at 218 active cases

The Government of Alberta identified 115 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, bringing the provincial total to 3,089.
(Black Press file photo)
Red Deer drops to 71 active cases of COVID-19

Province adds 127 new cases of the virus

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

National Indigenous Peoples Day is June 21 in Canada. (Government of Canada photo)
Alberta RCMP recognizes National Indigenous Peoples Day 2021

This year, June 21 marks the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples… Continue reading

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

Most Read