An international field of 156 golfers will tee it up at the historic Edmonton CC from Thursday to Sunday with the winner collecting a check for $24,000.
The Telus Edmonton Open is the second official Canadian event of the season, coming on the heels of Craig Taylors first triumph at the Times Colonist Open in Victoria less than two weeks ago. The initial six events of the season were staged in Texas, California and Mexico.
Stephen Woodard is back in Edmonton to defend the title he won last summer. The Charlotte, NC native would go on to win his next start in Montreal, becoming the first player in four years to win back-to-back events.
Six of the seven event winners this season will be in Edmonton this week'Taylor, Scott Gibson, Stuart Anderson, Jaime Gomez, David Mathis and Jim Seki.
Gomez, the 1999 Telus Calgary Open champion, won his second Tour title earlier this year in Mazatlan, Mexico and his second-place showing in Victoria vaulted him past Mathis into top spot on the money list.
At seasons end, the top two players on the money list will be exempted into the second stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School, while the top six earn a berth into the Bell Canadian Open. Top players also receive spots in a pair of Canadian Nationwide Tour events, the CPGA Championship and Alberta Classic.
The Telus Edmonton Open will also give fans a chance to get a look at some of Canadas blue-chip prospects including Anderson, Taylor, Derek Gillespie, Chris Baryla, Lee Curry, Brad Fritsch, Rob McMillan and Dan Swanson. Former amateur stars Mike Mezei and Dan Roberts will play in their second straight event after earning playing cards at Spring Qualifying School.
National Hockey League Hall of Fame goaltender Grant Fuhr, who starred for the Edmonton Oilers during their Stanley Cup dynasty years of the 1980s, will play this week on a sponsors exemption.
It will be an emotional week as the Canadian Tour returns to the Edmonton Country Club for the first time since Zimbabwes Lewis Chitengwa, a Canadian Tour rookie, passed away suddenly during the 2001 Telus Edmonton Open.