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Syncrude CEO Mark Ward and Boreal Open winner Kevin Spooner stand with tournament volunteers on June 28 after a long battle for first place.


Spooner wins Syncrude Boreal Open on fifth playoff hole

Kevin Spooner matched the heat Sunday firing a nine-under 63 on his way to a playoff victory at the 2015 Syncrude Boreal Open presented by AECON.

The 26-year old from West Vancouver, B.C., tied the course record at the Fort McMurray Golf Club, finishing 16-under before edging Talor Gooch (Choctaw, Oklahoma) and Ben Silverman (Thornhill, Ontario) in a playoff that saw the par-5 18th hole played five times before a winner was decided on the hot summer weekend.

“Teeing up this morning, I thought I had absolutely no chance of really getting into contention for the win, being nine shots back to start,” Spooner admitted. “But I got off to a great start, played pretty aggressive, made a lot of putts and then the leaders backed up a little bit. So I was able to get into a playoff, which was awesome.”

The victory was Spooner’s first on the Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and earned him a cheque for $31,500 which was presented by Syncrude CEO Mark Ward. Ward congratulated the field for a great week of play as well as thanked the community and volunteers for their support with an event that helps showcase the community.

Spooner had arrived in Fort McMurray without status on the Mackenzie Tour and earned a spot in the field thanks to a top-20 finish at the Bayview Place Island Savings Open presented by Times Colonist three weeks ago. The win earns him exempt status and moves him to second on the Order of Merit behind leader Albin Choi.

“It's been a bit of a whirlwind for me, because I was just trying to get status on this tour. I was fortunate enough to get an exemption into Victoria and turned that into another start for me. I was just trying to rack up those dollars to get status after the re-shuffle, and the win certainly helped,” adds Spooner.

For the second straight year, the Keyano College Foundation benefited as the Syncrude Boreal Open partner charity. The money raised will go towards programs and resources that support Keyano Huskies student athletes.

Syncrude was also happy to host six golfers for a tour of its Mildred Lake site prior to the tournament in support of the Mackenzie Tour’s commitment to exploring the communities it visits. Like many first-time visitors, the golfers were amazed by the size and scale of Syncrude’s operations and were also impressed by reclamation. Footage of the visit will be broadcast on an upcoming edition of This is PGA TOUR Canada which airs on Global TV, TSN and RDS.

Thank you to all the volunteers who helped to make this event a great success.


Each year, Syncrude invests more than $6 million to community organizations working to make a difference. Whether it’s investing in local infrastructure, stocking the food bank or opening the doors to learning, Syncrude is committed to making a difference in the communities where our employees live and work. We also support our 5,000 employees in their individual volunteering efforts to create better communities, and provide scholarships at educational institutions across Alberta. 

In 2014:

  • $2.5 million to Keyano College to support Aboriginal education and arts programming.

  • $2.48 million raised during 2014 United Way Campaign supporting the United Way in Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Calgary.

  • $500,000 to the University of Alberta Hospital Foundation to support the development of a Brain Imaging and Treatment Unit that will include Gamma Knife radiosurgery, an advanced, incision-free procedure for patients facing brain tumours, epilepsy and other complex neurological conditions.

  • $75,000 donation to kick off the 2014 Syncrude Food Drive in support of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank Association
  • $50,000 in donations decided by Syncrude employees through the Give with Heart campaign, including the highest gift of $25,000 going to Fort McMurray SPCA.
  • $128,000 to 74 non-profit organizations and another $94,000 through busing grants in 2014 - Our Good Neighbours program recognizes employee and retirees who volunteer in the community. Individual grants of $500 each are awarded to those organizations for which they volunteer.

We're proud to be making a difference in our community, including investments to:

  • Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation - Uncle Fred Youth Elders Lodge
  • Alberta Cancer Foundation
  • Art Gallery of Alberta
  • Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business
  • Careers: The Next Generation
  • Compassion House
  • Fort Chipewyan Historical Society
  • Fort McKay First Nation - Youth Summer Employment Program
  • Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Eduction
  • Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society
  • Fort McMurray Historical Society
  • Fort McMurray Public Library
  • Fort McMurray Public School District
  • Girls Inc. of Northern Alberta
  • Grant MacEwan University
  • Indspire
  • Inside Education
  • Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women
  • Keyano College
  • Mikisew Cree First Nation Elders Care
  • Northern Lights Health Foundation
  • Regional Aboriginal Recognition Awards
  • Ronald McDonald House
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation
  • Science Alberta Foundation
  • Skills Canada
  • Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation
  • The Children's Centre
  • United Way
  • University of Alberta
  • Vista Ridge
  • Wood Buffalo Food Bank