We all know our neighbors to the north, Canada, love hockey. But they also love golf, even with cold temperatures at certain times during the year.
This week, the PGA Tour announced that the Canadian Tour will have a new name. They will be PGA Tour Canada and be a development and feeder system for the PGA and Web.com Tour, similar to PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
In an official statement earlier this week, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said, “We determined that while the tour does have its challenges, it presents a tremendous opportunity for the future, and if successful, would have a very positive impact on golf in Canada and globally. With a solid foundation of existing tournaments and outstanding opportunities to establish new events in Canada, we’re confident that PGA Tour Canada will strengthen and grow in coming years.”
He added, “We agreed to lend strategic and financial support this year and to evaluate what our future involvement might be with this series of events.
“We know how strong the interest is for golf in Canada. We are particularly aware of the intensity of the golf fan base throughout Canada, not just from the statistics of participation, but from our own experience with the RBC Canadian Open, the Champions Tours, Montreal Championship, and the 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal Golf Club. I would say the intensity of the golf fan in Canada rivals anywhere in the world.”
The Canadian Tour began as the Peter Jackson Tour in 1971. The PGA Tour Canada will begin in 2013 with eight tournaments in the summer, with a minimum purse of $150,000. The goal is to eventually increase the prize money and tournaments to 12-13 events.
Finchem said, “PGA Tour Canada will play an important role in professional golf, and it will be a valuable system for developing players. The development of elite players is one of the major functions of this tour, and we’re all excited about when the next Mike Weir will emerge.”
For more stories from Cheri Jensen, see: www.rantsports.com/golf/author/cherijensen