After lending strategic and financial support to the Canadian Professional Golf Tour in 2012 and evaluating all aspects of the business, the PGA Tour has agreed to assume operational control of what will become PGA Tour Canada in 2013. The conversion will begin November 1.
Moving forward, the new PGA Tour division will provide direct access to the Web.com Tour for its leading money winners, based on the final Order of Merit. The top five players will receive playing privileges on the Web.com Tour, while the next five will be exempt into the finals of the Web.com Tour qualifying school.
The announcement was made today by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem; Pierre Blouin, Chairman of the Canadian Tour Board of Directors; and Rick Janes, Commissioner of the Canadian Tour.
“Having gained a thorough understanding of the golf landscape in Canada over the course of the 2012 season, we are confident that by fully dedicating our assets and resources, PGA Tour Canada will be well positioned to play an increasingly important role in professional golf,” Finchem said. “With a solid foundation of existing Tournaments along with outstanding opportunities to establish new events, we are confident PGA TourCanada will strengthen and grow in the coming years.”
“This is the logical next step for the Tour’s sustainability and growth,” Blouin said. “The PGA Tour provided invaluable assistance throughout the 2012 season and through its evaluation process saw strong potential. Golf is incredibly popular in Canada and PGA Tour Canada will be a very important part of Canada’s sports landscape in the coming years. I also want to acknowledge the efforts made by Rick Janes and his staff throughout the process to assist the PGA Tour in gaining a better understanding of the Tour.”
Details on the full schedule and the Tour’s executive structure will be announced at a later date. PGA Tour Canada will debut with a minimum of eight Tournaments in 2013 offering a minimum purse of $150,000, with the goal of eventually growing to 12 or 13 events. All Tournaments will be held in Canada during the summer months.
“We have long recognized the many advantages of joining forces with the PGA Tour,” Janes said. “It not only brings a new level of stature to Canada’s domestic circuit, it ensures that PGA Tour Canada will continue to attract the best young professionals and offer the highest level of competition. For developing young Canadian players the opportunity to compete on home soil against top PGA Tour prospects from around the world is a tremendous advantage.”
Former Canada Tour players have accounted for more than 110 victories on the PGA Tour, including Canadians Mike Weir, Dave Barr, Dan Halldorson and Ian Leggatt. Other alumni who have PGA Tour victories include Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, Stuart Appleby, Tim Clark, Bryce Molder, Jason Bohn, Brendan Steele, Craig Parry, Tim Petrovic, Grant Waite, Will McKenzie and Brandt Jobe, to name a few.