What started in 1971 as the Peter Jackson Tour is now becoming a coast-to-coast training ground for golfers on their way to the PGA TOUR. The Canadian Tour recently announced a new agreement in which the PGA TOUR will assume operational control of what will become PGA TOUR Canada in 2013.
PGA TOUR Canada will become the next stepping stone for golf professionals searching for access to the Web.com Tour, which is widely considered the ultimate feeder for the PGA TOUR. The top five players on tour in Canada 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.
All PGA TOUR Canada events will continue to be held in Canada during the summer months. The TOUR will host at least eight tournaments in 2013 offering a minimum purse of $150,000, with the goal of eventually expanding to 12 or 13 events.
The PGA TOUR will provide its production and marketing expertise to help grow the TOUR and the game of golf in Canada. The popularity of golf in Canada is reflected in an in-depth economic impact study that showed nearly 6 million Canadians play golf, representing 21.5 percent of the population, more than double the U.S. participation rate. The PGA TOUR has experienced golf’s popularity first-hand with the annual RBC Canadian Open, the Champions Tour’s Montreal Championship and the highly successful 2007 Presidents Cup at Royal Montreal GC. Canada also consistently ranks second only to the U.S. in traffic to PGATOUR.com.
“We view this as a win-win proposition that strengthens an established Tour in a country that absolutely loves golf,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “As the Tour continues to develop and grow, charitable contributions and the value provided to tournaments sponsors will increase, as well. As for the PGA TOUR, this expands our brand in Canada and gives us geographic integration throughout the Americas in concert with PGA TOUR Latinoamérica.”
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.