PGA Tour to take control of Canadian Tour

The PGA Tour is looking up and down to expand its minor league system. And that means Canada and Latin America.
The Tour took another step in that campaign on Thursday, when it announced that it will take over operational control of the Canadian Tour. Starting in 2013, it will be called the PGA Tour Canada, and will offer an avenue to the Tour for top players. The deal is similar to the Tour's arrangement south of the border, where PGA Tour Latinoamerica also leads onto
Here's the full press release:

Canadian Tour Will Become PGA TOUR Canada in 2013

PGA TOUR-operated Tour will become an avenue to the Tour
VEDRA BEACH, Fla. and TORONTO – 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.
forward, the new PGA TOUR division will provide direct access to the Tour for its leading money winners, based on the final Order of
Merit. The top five players will
receive playing privileges on the Tour, while the next five
will be exempt into the finals of the Tour qualifying school.
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
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 TOUR Canada
will strengthen and grow in the coming years.”
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.”
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
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
PGA TOUR will work with all Canadian media outlets including its
television partners, Shaw/Global TV and TSN, to broaden coverage of PGA
TOUR Canada. The TOUR also will highlight
PGA TOUR Canada through all media resources, including and
digital platforms.
popularity 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, which
was 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, the PGA TOUR’s official website.
view this as a win-win proposition that strengthens an established Tour
in a country that absolutely loves golf,” Finchem said. “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.”
TOUR Latinoamérica, which emerged from a collaboration between the PGA
TOUR, Tour de las Américas, National Golf Federations, promoters and
host clubs throughout Latin America,
has debuted this fall with 11 tournaments in seven countries. PGA TOUR
Latinoamérica’s top five money winners will receive Tour playing
status in 2013.
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica’s plan to go to a split spring-fall schedule and
PGA TOUR Canada’s summer schedule, players qualifying for both Tours
will have the opportunity to
play a year-long schedule. Both Tours will conduct their own qualifying
tournaments for membership.
believe that PGA TOUR Canada has an important place in professional
golf and will continue to help identify and develop talented players who
aspire to one day play on the PGA
TOUR,” Finchem said. “With that in mind, it makes sense to give its top
players direct access to the Tour.”
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. About the Canadian Professional Golf Tour Since
its inception as the Peter Jackson Tour in 1971, the Canadian Tour has
evolved into a high-caliber, coast-to-coast training ground for
professionals on their way to the PGA
TOUR. Its alumni include not only the game's Canadian legends, but also
many of its most prominent international names, who have collectively
won 113 PGA TOUR titles and over $450 million in prize money. The
Canadian Tour is widely considered one of the world's
top developmental professional golf tours. About PGA TOUR The
PGA TOUR is the world’s premier membership organization for touring
professional golfers, co-sanctioning more than 100 tournaments on the
PGA TOUR, Champions Tour, Tour,
PGA TOUR Latinoamérica and PGA TOUR Canada.
PGA TOUR’s mission is to entertain and inspire its fans, deliver
substantial value to its partners, create outlets for volunteers to give
back, generate significant charitable
and economic impact in communities in which it plays, and provide
financial opportunities for TOUR players.
TOUR tournaments are broadcast to approximately 715 million households
in 225 countries and territories in 29 languages. Virtually all
tournaments are organized as non-profit
organizations in order to maximize charitable giving. In 2011,
tournaments on the three Tours generated more than $121 million for
local charitable organizations, bringing the TOUR’s all-time total of
charitable contributions to more than $1.7 billion.
The PGA TOUR's web site is, the No. 1 site in golf, and the organization is headquartered in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

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by Kevin Cunningham