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PGA TOUR CANADA


PGA TOUR veteran Steve Stricker once honed his game on the Canadian Tour.


TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, in announcing the move. The Tour’s mandate is simple and


reflects its legacy as one of the top developmental circuits in the world. “We want to provide a PGA TOUR


experience to players to prepare them to make it to the PGA TOUR,” said Monday. “That’s inside and outside the ropes.”


SPRINGBOARD TO BIGGER THINGS Over the years, the best golfers Canada has produced have used the former Canadian Tour as a springboard to bigger


things. George Knudson, Al


Balding, Moe Norman, Dave Barr, Jim Nelford and Dan Halldorson played the Tour. So did more recent PGA TOUR winners Stephen Ames, Ian Leggatt and Mike Weir. Today’s class includes David Hearn, Graham DeLaet and Brad Fritsch, all now successfully plying their trade at the highest level. “The Canadian Tour was where I learned to play professional golf,” said Weir,


www.pgatour.com


« EVERY TOUR WE OPERATE IS


AN OPEN COMPETITION, BUT WE KNOW THAT IT’S IMPORTANT TO GROW THE GAME OF GOLF


IN CANADA AND DEVELOP TOP PROFESSIONAL PLAYERS. »


PGA TOUR CANADA PRESIDENT, JEFF MONDAY


the 2003 Masters winner and a member of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. “It really prepared you for bigger things.” Of course it hasn’t been just Canadians


who have made their mark north of the 49th parallel. Other alumni include Stuart Appleby, Todd Hamilton, Brendan Steele, Tim Clark, Arron Oberholser, Tim Herron and Steve Stricker. “Playing in Canada was a big part of


my development,” said Stricker, who won twice during his four years in Canada. “It


was always run like a big tour, with pro- ams, caddies, ropes … I think it’s great that the PGA TOUR has taken it over. It can only make it better.”


OPTIMISM IS PALPABLE It’s no secret that the former Canadian Tour was struggling to survive when the PGA TOUR stepped in last fall. Its presence has added a large dose of


credibility for both players and


sponsors. The optimism in the Canadian golf community is palpable and Monday hopes that can be transferred into more tournaments in the coming years. A 12- or 13-event schedule visiting every region of the country is a realistic goal, Monday has said. Already, there are signs that the Tour


is gaining credibility and strength. In Winnipeg, the Players Cup tournament director Ryan Hart said having the PGA TOUR behind the circuit allowed it to join with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets for a charitable partnership. “Talking to the Jets wouldn’t have


PGA TOUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE 2013 77


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