Here is a portion of the press release issued this morning. Interesting to not that Canada, on a percentage basis, has a higher participation rate in golf than the United States.
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.
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 TOUR Canada will strengthen and grow in the coming years.”
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.
The 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 PGATOUR.com and digital platforms.
Golf’s 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 PGATOUR.com, the PGA TOUR’s official website.