PGA Tour to Span the Americas with Addition of Canadian Tour

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IOctober 18, 2012

PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem
PGA Tour commissioner Tim FinchemDavid Cannon/Getty Images

The PGA Tour is growing in scope.  Beginning November 1, the organization will take control of what has been the Canadian Professional Golf Tour since it was formed in 1971. It will provide access to the Tour and Q-School for top players.  This means the PGA Tour now operates in North and South America and in Asia with one of the five tours under the PGA Tour brand.  In the past, PGA Tour events have been held in Australia under the umbrella.

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. “We are confident PGA Tour Canada 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.”

“We have long recognized the many advantages of joining forces with the PGA Tour,” Janes said. “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.”

The PGA Tour lent strategic and financial support to the Canadian Professional Golf Tour in 2012.

The new PGA TOUR division will provide direct access to the Tour for the top five players of the PGA Canada Tour who will receive playing privileges on the Tour.  The next five will be exempt into the finals of the Tour qualifying school.

“We view this as a win-win proposition that strengthens an established Tour in a country that absolutely loves golf,” Finchem said.

PGA Tour Latinoamérica debuted this fall with 11 tournaments in seven countries in Central and South America.

Former Canada Tour players who had success on the PGA Tour include Canadians Mike Weir, Dave Barr, Dan Halldorson and Ian Leggatt as well as Steve Stricker, Nick Watney, Stuart Appleby, Tim Clark, Bryce Molder, Jason Bohn, Brendan Steele, Craig Parry, Tim Petrovic, Grant Waite, Will MacKenzie and Brandt Jobe.

Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.