PGA Tour Canada will do its best to simulate its umbrella organization, the PGA Tour, says the latter’s commissioner Tim Finchem.
Finchem stressed PGA Tour Canada — formerly the Canadian Tour — will benefit greatly from the PGA Tour, generating more interest in the forms of drawing potential big-name players, sponsors and fans.
The move was a logical extension for the PGA Tour, added Finchem, who recognizes the strong fan base in Canada.
“In a consequence, I think branding this tour as part of the PGA Tour is having a positive effect from the business community from a sponsorship community and the fans as well,” said Finchem.
“Given the new focus of the tour, we anticipate what has been a traditionally strong competition will be more enhanced as they make their way on the PGA Tour that will create more interest and support in the Canadian markets as well.”
Included in the changes are the top five money earners on PGA Tour Canada — which begins Monday with the Times Colonist Island Savings Open in Victoria — will earn playing privileges on the Web.com Tour. The sixth to 10th best money earners will advance straight to the final stage of qualifying for the Web.com, the main development tour of the PGA.
“In addition to the calibre of play, week to week, we are also going to work very closely with the players on player-engagement programs similar to what we do on the PGA Tour and the Web.com Tour — that is get the players involved in clinics, community visits, charity visits, interfacing and really being a part of the market place when we’re in town,” said Jeff Monday, president of PGA Tour Canada.
“The staging and infrastructure and look and feel of the tournament is another area we’re providing a lot of focus and attention to.
“And lastly, a broader media exposure, both in market and across the country with our PGA Tour Canada highlight show [which began Friday on TSN2] and using the assets and resources of media relations staff to get the word out.
“What’s most important is we’re committed to trying to grow professional golf in Canada, having an impact in Canada and making sure it represents the game well and that people can come out and have a PGA Tour-syle experience when they’re out there, be it for the sponsors, volunteers or fans,” Monday said.
Ultimately, what fans will see on the newly dubbed tour, is a simulation of the PGA Tour, both on and off the course.
“If you look at the Web.com Tour, the two most important things in terms of impacting the PGA Tour are, one, creating more players who can compete at the highest level. That creates more balanced competition which translates into more interest,” stressed Finchem.
“The biggest single factor in the last five years on the PGA Tour is the tremendous upsurge in the ability of young players to come on and win, and challenge the veterans. It’s created another level of excitement for the fans and TV audience.
“But the second things is, these players learn about charity involvement, learn about the relationship with the communities, learn how to deal with the media, learn about the culture of the tour, so that when they come to the PGA Tour they are contributing in those areas right away, or certainly a lot sooner than they were 10 years ago,” Finchem said.
“That creates more value for the sponsors and a lot more focus by the players on some of the things outside the ropes. That’s a major factor here and another reason why we think this is going to have an initial positive benefit to the tour as well.”
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