Southern Alberta: Local News / Calgary & Area
Last Updated on Monday, 03 December 2012 00:05 Sunday, 02 December 2012 23:47
Calgary Sun reporter Eric Francis informed readers last week of plans for the Champions Tour to add an event in Calgary beginning late next summer.
Francis reported that his paper had learned the Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club is on the verge of signing a site agreement with the PGA Tour that will bring the likes of Fred Couples, Vijay Singh, Tom Lehman, Tom Watson, Mark O’Meara and other senior stars to Calgary for what will be one of the richest events in over-50 golf.
He cited a source familiar with the arrangement saying that Champions Tour president Mike Stevens was in town with golf legend Hale Irwin on November 18th for an open house at the prestigious southwest golf course to answer questions on the week-long event to be played there from August 26th – September 2nd, 2013.
Apparently following that meeting a subsequent vote found 91% of the members in favour of hosting the tourney. The pending five-year deal would have the course guaranteeing it will host the world’s top seniors for the next three years with membership holding the options on years four and five.
Francis also reported that the tournament committee is already in the process of interviewing U.S. marketing companies with experience in the field to create a name and find a title sponsor willing to pay $2.5 million for naming rights.
Head professional Josh Gardner told Francis that it is indeed 'an exciting time at Canyon Meadows' but respectfully declined further comment. “The real feather in the hat of Canyon Meadows is that the Champions Tour initiated all of this,” said the source according to Francis.
“They’ve wanted to come out west for years and they saw Calgary and Canyon as the perfect fit. This has all come together in the last two months. The course doesn’t need any renovations at all — it’s ready for the best players in the world, which brings Canyon to a whole new level of eliteness.”
The event is being backed by a number of wealthy, high-profile Calgarians who have guaranteed the costs of running a tourney of upwards of $10 million. Calgary Flames owner Clay Riddell is the chairman and the committee includes Jim Riddell, Allan Markin, Guy Turcotte and Calgary’s resident PGA Tour regular Stephen Ames.
Ames turns 50 in April 2014, making him eligible for the senior loop in the second year of the tourney.
Organizers are hoping to have tickets on sale before Christmas, with the expectation sold out galleries of 20,000 will take in the action all three days. “We think Freddie (Couples) will bring in 10,000 people on his own every day,” said the source.
“This is a PGA Tour event — they come in, set up grandstands and merchadising. This is huge, which is why Travel Alberta and the City of Calgary are completely on board. The money involved and the lack of conflict in the schedule will ensure the field is the best of the best.”
The week-long event won’t likely include Monday qualifying, as the Champions Tour can easily fill all 81 spots with names that include Corey Pavin, Bernhard Langer, Fred Funk, Kenny Perry, Mark Calcavecchia and Irwin, who is the winningest player in Champions Tour history.
Locals will get a chance to play in pro-ams Tuesday and Wednesday, with a practice round slated for Thursday.
to contact Calgary Sun reporter Eric Francis follow either of these links:
or on twitter: twitter.com/ericfrancis
Last Updated on Monday, 26 November 2012 11:04 Monday, 26 November 2012 10:13
by Gord Montgomery
Two Albertans are on the cusp of every young golfer’s dream – making the grade to play on the PGA Tour.
Ryan Yip, who was oh-so close last year when he missed his PGA card by one stroke and Mitch Evanecz are into the final stage of the grueling Q-School marathon as they try to secure their spot among the world’s best golfers.
Last Updated on Saturday, 17 November 2012 15:04 Saturday, 17 November 2012 14:34
Okay, anyone who has been around the golf scene for a while now is probably aware of Canadian Long Drive Champions phenom Jamie Sadlowski who hails from St. Paul, Alberta and has won the men's world long drive title on two occasions.
Sadlowski has a number of golf ball crushing feats to his credit but this latest one is something different.
Apparently even technology is no match for the speed and power which the young man unleashes when he launches one of his dimpled ICBM shots.
Last Updated on Saturday, 28 July 2012 17:08 Saturday, 28 July 2012 15:56
Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (BRITISH COLUMBIA GOLF)-Team Canada Development Squad member Riley Fleming of Airdrie, Alberta claimed the 110th B.C. Amateur Championship at Swan-e-set Bay Resort and Country Club, becoming the first non-British Columbian to capture the title since Fred Couples in 1979.
Last Updated on Sunday, 24 June 2012 15:48 Sunday, 24 June 2012 13:06
by Gord Montgomery
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