As expected, the CPGA Championship was called off for a second straight year. The following press release came across my inbox while I was away. Interesting to note the tournament apparently has the support of Stephen Ames and Ian Leggatt, but that didn’t get a sponsor in the door. Wonder where the name of that Canadian lefty is?
Here’s the release:
As North American’s second oldest golf championship, the Canadian PGA Championship has a rich history since it was first held in 1911. It was with that intention of upholding the great tradition and calibre of the championship that the Canadian PGA decided in 2006 not to stage the event while we worked to rebuild it with significant Canadian representation.
We have been working diligently with the IMG sales group to secure sponsorship of the event to ensure it is solidly funded and executed as a quality championship that attractively represents our Members.
These efforts are continuing, but without confirmed sponsorship at this stage of the new season, the Board of Directors has decided that the event will not be contested in 2007.
The Canadian PGA remains committed to re-launching the CPGA Championship as a first-class, Canadian national championship that showcases Canada’s top touring professionals and our Members to the golf public while preserving the rich history of the event.
It is our sincere hope that we will secure appropriate representation to re-launch the championship in 2008, but we are prepared to take whatever time is required so that we may fulfill our vision for this great championship.
“We will continue to work hard to secure sponsorship of the Canadian PGA Championship so that our signature event is held as a high-quality Canadian national championship,” said Steve Carroll, Executive Director of the Canadian PGA.
The goals of the Canadian PGA Board of Directors for the reformatted championship have the full support of PGA Tour players Stephen Ames and Ian Leggatt.
“With over 90 years of history, I am well aware of the important place that the Canadian PGA Championship has in Canadian golf and I believe that it is up to everyone to work together to preserve traditions like this championship event,” said Ames, the defending champion of the 2006 PLAYERS Championship.
“Although I’m a relatively new Canadian, I am very proud to call Canada home, and I look forward to lending my support to helping the Canadian PGA Championship so that it will continue to be a title that the country’s future golfers can aspire to,” said Ames of Calgary.
Leggatt said: “As a Canadian golfer, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the great legends that this country has produced. Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Moe Norman and Al Balding all share the honour of winning the Canadian PGA Championship, and I believe that Canada’s future generations of golfers deserve that same opportunity.
“The Canadian PGA Championship is a Canadian golf institution, and I proudly throw my support behind the ongoing efforts to help restore the event to its rightful place in Canadian golf,” said the Cambridge, Ont., native.
President, Canadian PGA
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I have had about enough of these people suggesting that the RCGA look at Brad Pelletier as the new ED. If the IMG group of which he is the leader are unable to find sponsors for 2 Canadian centric events then stop suggesting he could be the answer. IMG made a big point earlier this year about the CPGA being in Calgary, Pelletiers back yard blah, blah, blah. IMG is finding plenty of money for specialty events (the tired Skins game and Weir golf event in PEI) perhaps they could find cash to support Canadian golf and not their own coffers.
What does Ames/Leggatt’s support mean? Would they play in the event if it were held? Or is it just lip service?
That really sucks Warren Crosbie! The CPGA should sponsor it and get it back to being the classic CPGA with Canadian professionals. By getting IMG involved you triple the amount a sponsor has to spent. By having no CPGA you are insulting all the past winners of this historic tournament – I remember when we got the 1929 winner’s cup from Jimmie Johnson – a beautiful thing. Another sad day for Canadian golf!
Forget IMG and get a sponsor – Fairmont or somebody!