Canadian Tour commish Rick Janes has responded to my query about a new Champions Tour event in Quebec and its impact on the CanTour:
The Champions Tour will definitely have an impact on our presence in Quebec.
We have been aware of this possibility for almost a year and we have been in discussions with the PGA TOUR and Mike Stevens at the Champions Tour since May regarding its impact and what compensation might be forthcoming. The PGA TOUR has been very supportive. With an announcement in Montreal imminent we should know where we stand very shortly.
The Canadian Tour financed the start-up of the Montreal Open in 2004. Since that time the promoters have done a wonderful job of building the tournament and making it one of our major events. We are currently considering a number of options and we should be able to make a decision shortly.
It is our intent to rebrand the event the Tournament Players Championship and keep it as one of our flagship tournaments. It remains to be seen whether the current promoters will continue to be involved but they have done a wonderful job for us and they will do the same for the Champions Tour.
Doesn’t sound like good news for the Canadian Tour — and I’m sure Janes was biting his tongue when he typed his note about what a wonderful job Synchro Sports will do for the Champions Tour. With an average purse of around $1.7-million, this is a big step up from the $200,000 guarantee at the Montreal event last year. Let’s see if this event sticks around for the three years it is contracted for.