Canadian professional golfers will have a place to play this summer.
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada released an eight-event, cross-country schedule for Canadian-based pros on Thursday.
“We always knew we would have PGA Tour-affiliated golf in Canada in 2021, so it’s nice to finally make it official with the announcement of these eight tournaments,” said Scott Pritchard, Mackenzie Tour executive director.
The tour starts in late July in Blainville, Que., and ends in early October in Victoria. In between, it makes stops in Caledon, Ont., Brudenell, PEI, Calgary, and Kelowna, B.C.
There is also an additional tournament that will be held in one of the Prairie provinces but details have yet to be announced. Six of the events will be 72 holes while the other two are 54 holes.
The final seven events will be played on consecutive weeks.
The circuit will have a total purse of $700,000. The top players at the end of the tour will earn status on the 2022 Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. There will not be any promotion to the Korn Ferry Tour as there has been in past years.
There will be a number of ways for players to get into the events. Golfers who finished in the top 50 on last year’s Canada Life Series will be exempt and there will be spots in the field for elite amateurs as well. There will also be an element of first-come, first-served at each stop.
All events will be based on the provincial protocols at the time and subject to travel restrictions.
Pritchard worked with health officials in each province to gauge when they might open borders and built the tour as re-opening plans firmed up. It involved countless hours on the phone, numerous drafts of the schedule and reliance on local golf organizers to create the final schedule.
The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada had to reconfigure its operation earlier this year when it became apparent that the U.S.-Canada border would remain closed for some time making it difficult for international players to get into the country.
That gave birth to the Forme Tour, a U.S.-based circuit for golfers who held Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada status. Many of Canada’s top young players who reside in the U.S., have gone through one the four qualifying schools organized by the Forme Tour and hope to play there. Others are expected to return home and join the Canadian circuit.