The Champions Tour is returning to Canada for the first time since 2002 after the introduction on Thursday of the Montreal Championship to be played at Club de Golf Fontainebleau, a ClubLink Corporation facility in Blainville, Que., July 2-4.
Montreal-based Synchro Sports will be host organization and tournament promoter for the 54-hole event that will feature 78 players with an overall $1.8-million purse and $270,000 prize for the winner.
The event will be televised on The Golf Channel and Reseau des sports (RDS)
“We realize the strategic importance of growing the Champions Tour brand globally and establishing a strong presence in Canada,” said Champions Tour president Mike Stevens.
“Following the overwhelming success of the 2007 Presidents Cup, our players are excited to be back playing in Canada and looking forward to visiting and showcasing the Champions Tour in the world-class city of Montreal,” he added.
The federal and Quebec provincial governments will split $4.7-million in funding for marketing and promotion of the championship over three years.
Former Montreal Canadiens president Ronald Corey will serve as tournament chairman, while Synchro Sports vice president David Skitt will be tournament director.
Fontainebleau is 7,105 yards and opened in 2003. A year later, it hosted the Telus Skins Game.
“Certainly, it’s a perfect set-up for the Champions Tour, but what’s great about it is the 15th hole comes back to the clubhouse and then, when you play 16, 17 18, it goes around a big lake,” said Skitt.
“From an event management perspective, the way we’re going to set it up with the skyboxes and grandstands, it’s going to create an amphitheatre,” he added.
“I certainly think it will look great on TV,” said Skitt. “What’s kind of fun from a spectator’s perspective is you can be sitting on the 17th green, but see exactly what’s going on on 16 and then, seeing what’s going on on 18, which is kind of fun.”
Skitt estimates that the tournament, which will change its working name and add a title sponsor in the near future, will have an economic impact on Quebec of between $22 and $25-million.
“We’re not in this just to be any event,” he said. “We want this to be a premier event on the Champions Tour.”