WINNIPEG —; The province’s most prestigious golf tournament is changing things up. And so is the organization the Players Cup is part of. Global’s Mitch Rosset sat down with Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada president Jeff Monday to tee up the upcoming golf season.
Mitch Rosset: Another exciting year on tap for the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. You’ve added two new events. Where are you going this year?
Jeff Monday: We can’t wait to get started with the season. It’s shaping up to be even bigger and better than last year which is hard to believe. We were fortunate to be able to add to the quality events we have such as the Players Cup here in Winnipeg which is certainly one of our best. Two new events both out west. Kelowna will be our third event now and another new event in Edmonton.
MR: So why decide to expand?
JM: We like to provide opportunities for our players. To give them more chances to compete and progress as they’re trying to get to the Web长沙桑拿 Tour and the PGA Tour. But also have more impact in communities across Canada. Having a charitable impact that is such part of the fabric of what we do as an organization.
MR: That’s a big thing especially here in Winnipeg. We’ve seen in the past the hockey players come out and battle the golfers in a ball hockey game. Plus everything else you do with the Play Through Foundation. Why is it important to give back?
JM: The golf tournament provides you a platform to have a community event and become part of the social fabric. It’s also another entertainment option for the community. It’s not just for golf fans but if you’re part of the community, you’re a sports fan or even if you just like being outdoors. There’s really no other sport like ours. It’s such a good atmosphere to be part of and that’s important to us. That gives you the opportunity to raise money, provide a quality experience for sponsors to play in a pro am which is unique to golf. We’re here for one week but if the impact of the tournament lasts the other 51 weeks of the year, having a positive impact on lives in the community through donations made on behalf of the Play Through Foundation is pretty tremendous.
RELATED: The Players Cup is coming to Niakwa Country Club in Winnipeg
MR: Change is coming to the tour this year. Changes also for the Players Cup. How exciting is it to bring this tournament into Winnipeg and have it be played this summer at Niakwa Country Club.
JM: Pine Ridge has been a tremendous venue. The players absolutely love playing there. Now to be able to add a golf course which is just as good and to have it right here in town gives a different dynamic. The rotation is going to be fantastic. One year at Niakwa, the other year back up at Pine Ridge. We think the structure is an absolute home run and looking forward to kicking it off at Niakwa. The players are going to have a tremendous experience there.
MR: You must be pretty proud of the history of this tour. You look at Nick Taylor, one of the PGA Tour rookie of the year finalists last year. Graham DeLaet who has been tearing it up on the PGA Tour. Both of them alumni of this tour.
JM: Canada has such a great history of golf. With the sport being back in the Olympics, the defending champion is George Lyon from 1904 – a Canadian. While the past has been pretty impressive, the future for Canadian golf is bigger and brighter than it’s ever been.
MR: So are you seeing more Canadians pick up the game because now they can go watch it at the pro level with your tour in their backyards.
JM: Participation seems to be increasing and certainly the interest at the professional level. I think that pays dividends in two fashions. It enables us to make more revenue to give back to the communities and charities. It also gets people excited about the game. Especially at this time of year with the season just about to begin. You see what our players and what they can do, it inspires you to get out there regardless of what you shoot. That’s the great thing about golf, everybody at every level, they’re trying to get better.