By Brian Decker
LETHBRIDGE, ALBERTA – SPORTS – The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada officially announced on Tuesday that the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open, a new event taking place at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort in Lethbridge, Alberta, will begin as part of a multi-year agreement starting in 2018.
The 156-player event with a $200,000 purse will take place June 18-24 as the fourth event of the 2018 schedule. Lethbridge Open Limited will serve as the host organization and has retained Hugh Vassos to serve as tournament director.
“We’re thrilled to be adding the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open to the Mackenzie Tour schedule and are elated about the opportunity to play an event in Lethbridge, a community which we feel is the perfect fit for one of our tournaments, for many years to come,” said Mackenzie Tour President Jeff Monday. “Our gratitude goes out to the mayor, Chris Spearman, and the Lethbridge City Council, along with Ron Sakamoto and everyone at Paradise Canyon Golf Resort for their support in making this event a possibility.”
Paradise Canyon, a 6,810-yard Bill Newis design, previously hosted the 2008 Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship, which featured future PGA TOUR players Adam Hadwin, Nick Taylor, Ben Silverman and Corey Conners in the field.
“We’re fortunate to host an event of this caliber in the City of Lethbridge and at Paradise Canyon. We expect this tournament will generate millions of dollars of economic activity to benefit the community. With some of the world’s top up-and-coming players along with their families and fans visiting the city, we hope to elevate Lethbridge as a tourism destination,” said Sakamoto, Paradise Canyon’s owner and general manager.
Vassos has run tournaments on the Mackenzie Tour since 2008, with his organization VMC Sports and Entertainment, and he currently also serves as tournament director of the GolfBC Championship.
“A large number of people have been working towards the goal of hosting a Mackenzie Tour event in Lethbridge for a long time, and we’re excited to begin working with the community to make this a premier, week-long event,” said Vassos. “Starting this event would not have been possible without the commitment of the Lethbridge City Council, as well as the initial sponsorship from the Lethbridge Lodging Association, and I’d like to thank them for their support in helping this tournament become a reality.”
“Lethbridge looks forward to welcoming the top up-and-coming professional golfers from around the world. I know they will experience the very best of what we have to offer, and the Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open will showcase our city to the world,” said Lethbridge Mayor Chris Spearman.
The Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open’s official charitable partner will be Lethbridge Family Services, a highly accredited, charitable, human-services organization that improves the well-being and quality of life for individuals and families in Southwestern Alberta. The event’s net proceeds will go toward helping families in need.
The full 2018 Mackenzie Tour schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
About the Mackenzie Tour-PGA TOUR Canada
The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada is a series of tournaments played across Canada each summer, where tomorrow’s stars begin the path to the PGA TOUR. The leading five money winners at the end of each season earn status on the Web.com Tour for the following year. The Tour’s alumni include 20 PGA TOUR players and more than 160 Web.com Tour players since 2013. The Mackenzie Tour’s mission is to deliver a PGA TOUR experience for its members, fans, volunteers and partners in order to develop the future stars of professional golf and enrich the communities it visits.