PGA TOUR Canada Returns to Action

1277
Golf

VICTORIA, British Columbia — PGA TOUR Canada returns to action for the first time since 2019, with this week’s Royal Beach Victoria Open opening the Fortinet Cup era and the 2022 season. The 72-hole tournament begins Thursday. Earlier this year, Fortinet, the sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s Fortinet Championship in Napa, California, made a multi-year commitment to PGA TOUR Canada, its players and tournaments.

The Royal Beach Victoria Open is the first of 11 tournaments on the official 2022 schedule, as the Tour traverses the country and even drops into Minnesota for an event outside Canada (CRMC Championship presented by Gertens in Brainerd). It will mark the first time the Tour has played outside Canada’s borders.

In 2021, with issues at the Canada-U.S. border brought on by the global pandemic, PGA TOUR Canada players competed on the Forme Tour. The eight-tournament circuit offered Official World Golf Ranking Points, with the top-10 finishers on the Points List earning 2022 Korn Ferry Tour membership. The top-60 off the Points List retained PGA TOUR Canada membership for 2022. The Tour added to its membership ranks, starting in February, when it hosted seven Qualifying Tournaments, with more than 200 players earning various exempt statuses. Earlier this week, an additional 10 players joined PGA TOUR Canada via the PGA TOUR University rankings, the top-five players in the standings accepting immediate Korn Ferry Tour membership and the next 10 on their way to PGA TOUR Canada.

“We have a strong group of returning players from 2021 and an excellent collection of qualifiers from our seven Q-Schools. Add in these PGA TOUR University players and it’s very clear that the competition on PGA TOUR Canada will be friendly, fierce and really fun to watch,” said Scott Pritchard, PGA TOUR Canada’s Executive Director. “As has been the case since the Tour’s inception, we aim to provide a high-quality, tournament-golf experience that prepares our players for the next levels in their careers. At the same time, we strive to leave a lasting imprint and a positive impact on the cities and communities that host PGA TOUR Canada tournaments.”

The Rundown

DATES: June 2-5, 2022
OFFICIAL NAME:
Royal Beach Victoria Open

HASHTAGS: #FortinetCup

SCHEDULE: First of 11 official events of the 2022 PGA TOUR Canada season

VENUE: Uplands Golf Club

PAR/YARDS: 70 (35-35), 6,420

POINTS LIST: Winner earns 500 points

PURSE MONEY: (Canadian) $200,000 (winner claims Canadian $36,000)

CUT: Top 60 professional (and ties, plus any amateurs inside the top-60)

FORTINET CUP: The season-long points chase mirrors the competitive structure of the points-based competitions on the PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions and PGA TOUR Latinoamérica. Through the sponsorship, the Fortinet Cup offers a new $100,000 player bonus pool—with $25,000 to the winner—to the top Fortinet Cup points-winners. The top-five Fortinet Cup points-earners gain membership to the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour, while Korn Ferry Tour benefits are available to those finishing sixth through 10th. In addition, the Fortinet Cup winner will also be exempt into the PGA TOUR’s 2023 RBC Canadian Open.

TITLE SPONSOR: Royal Beach is a new oceanfront community development comprised of single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums, along with a variety of shops, services and amenities located in Colwood, 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. It is a joint venture between Reliance Properties and Seacliff Construction.

BENEFITING CHARITY: The Salvation Army

TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:

Thursday, June 2              First Round

Friday, June 3                    Second Round

Saturday, June 4               Third Round

Sunday, June 5                 Final Round

FIELD OVERVIEW:

SIZE: 156 players

COUNTRY BREAKDOWN: Australia (3), Canada (38), China (4), France (2), Germany (3), Hong Kong (1), India (1), Ireland (1), Singapore (1), Switzerland (1), Chinese Taipei (1) United States (99) and Zimbabwe (1).

The field includes five of the seven Qualifying Tournament medalists from earlier this year. The only players missing are Jacob Bridgeman, a recently turned pro, who won the Dothan, Alabama, Qualifying Tournament, and Austin Hitt, winner at the Central Florida Q-School. Bridgeman, a recent Clemson University graduate, finished No. 2 on the final PGA TOUR University ranking, automatically qualifying him for the Korn Ferry Tour. Hitt is playing on PGA TOUR Latinoamérica this week, at the Volvo Golf Championship, in Bogota, Colombia. Hitt had considered playing in the Royal Beach Victoria Open, but a second-place finish last week at the Jalisco Open in Guadalajara, Mexico, vaulted him to No. 13 in the Totalplay Cup standings, and he elected to remain in Latin America as that season winds down. The other medalists here this week are Alex Herrmann (Weston, Florida); Max Marsico (Litchfield Park, Arizona); Jake Vincent (San Jacinto, California); Taylor Funk (DuPont, Washington); and Riley Wheeldon (Courtenay, British Columbia).

At the inaugural PGA TOUR Canada event, in 2013, the Times Colonist Island Savings Open at Uplands Golf Club, Riley Wheeldon finished third, four shots behind winner Stephen Gangluff.

OPEN-QUALIFYING: Earlier this week, the tournament conducted a Monday qualifier, with eight playing spots available for the best-performing players in the 18-hole event. The following qualified:

Adam Power (Canada)                   64

Kyle Cottam (U.S.)                          65

Brayden Garrison (U.S.)                 67

Nicholas Infanti (U.S.)                    68

Khan Lee (Canada)                          68

Matt Kreutz (Canada)                     68

Bryce Barker (Canada)*                 69

Ethan Posthumus (Canada)*        69

* Qualified via a seven-players-for-two-spots playoff

GOLF COURSE: Members of the United Services Club established Uplands Golf Club in 1922, and designers have renovated the parkland design numerous times since its inception. The course, a par-70, 6,420-yard design, is located adjacent to the University of Victoria and is a 10-minute drive from downtown Victoria. Uplands Golf Club is celebrating its 100th birthday this year.

Past PGA TOUR-Affiliated Tour Tournaments at Uplands Golf Club

Year Winner (Country) Score (Margin) Tour
2019 Paul Barjon 261, 19-under (1 stroke) PGA TOUR Canada
2018 Sam Fidone 261, 19-under (5 strokes) PGA TOUR Canada
2017 Max Rotluff 264, 16-under (1 stroke) PGA TOUR Canada
2016 Adam Cornelson 260, 20-under (5 strokes) PGA TOUR Canada
2015 Albin Choi 265, 25-under (3 strokes) PGA TOUR Canada
2014 Josh Persons 268, 12-under (1 stroke) PGA TOUR Canada
2013 Stephen Gangluff 269, 11-under (2 strokes) PGA TOUR Canada

In 2021, with the 2021 PGA TOUR Canada season canceled, the Tour held a series of eight tournaments for players living in Canada to give them competitive and earning opportunities amid the global pandemic. Uplands Golf Club hosted the Reliance Properties DCBank Open, a tournament won by Gander, Newfoundland, native BlairBursey, who is in the field this week.

PGA TOUR CANADA ALUMNI: Since 2013, more than 250 players have graduated to the Korn Ferry Tour, with 46 players accounting for 50 wins. From there, 54 players have moved on to the PGA TOUR, with 14 players accounting for 16 wins. They are CoreyConners, Mackenzie Hughes, Joel Dahmen, J.J. Spaun, Nick Taylor, Tony Finau, C.T. Pan, Talor Gooch, Adam Long, Aaron Wise, Cam Davis, Ryan Brehm, Chad Ramey and Sepp Straka. There are currently 10 Canadians on the PGA TOUR.