TORONTO—With the Canada Life Series set to begin next week in Langford, British Columbia, a consortium of PGA TOUR players—past and present—have provided even more incentive for players to play well during the four-tournament Series.
Former PGA TOUR winner Ian Leggatt and 10 other players have each donated (CA) $1,000 that forms a bonus bursary that will be used to reward the player or players who shoot the low 18-hole round at each of the Canada Life Series’ tournaments. Every week, the player with the lowest single-day score will earn $2,750. In the event of more than one player shooting the low round, they will split that week’s money.
In addition to Leggatt, the organizer of this initiative, players who donated are Stephen Ames, Corey Conners, Graham DeLaet, Michael Gligic, Adam Hadwin, David Hearn, Mackenzie Hughes, Roger Sloan, Nick Taylor and Mike Weir, who all played on the Mackenzie Tour or its predecessor, the Canadian Tour, in their careers.
Created in partnership with the Golf Canada Foundation, the player bursary aligns with the Foundation’s support of high-performance golf, helping the next generation of athletes inspire Canadians of all ages and abilities.
“Golf Canada Foundation is excited to support this initiative through the Canada Life Series with the generous backing of Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada alumni,” Said Martin Barnard, CEO of Golf Canada Foundation. “Aspiring professionals working to advance their careers have had their competitive seasons impacted significantly during the pandemic, and we hope this bursary will help players emerge even stronger on the various Tours next year.”
“We’re pretty fortunate that we’ve been able to start playing again,” said Hadwin about the PGA TOUR’s season restart after the COVID-19 interruption to the schedule. “Not only that, but we’re pretty fortunate where we are in life, as well.
“Being on the PGA TOUR is the ultimate goal of all the guys who are playing,” continued Hadwin, a native of Abbotsford, B.C., who turned pro in 2009, played two years on the Mackenzie Tour’s predecessor—the Canadian Tour—before joining the PGA TOUR in 2015. “I think it’s our duty and job to pay it forward a little. A lot of us have come through the Mackenzie Tour. I know what it’s like traveling across (the country). You’re not making a ton of money and hoping to get to the next level. This is nice that we can help out and give those guys a little something extra to play for. It’s not much, but every little bit counts.”
The Canada Life Series at Bear Mountain: Mountain Course on Aug. 10-12 is the first of two back-to-back tournaments at Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community. The final two events will be at TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley in Caledon, each tournament open to Mackenzie Tour players and high-level professional and elite players living in Canada.
In June, the Mackenzie Tour canceled its 2020 season due to COVID-19. The Canada Life Series is a response to that cancellation, giving players competitive, money-making opportunities.
“We couldn’t be more pleased with the generosity of these players who understand what it’s like to be a young pro trying to make his way in professional golf,” said Scott Pritchard, Mackenzie Tour Executive Director. “It truly is a fraternity among Canadian professionals, and to have these 11 players provide this bonus money only enhances what we’re trying to accomplish with the Canada Life Series.”