TORONTO, ONT – The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada and Golf Ontario have reached a six-year agreement in partnership with Woodington Lake Golf Club to host and conduct the Ontario Open. The first tournament, an official tournament on the Tour’s 2020 schedule is set for Tottenham, Ontario, on August 24-30.
Debuting in 1923, the Ontario Open’s past champions include Sam Snead, along with Canadian golf legends Moe Norman, George Knudson and seven-time champion Nick Weslock. Following a 23-year hiatus, the event returned for its 63rd edition in 2019, an event won by Greg Eason, who five years earlier finished fifth on the Mackenzie Tour Order of Merit. Eason has 31 career Tour starts.
“The Ontario Open has a rich history in Canada, and the Mackenzie Tour is thrilled at the opportunity to be involved with such a storied event,” said Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Vice President Scott Pritchard. “We’re looking forward to working alongside Golf Ontario and the team at Woodington Lake to deliver a world-class tournament.”
Mike Kelly, Golf Ontario’s Executive Director since 2015, played a large part in revitalizing the Ontario Open and says he is looking forward to adding to the legacy of the event with the Mackenzie Tour’s involvement.
“The Ontario Open is steeped in tradition and history and has a long list of distinguished winners,” said Kelly. “We were thrilled to bring back the Ontario Open in 2019 to Woodington Lake Golf Club and equally thrilled with the success of the event.
“To now join forces and take the event to the next level with The Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada is an exciting time for Golf Ontario, and we believe this will be one of the marquee events on Tour this year,” continued Kelly.
Hosting the 156-player tournament is the Legend Course at Woodington Lakes Golf Club, a 36-hole facility north of Toronto. Measuring more than 7,000 yards, the Legend Course opened in 1995 and covers 200 acres of rolling terrain.
“Woodington Lake is truly a special piece of property, and the Ontario Open was a huge success in 2019,” said John Chetti, General Manager of Woodington Lake. “Our Legend course is a great test of golf, having some of the best golfers in the world tackle it is special for all of us at Woodington Lake and we look forward to hosting an extraordinary event.”
Craig Loughry, Golf Ontario’s Director of Golf Services, will serve as Tournament Director of the event. In addition to his experience with Golf Ontario, Loughry was also Golf Canada’s Director of Handicap and Course Rating and was the International Association of Golf Administrators President in 2017.
“We’re very excited about this announcement and the future of the Ontario Open, as well as our partnership with Woodington Lake Golf Club and the Mackenzie Tour,” said Loughry “We are already well down the road to planning some special activities around the event and look forward to unveiling some of those over the next few months.”
The tournament also announced today that the Golf Canada Foundation (GCF) will be the Ontario Open’s official charity recipient.
“The Golf Canada Foundation’s contributions to the game of golf and young golfers fit right in line with Golf Ontario’s mission to shape lives by leading, creating and promoting positive golf experiences,” said Loughry. “We’re delighted to partner and financially support the GCF and its mandate.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Golf Ontario and the Mackenzie Tour – PGA Tour Canada as the official charity of the Ontario Open,” said Martin Barnard, the CEO of the Golf Canada Foundation. “The event will drive tremendous awareness and fund programs critical to getting more kids playing golf in Ontario.”
The full 2020 Mackenzie Tour schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.