Canada’s busy summer in the world of golf continued on Tuesday as Osprey Valley was announced as the first Canadian venue to join the Tournament Players Club network.
TPC is a chain of public and private golf courses operated by the PGA Tour. The 10-year deal will see Osprey Valley, about an hour northwest of Toronto, renamed to TPC Toronto at Osprey Valley.
“The PGA sees the potential in Canadian golf,” said Chris Humeniuk, Osprey Valley’s owner. “They believe, clearly, by awarding us this partnership with them, they believe in the potential of having a TPC property in the Greater Toronto Area and in Canada.
“That’s positive affirmation for all of us. They are the top golf organization in the world.”
The partnership between Osprey Valley and the PGA Tour comes two days after Brooke Henderson became the first Canadian to win the CP Women’s Open since 1973 and a month after world No. 1 Dustin Johnson won the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Earlier in the summer it was announced that the Canadian Open would move to a better spot in the PGA Tour’s schedule starting in 2019. It will now be in early June, a week before the U.S. Open.
Part of the deal between TPC and Osprey Valley is for the club to continue hosting the Osprey Valley Open, a Mackenzie Tour event, for another five years. American Tyler McCumber won the inaugural tournament on July 22.
Its location on the golf calendar is a deliberate move to draw more fans after the Canadian Open.
“It’s a nice complement for fans to be able to see PGA Tour players and then be able to see future up-and-coming players that will go on to most likely be playing in the RBC Canadian Open for years to come,” said Jeff Monday, president of the Mackenzie Tour, which was formerly known as PGA Tour Canada.
The Mackenzie Tour is expected to be the only professional event at Osprey Valley with a source at Golf Canada saying there are no plans to have the Canadian Open, the country’s only PGA Tour event, there.
However, Humeniuk says that the PGA is intrigued by adding a 54-hole venue to its roster, which could mean it would host larger Pro-Am events.
“We had reached out to the PGA with the thought of bringing some sort of PGA-level event to Osprey. Whether it’s PGA, LPGA, whatever the case may be, and that’s how we ended up with a Mackenzie Tour event this year,” Humeniuk said, adding that it was a year-long process to iron out the details of the partnership.
“As part of having our friends from the PGA on the property, they kinda said ‘hey, you know what...’ and they pitched us on the idea of having a sort of dual relationship with a Mackenzie Tour event with a TPC partnership as well.”
Monday acknowledged that the Web.com Tour — the circuit that sits between the Mackenzie and the PGA Tour in terms of level of competition — is looking for more tournaments but all the available openings are in January, February and March and therefore unsuitable for Southern Ontario.