APRIL 16, 2012
The Canadian Tour has a lifeline and
Rick Janes plans to make the best of it.
At the end of last year Janes, Cana-
dian Tour commissioner since 2005, was
almost overwhelmed by issues his tour
faced. He had a couple of members of his
player advisory board seeking his head
over perceived failures involving purses,
as well as the fact the number of tourna-
ments the tour ran was declining.
Adding to his problems, a couple of
key tournaments, including an event in
Winnipeg that appeared to have been a
success, lost significant amounts of cash,
pushing the tour into a perilous financial
position. Janes’ back was up against the
wall, and fearing the Canadian Tour could
not survive without financial support, he
turned to the golf entity with the big bucks
– the PGA Tour.
It turns out his unfortunate plight co-
incided with the changing structure of the
PGA Tour, which was reworking its quali-
fying system to put increased emphasis on
the Nationwide Tour. For that to work, the
Nationwide Tour needs a feeder system,
and the PGA Tour had already invested
in creating a Latin American venture.
The Canadian Tour, which helped propel
players such as Stuart Appleby, Spencer
Levine and Mike Weir to bigger and better
successes, was an obvious fit.
In December, the PGA Tour agreed
to bankroll the Canadian Tour this year
while it investigated a structure that would
link the two organizations going forward.
And though the Canadian Tour is down a
couple of tournaments this year – an event
in Seaforth, Ont. has disappeared, as has
one in Kamloops, BC – Janes seems quite
certain the struggles of the tour are now
in the rear view mirror.
‘We have a really great opportunity to build
a strong, powerful domestic tour right here
in Canada. But we need help and we’re
asking for help. We need corporate Canada
to get involved.’
– Commissioner Rick Janes
The tour struggled in recent years, es-
pecially after losing a deal with Golf Chan-
nel to televise its events, a blow Janes and
his small staff worked hard to overcome.
Janes, a former advertising executive, put
on a brave face in the ensuing years, but
the lack of visibility certainly hurt his tour.
With the economic downturn putting pres-
sure on Canadian companies, sponsors
were hard to come by. He’s hoping the PGA
Tour’s brand will overcome the reluctance
of corporate Canada to become involved
with the Canadian Tour.
“We have a really great opportunity to
build a strong, powerful domestic tour
forward, as the Canadian Tour was created
by a group of PGA of Canada members
and continues to be member-owned.
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