A stellar international field representing more than ten countries from around the world is in Barrie for the 2006 curtain closer at the Highlands Golf Club at spectacular Horseshoe Resort. Players will compete for a $160,000 purse, the second-largest of the season, with the winner taking home a cheque for $25,600.
Thanks to the generosity of presenting sponsor The Dominion of Canada General Insurance Company, $100,000 of the tournament proceeds are committed to benefit the Canadian Paraplegic Association Ontario. The RVH Corporate Challenge, a two-day pro am held early in the week, is also expected to raise close to $50,000 for the Royal Victoria Hospital Regional Cancer Centre.
The cream of the Canadian Tour crop will be in Barrie in the hopes of landing the championship cheque, while several post-season bonuses will be up for grabs.
With a math professor needed to figure out the scenarios that could unfold in Barrie, one couldnt ask for any more drama during the Tours first visit to Horseshoe Resort.
Stephen Gangluffs second win of the year last week at the Fallsview Casino Resort Pro Am Classic moved the 30-year-old from Ponte Vedra Beach into top spot in the Rolex Player of the Year standings as the leading money winner. Rob Oppenheim, who led the money list for most of the year, now sits second but will not have a chance to reclaim top spot as he is in Boston this week taking part in the PGA Tours Deutsch Bank Championship. Calgarys Wes Heffernan, who notched his first Tour championship at the Casino de Montreal Open Players Championship in early August, sits third and will be looking to become the first Canadian to finish atop the money list since Jon Mills three years ago.
Gangluff has enjoyed quite a memorable summer. Not only has he captured titles in both Niagara Falls and Edmonton, but was one of only six players to shoot a final round of par or better at the U.S. Open at Winged Foot in June.
This week also marks the final chance for players to retain playing privileges for the 2007 campaign. The top 80 on the money list Sunday will be fully exempt, while the next ten retain non-exempt, or conditional, status.
Once the final putt falls on Sunday, September 3rd, the Rolex Player of the Year will be crowned on the 18th green. He, along with the runner-up on the money list, will receive a much sought-after exemption into the second stage of the three-tiered PGA Tour Qualifying Tournament later this fall. The Rolex Player of the Year will also have the first opportunity to accept an exempt card on the South African Sunshine Tour in the first year of a reciprocal agreement with that circuit.
After the Canadian Tour Championship, the top six players on the money list will head straight for Hamilton and take part in the $5 million Canadian Open while the next 20 will earn a berth in the Opens final qualifying phase on Monday, September 4th.
Those players will be looking to follow in the footsteps of such notable Canadian Tour graduates as Mike Weir, Chris DiMarco, Stuart Appleby, Arron Oberholser, Tim Herron, Dave Barr and Dan Halldorson. Most of Canadas legends in the sport have also played on the Canadian Tour including the late, great Moe Norman, George Knudson and Al Balding along with Weir, Barr, Halldorson, Ian Leggatt, Bob Panasik, Rick Gibson, Ray Stewart and Jim Rutledge.