Record Purse 18 Events Set for 2002 Canadian Tour


Canadian Tour-LargeThe Canadian Tour unveiled its 2002 schedule that will see 18 tournaments in four countries and a record purse of $3,062,500.
The schedule features a second trip to Panama for the Panasonic Panama Open, a first-time event in Mexico with the Michelin Ixtapa Invitational, inaugural visits to Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Virginia as well as a return engagement to South Carolina.
The Canadian leg of the season showcases an event at the new Mark OMeara course at Grandview in Huntsville, ON and a return to the Toronto area after a one-year absence. The course for the Vancouver Open will be announced in mid-January.
One of the highlights of the 2002 American swing will be a tournament honouring the memory of Lewis Chitengwa, a Canadian Tour rookie who passed away last July in Edmonton. The Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship will be staged the week of May 6 ' 12 at Keswick Golf Course in Charlottesville, VA. The Tours ten-year agreement with The Golf Channel will see six of its seven US-based events broadcast live throughout the United States, Canada and Japan beginning with the $225,000 Texas Classic March 7-10 in Houston, TX, with coverage continuing right through early May.
This season marks the first year that the Canadian Tour will see as many events played outside of Canada as in the country. Of the 18 tournaments on the schedule, a combined nine will be held in Panama, Mexico and the United States.
I think it is now apparent that the Canadian Tour has truly become a continental tour, stated commissioner Jacques Burelle. We are extremely gratified by the warm embrace golf fans across North and Central America have extended our Tour. As we continue to grow and showcase our brand of tournament golf throughout this hemisphere, our calling card will now be that we are the haven Where Tomorrows Stars Play Today.
The Canadian Tour is an associate member of the International Federation of PGA Tours and all of its official money tournaments are included in the World Golf Rankings. Its top two players are exempted into second stage of the PGA Tour Qualifying tournament. The Tours top 30 players are exempted into the final Qualifying stage for the following years British Open. As of now, 82 of its players have gone on to play on the PGA Tour, winning a total of 45 tournament titles. Among the current multiple winners are Stuart Appleby, Notah Begay III, Chris DiMarco, Tim Herron, Scott McCarron, Steve Stricker and Canadas own Mike Weir.

2002 Canadian Tour Schedule
Jan. 14-20 -- Panasonic Panama Open, Coronado Beach, Panama
Feb. 11 '15 -- Winter Q School, ChampionsGate, Orlando, Fla.
Mar. 4-10 -- Texas Classic, Kingwood G&CC, Houston
Mar. 11-17 -- Texas Challenge, Circle C Ranch, Austin, Texas
Mar. 25-31 -- Scottsdale Swing at McCormick Ranch, McCormick Ranch, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Apr. 1-7 -- Scottsdale Swing at Eagle Mountain, Eagle Mountain, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Apr. 15-21 -- Michelin Ixtapa Invitational, Palma Real GC, Ixtapa, Guerrero, Mexico
Apr. 22 '28 -- Barefoot Classic, Barefoot Resort (Norman Course), Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Apr. 29-May 5 -- Myrtle Beach Open, Barefoot Resort (Dye Course), Myrtle Beach, S.C.
May 6-12 -- Lewis Chitengwa Memorial Championship, Keswick GC, Charlottesville, Va.
May 20' 24 -- Spring Q-School, The Dunes at Kamloops, Kamloops, British Columbia
May 20-21 -- Canadian Championship of Golf, Royal Niagara GC, Niagara on the Lake, Ontario
June 10-16 -- Ontario Open Heritage Classic, Mark OMeara Course at Grandview GC, Huntsville, Ontario
June 24-30 -- Vancouver Open, TBA, Vancouver, British Columbia
July 1-7 -- Victoria Open, Uplands GC, Victoria, British Columbia
July 8-14 -- TELUS Edmonton Open, Glendale GC, Edmonton, Alberta
July 15-21 -- MTS Classic, PineRidge GC, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Aug. 5 - 11 -- TELUS Quebec Open, Les Quatre Domaines, Mirabel, Quebec
Aug. 12-18 -- Toronto Open, Mandarin G & CC, Markham, Ontario
Aug. 26-31 -- Casino de Charlevoix Cup, Le Manoir Richelieu, Pointe-au-Pic
Sept. 16 - 20 -- Fall Q-School, Royal Ashburn GC, Ashburn, Ontario