The PGA Tour announced Thursday that it will create PGA Tour Latinoamerica, a professional tour with 11 events to be played next year in seven countries across Latin America.
The schedule will begin in September 2012 and run through December. The plan in 2013 calls for 14 events that will take players through Mexico, Colombia, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Peru.
'This expansion into Latin America, when combined with what the Nationwide Tour has been able to accomplish in the region in recent years, is part of the natural progression for golf which continues to grow globally,' said PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem. 'The timing is right, with South America hosting its first-ever Olympic Games, which includes golf's return to the competition for the first time in more than 100 years.'
All events will be 72 holes of stroke play and will have 144-player fields made up from top professionals in the region. Top money earners will receive access to the Nationwide Tour the following year. The Tour de las Americas will play a series of events in 2012 which will help establish the priority rankings for players on the PGA Tour Latinoamerica.
Jack Warfield, who has more than 20 years of experience in operating international golf events, has been named chief of operations for the new tour.