It’s been a subject of much discussion for many years – a better date for the RBC Canadian Open. That request will no longer be an issue as it was announced on Tuesday that beginning in 2019, the PGA TOUR event will be held the week prior to the United States Open Championship.
This follows the recent announcement that the championship will be held at the Hamilton Golf & Country Club in 2019 (and again in 2023), but officials are hoping that begins a new chapter in the history of the 114-year old tournament. Officials expect the new spot on the calendar will provide much more than an opportunity to improve the quality of the field, but to also enrich the many operational items that can potentially make it a more prominent event.
Noted on Tuesday at the media conference was the ability to attract volunteers and spectators away from the summer holiday season, an earlier date for sponsors to achieve activation success among their target audience, and of course, the ability to attract players wanting to get ready for the U.S. Open the next week, particularly those coming from outside North America.
There is no word yet on how this may affect sectional qualifying for the U.S. Open, as a site was traditionally held at in Memphis at the time of the FedEx St. Jude Classic, the event the RBC Canadian Open replaces, date wise, on the schedule.
While the 2018 RBC Canadian is unaffected and will be played on July 23-29 this year, the 2019 event will fall on June 3-9 in the PGA TOUR calendar.
“The RBC Canadian Open is one of the oldest and most-prestigious golf events in the world and we’re thrilled to start a new chapter in 2019,” said Mary DePaoli, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, RBC. “As the only Canadian stop on the Tour, the June tournament date will help enrich the experience for fans, players and all Canadians.”
In addition to the new spot on the PGA TOUR schedule, the 2019 RBC Canadian Open will also feature an increased purse, set at USD $7.6-million.
“The PGA TOUR, RBC and Golf Canada have collaborated to ensure this new date is the right fit for players and fans of the RBC Canadian Open,” said Andy Pazder, chief tournaments & competitions officer, PGA TOUR. “As title sponsor of both the RBC Canadian Open and the RBC Heritage, RBC has been a tremendous partner of the PGA TOUR, and we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to move one of golf’s most important and historic tournaments to a new date for the event starting in 2019.”
“Golf Canada is beyond thrilled by RBC’s overall support for the Canadian Open. Together with the PGA TOUR, the new 2019 date change is a clear demonstration of our combined commitment to the game and Canada’s National Open Championship,” said Laurence Applebaum, chief executive officer, Golf Canada. “This exciting change will inject tremendous energy into the RBC Canadian Open and make Canadian golf better.”