Submitted by Canadian Tour Communications
The Canadian Tour will meet the European Challenge Tour and Tour de las Americas next month for a season opening event in Rio Negro, Colombia.
Golf House, Oakville, ON (January 8, 2010) – The Canadian Tour is pleased to announce that it will join forces with the European Challenge Tour and Tour de las Americas to open its 2010 season in Colombia February 18-21 The “Abierto Internacional de Golf II Copa Antioquia” began as a TLA event last season and now reaches a new level by becoming the first tournament ever to join together the European Challenge Tour, Canadian Tour and TLA.
The new tri-sanctioned venture that brings together the top players from these three Tours is sponsored by the Government of Antioquia, which seeks to showcase the striking beauty of this area of Colombia. The tournament will provide a prize purse of US $220,000 dollars and it will be hosted by the Club Campestre El Rodeo sede La Macarena in Rio Negro, Colombia, February 18-21.
“An unprecedented international event such as this one, which brings together three top Tours, is a wonderful opportunity for us to showcase Antioquia as a world-class destination for golf and tourism. The warmth of our people and the scenic beauty of our region will make players and visitors feel more than welcomed,” said the distinguished Luis Alfredo Ramos Botero, Governor of Antioquia and a great supporter of the idea of bringing an event of this caliber to his homeland.
Founded in 1952 and located in the spectacular mountain area of Rio Negro, right outside Medellin, the 6,792-yard par-71 CC El Rodeo, sede La Macarena, is a mature and challenging course that has hosted the likes of golfing stars such as Germany’s Bernhard Langer and Argentina’s Roberto De Vicenzo.
“Our club rejoices over the arrival of such a big tournament. We are proud to break ground in Colombia and South America as the first club to host the top players from the Tour de las Americas, the European Challenge Tour and the Canadian Tour. We also take pride in providing our own Colombian pros with an opportunity to claim one of the top events played in our region,” commented the Club’s General Manager, Ricardo Garzón.
Repeating as the TLA season opening event for the second consecutive year, this tournament will bring to Antioquia a strong field of 144 players from more than twenty nations. The field will be made up of 60 Challenge Tour Members, 50 players from the TLA, 25 from the Canadian Tour 2009 Order of Merit, and 9 from Colombia.
“This event is of great importance to us, as it maintains our relationship with the European Challenge Tour,” said Henrique Lavie, Commissioner of the Tour de las Americas. “In the past, the relationship has been of great benefit to many of our members who have progressed onto the Challenge Tour and then The European Tour. We are also delighted to extend our ties with the Canadian Tour, which first joined us to co-sanction three events at the end of the 2008 season. The union of our three Tours creates a unique event, which gives TLA members and Colombian players more opportunities to advance in their careers. I would also like to thank the Governor of Antioquia, Luis Alfredo Ramos Botero, whose vision made it possible to bring this world-class event to Antioquia.”
The European Challenge Tour and the Canadian Tour have become strong TLA partners over the past few years. The Tours have joined efforts to co-sanction a grand total of thirty events between 2003 and 2009 – twenty seven with the Europeans and three with the Canadians. All of these events have allowed several TLA stars to move forward and find further success as professional players.
Alain de Soultrait, Director of the Challenge Tour, said: “We are very pleased to return to South America and continue our relationship with the Tour de las Americas. With golf due to be introduced to the Olympics in Rio in 2016 the game’s popularity in the region is sure to grow even further in the coming years, and we are pleased to play our part in that process. The event also gives our Members a great opportunity to play in winter, and I am sure they will thoroughly enjoy playing the superb course at Club Campestre El Rodeo.”
On behalf of the Canadian Tour, Commissioner Richard Janes went on to add: “The Canadian Tour is very proud of our relationship with Tour de las Americas and those TLA players who have come to play the Canadian Tour. The opportunity to meet the European Challenge Tour in competition is something that we have looked forward to for some time. This is the start of a relationship that will grow and create opportunities for years to come.”