Nov 20, 2007

Gretzky Brings Nationwide Tour Back To Canada

Great news for golf in Canada as Wayne Gretzky is bringing the Nationwide Tour back to Canada. It was announced yesterday The Ford Wayne Gretzky Classic will be played next June at the Georgian Bay Club and the Raven Golf Club at Lora Bay near Collingwood, Ont., which is just north of Toronto. The last time the Nationwide Tour was in in Canada in was for the CPGA Championship in 2005, played in Cambridge, Ont., and the Alberta Classic which was held in Calgary.
Gretzky is an avid golfer and plays in many pro-ams.

"Each and every year we've gone to the Nationwide event in Greenville it's just been better each and every time," Gretzky said in an interview with the Golf Channel on Monday. "That's where we came up with the concept of 'Wow, this is such a great tournament, we should do one of these in Canada."'

"What we hope to do by having this event in Canada is raise the awareness that youngsters in Canada can get to the PGA," Gretzky said. "It takes a lot of time and you have to put in a lot of effort but there are stepping stones to getting on the PGA Tour.

"The Nationwide is a nice stepping stone and hopefully my event will give it some exposure in my country."

The event will have a field of 160 Nationwide Tour players, each of whom will be paired with a celebrity or amateur player for two rounds. The pros will be playing for one of the largest purses US$800,099 - and all four rounds will be televised will be televised on the Golf Channel.

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