VANCOUVER - It is a double dose of bad news, a double-bogey of sorts for Metro Vancouver golf fans.
The inaugural PGA Tour Canada schedule for 2013 will not have a Vancouver stop on it and Calgary has grabbed a late-summer Champions Tour date that a group of local businessmen had been eyeing.
Tim Garbutt of Linx Marketing, the company the PGA Tour had hoped would find sponsors for a PGA Tour Canada event in Vancouver next year, said Thursday that time has run out.
Linx is now focusing its efforts on securing sponsorship for an event here in 2014.
"It's dead and we have started focusing on 2014," Garbutt said. "We're very confident we'll be ready to go in 2014. We just didn't have enough time."
The financially strapped Canadian Tour became PGA Tour Canada last month and the PGA Tour does want a Metro Vancouver stop on its schedule.
Garbutt and Linx partner David Lee-Fay thought recently they had found a sponsor for a 2013 event.
"We pretty much had the champagne bottle ready to go," said Garbutt, whose company operates two PGA Tour Canada events in Alberta. "We thought we had it there for a while and it just fell through at the last minute. I can't really go into any more detail than that, but we were very close and we have had lots of nibbles and we've had lots of interest from golf courses, too, which is a big change from when we were the Canadian Tour."
The Canadian Tour last stopped in Metro Vancouver in 2009, when the City of Surrey Invitational was held at Hazelmere.
The news Thursday that Calgary has landed a Champions Tour event was another kick to the gut for Vancouver golf fans. A group led by former key Air Canada Championship organizer John MacNichol has long been attempting to find sponsors for a Metro Vancouver Champions Tour event.
The idea was to bring the 50-and-over circuit here the week after the Boeing Classic, the annual Champions Tour stop in Seattle. That's the very date the Calgary Sun reported Thursday that the Alberta city has landed.
The Calgary event is scheduled for Aug. 31-Sept. 2 of next year at Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club. The event still has no title sponsor, but the Calgary Sun reported a number of wealthy Calgarians are bankrolling the tournament to the tune of $10 million.
That seems a stretch as the cost of putting on a Champions Tour event, where purses average just under $2 million, would be less than half that amount.
That news out of Calgary came as a huge disappointment to MacNichol, an H.Y. Louie executive and longtime supporter of the Vancouver Golf Tour.
"Of course, I am disappointed," MacNichol said Thursday. "I'd love to have an event here. We had a couple of sponsor groups out banging the doors down and in Canada's second-largest city we couldn't find people to help us do an event."
CHIP SHOTS: Langley's Sue Kim shot a one-under 71 and was tied for 47th place at three-over par heading into Friday's third round of the 90-hole final stage of LPGA Tour qualifying school in Daytona Beach, Fla. The top 20 players will earn full cards for 2013. . .At the final stage of PGA Tour Q school in La Quinta, Calif., Merritt's Roger Sloan shot an even-par 72 and stands at one-under par through two rounds of the 108-hole event. Abbotsford's Adam Hadwin shot a one-under 71 and is one-over through two rounds. The top 25 and ties earn 2013 PGA Tour cards. It took a score of seven-under or better to be inside the top 25 after Thursday's play.
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