INVERNESS, N.S. – Excitement for this year’s PGA Championship of Canada sponsored by Mr. Lube and presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf has been building for months.
The buzz comes to a head this Monday however with 64 of the PGA of Canada’s best players teeing it up at the famed Cabot Links, in Inverness N.S., all battling for the association’s most prestigious championship and historic P.D. Ross trophy.
“I’m really looking forward to getting out to Cabot Links for this year’s PGA Championship of Canada,” said Billy Walsh, the No. 1 player from the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC. “I’ve heard nothing but incredible things from people who have been onsite at Cabot Links. It really looks to be a perfect spot for the PGA of Canada’s biggest and most prestigious championship.”
Cabot Links, which debuted at No. 2 on SCOREGolf’s 2014 Top 100 Ranking and is currently No. 42 on Golf Digest’s World’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses, is located on the western shores of Cape Breton Island in Inverness, N.S.
Nestled between the rural community of Inverness and the vast Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Rod Whitman-designed course Canada’s first authentic links layout. The natural and rugged Nova Scotia landscape—dramatic seaside, undulating terrain, sandy soil—dictates the layout of the course with every hole affording an ocean view and five holes playing adjacent to the beach.
“We are thrilled and honoured to host one of Canada’s most storied championships, the PGA Championship of Canada—an event dating back to 1912 with decorated winners such as George Knudson, Moe Norman, Lee Trevino and Arnold Palmer—that continues to produce exceptional champions,” said Cabot Links managing partner Ben Cowan-Dewar. “We look forward to watching the PGA of Canada’s top-ranked players battle it out in this compelling format—a format that greatly complements the links style of golf offered here at Cabot Links.”
Since re-launching in 2011, the PGA Championship of Canada has been contested as a match play event with players from the four brackets—Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Al Balding and Moe Norman—looking to advance through the six rounds to capture the historic P.D. Ross trophy.
However, this year’s championship at Cabot Links, which takes place June 15-18, sees a format change, with 64 top-ranked players from the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC playing two rounds of stroke play. The top-16 players from the 36-hole stroke play portion of the event will fill out the four match play brackets—Stan Leonard, George Knudson, Al Balding and Moe Norman—with the eventual champion winning four match play rounds.
“The format change for this year’s PGA Championship of Canada is bound to be an exciting one,” said the PGA of Canada’s managing director of championships and events Adam LeBrun. “We feel the players who are playing the best will ultimately make it through to the match play portion of the event where the matches will be undoubtedly tight, tough and exciting affairs.”
For first round tee times, click here.
The player who sits atop the PGA of Canada Player Rankings presented by RBC at the conclusion of the PGA Championship of Canada earns an exemption into this year’s RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont.
Currently, Walsh sits No. 1 on the player rankings with 316 points, ahead of 2014 PGA Championship of Canada winner Dave Levesque of Montreal and 2013 winner Bryn Parry of North Vancouver.
The PGA of Canada is also pleased to announce a new host club exemption into the PGA Championship of Canada starting in 2015 and continuing for all future PGA Championships under the current format. This year, Cabot Links’ PGA head professional Ryan Hawley has accepted the exemption and will tee it up.
Levesque looks to become the first back-to-back winner of the championship since Knudson won in 1976 and 1977. In 2014, Levesque bested Walsh 2-up in the final match at Uxbridge, Ont.’s, Wyndance Golf Club to become the third winner from Quebec since 2011 to capture the championship. Vincent Dumouchel won in 2011 at Cottonwood Golf and Country Club in Calgary, while Laporte won the following year at Country Hills Golf Club, which is also in Calgary.
The players who don’t make the 36-hole cut will compete in the GolfNorth Skins Game Wednesday at the historic Cape Breton Highlands Links in Ingonish, N.S.
Attendance to the PGA Championship of Canada sponsored by Mr. Lube and presented by TaylorMade-adidas Golf is free and spectators are encouraged to attend during tournament play.