Champions Tour announces Montreal Championship

MONTREAL, Feb. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Synchro Sports and the PGA TOUR jointly announced a multi-year agreement today that will bring the PGA Champions Tour to Montreal, Canada.

The inaugural 54-hole Montreal Championship featuring a 78-player star-studded field will be conducted July 2-4, 2010 at Fontainebleau Golf Club. Montreal-based Synchro Sports will serve as Host Organization and tournament promoter to manage the championship.

The Champions Tour collectively has the most recognizable and accomplished players in the game, with 16 World Golf Hall of Fame Members actively competing in its events as well as golf legends that have combined to win close to 100 PGA Tour major championships. Among major champions now competing on the Champions Tour are Tom Watson, Fred Couples, Corey Pavin, Bernhard Langer, Nick Price and Mark O'Meara.

Champions Tour President Mike Stevens was accompanied at the media conference by the 2009 Champions Tour Player of the Year Bernhard Langer and two-time Champions Tour major winner Peter Jacobsen.

"We realize the strategic importance of growing the Champions Tour brand globally and establishing a strong presence in Canada," said Mike Stevens. "Following the overwhelming success of the 2007 Presidents Cup, our players are excited to be back playing in Canada and looking forward to visiting and showcasing the Champions Tour in the world-class city of Montreal."

The Montreal Championship will boast a $ 1.8 million USD purse with the winner earning $ 270,000 USD and will be broadcast to an international television audience, with both The Golf Channel and Le Réseau des sports (RDS) airing 54-hole coverage.

"Our objective is to further position the city of Montreal as an enticing tourist and golf destination and to maximize the economic benefits to the city and the province of Quebec. We have the fortitude to rely on solid corporate partners that clearly believe in the viability of this championship and whom have partnered with us in the past," explained Patrick Bibeau, President of Synchro Sports. "However, the arrival of the Champions Tour to Montreal would simply not have been possible without the support of both the provincial and federal governments."

"The Government of Canada is proud to grant $2,350,000 in funding for the marketing and promotion of Montreal Championship over a three year period. This contribution is a concrete example of our government's commitment to sustaining the vitality of Canada's communities. Having the Champions Tour take place on Quebec soil will further the international reach and reputation of Montréal, the province and the country as a whole. With the broad media coverage it is sure to attract, this event promises to draw the focus of the entire world," commented the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development. "This prestigious tournament, which comes on top of the other major sporting events to be hosted by Montréal, will help multiply the economic spinoffs generated by all of these events and further strengthen the city's reputation on the international stage."

"The Government of Québec is thrilled with the announcement of this momentous championship that will provide broad exposure as well as significant economic and social benefits for the city of Montreal," declared Ministers Lessard, Ménard and Courchesne. "Golf will become an Olympic sport beginning in 2016 and is undoubtedly an important component of the tourism industry in Quebec. Additionally, golf remains a high-level sport with Quebec youngsters taking up the game in record levels."

The Montreal Championship also marks the return to the professional sporting scene of former Montreal Canadiens President Mr. Ronald Corey, who has been named Tournament Chairman.

"This is undoubtedly one of the most significant professional golf announcements in Montreal's history and we look forward to the challenge," states Corey. "We encourage the Montreal business community to get behind this event in the way of sponsorship and assist our many worthwhile charitable partners."

"Fontainebleau's closing three holes circle around a large lake and will be the ideal stadium-like setting for a truly dramatic finish to the Montreal Championship," said David Skitt, Synchro Sports Vice-President and Tournament Director. "This is a fantastic opportunity to bring world-class championship golf on an annual basis to the loyal golf fans in Quebec," concluded Skitt.

Opened in 2003, the 7,105-yard, par-72 Club de Golf Fontainebleau, a property of ClubLink Corporation, wasted no time taking centre stage in the world of golf, playing host to the 2004 Skins game where Phil Mickelson topped John Daly, Vijay Singh and Hank Kuehne.

In order to avoid missing any of the exhilarating international golf action, fans can immediately purchase tickets to access the Montreal Championship grounds from Wednesday, June 30th through Sunday, July 4th. Tickets are now on sale through the Admission network at www.admission.com or by dialing 1-800-361-4595.

For further information on volunteer and corporate hospitality opportunities, please visit our web site at www.championstourmontreal.com

SOURCE CHAMPIONS TOUR MONTREAL

For further information: For further information: MEDIA CONTACTS: Mélany Savard, Media Relations Director, Synchro Sports, (514) 743-7023, media@synchrosports.ca; Marty Henwood, Communications Manager, Synchro Sports, mhenwood@synchrosports.ca; Simon Bachand, Attaché de presse, Cabinet de l'honorable Denis Lebel, Développement économique Canada, Cell.: (613) 996-6236, simon.bachand@dec-ced.gc.ca

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