RCGA and RBC announce new plans for RBC Canadian Open

OAKVILLE, Ontario, Canada - The Royal Canadian Golf Association (RCGA) in partnership with new title sponsor RBC, announced a revitalized vision for the RBC Canadian Open anchored by a long-term strategic plan and highlighted by a series of significant tournament enhancements.

The inaugural RBC Canadian Open will take place July 21-27 at the renowned Glen Abbey Golf Club in Oakville, Ont. The event will feature both onsite and offsite activities expected to bolster community interest and attract record-setting attendance. 

RBC Canadian Open

"From the moment we announced the new title sponsor on November 1st our partners at RBC were very forthright about their challenge to us that the RBC Canadian Open must be bigger and better than before," said Scott Simmons, CEO and Executive Director of the Royal Canadian Golf Association. "That means everything from the way we operate the event, our fan experience, our marketing and promotional efforts, the programming of auxiliary event enhancements and the inherent strength of our field."

"Since day one we've been working tirelessly, challenging the RCGA and ourselves on how to immediately elevate the status and prestige of Canada's national Open championship in year one, not just over the long haul," said Jim Little, Chief Brand and Communications Officer,RBC. "We see the RBC Canadian Open as a national, week-long celebration of golf; a seven to 10-day festival rather than the traditional four rounds of golf inside the ropes. This first year will be a strong step in the right direction."

A New Look and Feel

The inaugural RBC Canadian Open will feature several new enhancements designed to bolster community interest and attract record-setting attendance. Strong sponsor activation programs, upgraded corporate hospitality structures, event branding and upgraded directional signage round out what is sure to feel like a refreshed event in 2008.

New enhancements for the 2008 RBC Canadian Open include:

SCORE Awards ­ Monday July 21

Formerly operating as a separate entity to the Canadian Open, the 28th Annual SCORE Golf Awards have been officially welcomed into tournament week of the RBC Canadian Open and will kick off tournament week on Monday, July 21st in a new gala format in downtown Toronto.

PENGROWTH Championship Pro-Am Draw Party ­ Tuesday July 22nd

Attended by corporate hospitality buyers and sponsor partners playing in the Championship Pro-Am, this evening has been elevated with special guest hosts, appearances by past Canadian Open champions and the addition of a special musical guest.

Sponsor Activation Programs ­ Wednesday July 23rd through Tournament Week

RBC Canadian Open sponsors have been re-building their activation programs, both on and off-site, with a renewed focus on fan engagement and interactivity. In addition to on-site programs by Bell, Pengrowth, BMW, Molson and LG, RBC will be announcing a major, high-profile downtown Toronto activity in support of the RBC Canadian Open that will engage golf fans in advance of tournament. Additional sponsor programming announcements will follow in the coming weeks leading up to the championship.

PENGROWTH Concert Series @ the 19th hole ­ Thursday, Friday & Saturday (July 24th, 25th & 26th)

The on-site concert series will feature some of Canada's finest musical artists providing golf fans with an opportunity to enjoy the sounds of Blue Rodeo, 54-40 and Tom Cochrane right on the event grounds in a special open-air venue within the RBC Canadian Open's Spectator Village. Watch for more details on the PENGROWTH Concert Series @ the 19th hole and how fans can participate at www.rbccanadianopen.ca.

Future Host Venue Announcements

The RCGA and RBC are committed to hosting the RBC Canadian Open at the finest golf courses in the country going forward. Future host city and venue announcements will be made in the coming weeks and months that will continue to address the goal of attracting stellar talent to Canada.

The driving force behind the growth of the event is a five-year plan focused on key elements aimed at returning Canada's national championship to the premier status it once enjoyed on the PGA TOUR. Helping RBC and the RCGA create the best possible golf tournament are Canadian PGA Tour professionals Mike Weir and Stephen Ames as well as former PGA Tour player and now Special Advisor to the RCGA, Richard Zokol. The plan was recently shared with the PGA TOUR's executive team during the week of the PLAYERS and was met with extremely positive feedback.

Early Player Commitments Signal Strong Field for Inaugural RBC Canadian Open

Two-time defending champion Jim Furyk tops an early list of PGA Tour notables that have announced their early intention to compete for the 2008 RBC Canadian Open. Furyk, currently the no. 7 ranked player in the world, will be joined by proven PGA Tour veterans and a collection of up and coming young stars at Glen Abbey to challenge for the $5 million (US) purse.

"It's clearly a new era for the RBC Canadian Open and given it is the end of May we are delighted to announce that our defending champion Jim Furyk will be joined by PGA Tour stars Retief Goosen, Sean O'Hair, Fred Couples, Mark Calcavecchia, Ryuji Imada, J.B. Holmes, Boo Weekley, Jeff Quinney and Chris DiMarco as well as Canadian favourites Mike Weir and Stephen Ames," said Bill Paul, Tournament Director of the RBC Canadian Open. "In the coming weeks we will be announcing some additional names that are not only sure to please golf fans, but will be legitimate threats to challenge Mr. Furyk for Canada's national title."


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