(ISN – Ottawa, ON) – PGA TOUR Canada and Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services announced Wednesday a new name for the Ottawa-based PGA TOUR Canada event, the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops. The tournament is set to take place August 17-23 at Hylands Golf Club in Ottawa.
After being played as the Forces & Families Open in 2014, the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops will aim to engage the entire National Capital Region not only during tournament week but year-round. Like all PGA TOUR Canada and PGA TOUR events, the National Capital Open to Support our Troops will focus on having a significant community impact with an emphasis on charity.
“The Ottawa area has such a strong golf community, and we want to do everything we can to make sure the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops becomes an integral part of that community,” said PGA TOUR Canada President Jeff Monday. “With the support of Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services, we’re confident this event will continue to grow and make a strong impact in the community.”
The tournament will once again bring world-class golf to the Nation’s Capital as PGA TOUR Canada players look to make the next step on the path to the PGA TOUR. With the top five players on the season-ending Order of Merit earning status on the Web.com Tour, PGA TOUR Canada players can make progress towards playing on the PGA TOUR, just as Nick Taylor of Abbotsford, British Columbia did in going from PGA TOUR Canada in 2013 to the winner’s circle on the PGA TOUR in 2014.
Former PGA TOUR member and Ottawa native Brad Fritsch will return as the event’s Ambassador of Golf after lending his support to the event in its inaugural year. Fritsch is coming off an impressive seven-stroke victory at the Web.com Tour’s Qualifying School, where he earned exempt status for the 2015 season and will be looking to continue his solid play that included two top-10 finishes in his last three starts of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR campaign.
Doug Langton, Associate Director General, Canadian Forces Morale & Welfare Services, will serve as the Tournament Director, replacing John Randolph, who helped launch the event in 2014. Randolph will continue to support the troops, concentrating his efforts with Forces & Families in the Greater Toronto Area.
“On behalf of PGA TOUR Canada and everyone who was involved with the event last year, I would like to thank John Randolph and Forces & Families for their efforts in launching this event in 2014,” said Monday. “Doug and his team have been involved in a support role with the tournament since day one and we are extremely confident in their abilities to expand the event’s profile and impact.”
The event will continue to support the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces, part of a greater relationship between PGA TOUR Canada the Canadian Armed Forces that sees active members of the military and their families enjoy complimentary access to PGA TOUR Canada events, as well as clinics from PGA TOUR Canada players.
“Our top priority is to engage the Ottawa community and grow the National Capital Open to Support Our Troops into one of the top events in the region moving forward,” said Langton. “A PGA TOUR Canada event is a tremendous vehicle to raise support and awareness for the men and women of the Canadian Armed Forces and to drive economic activity in the area, and we look forward to seeing this event grow in 2015 and beyond.”
In addition to providing a path to the PGA TOUR for the next generation of PGA TOUR players, PGA TOUR Canada events are focused on generating economic impact and support for local charities. Last year, PGA TOUR Canada events raised more than $350,000 for charity while stimulating economic activity in and around events. A 2013 study conducted by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance at the Cape Breton Celtic Classic presented by PC Financial determined an economic impact of $2.3 million, with a recent study commissioned by the City of Thunder Bay using the CSTA’s STEAM model indicating an economic impact of $2.7 million for the 2014 Staal Foundaton Open presented by Tbaytel.
In last year’s inaugural National Capital Open to Support Our Troops, 30-year old Greg Machtaler became the first Canadian to win on PGA TOUR Canada in 2014, draining a long birdie putt on the 72nd hole to capture his first PGA TOUR Canada win by a single shot.