PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The PGA TOUR, Golf Canada and RBC announced Friday that RBC has extended its title sponsorship of the RBC Canadian Open for five years, through 2017.
Dating back to 1904, the RBC Canadian Open is tied with the Australian Open as the third-oldest national golf open behind The British Open and U.S. Open. This year marks the 103rd playing of Canada's National Open Championship. Sean O'Hair will defend his title at Hamilton Golf & Country Club in Ancaster, Ontario, July 26-29.
Since becoming title sponsor of Canada's historic national golf championship in 2008, RBC has worked closely with Golf Canada to improve the tournament in a number of areas, including the implementation of a rotation among Canada's best golf courses, increasing charitable giving and enhancing the overall experience for fans and players.
"Our sponsorship of the RBC Canadian Open has been terrific for RBC, the tournament and the communities that benefited from our charitable commitment," said Jim Little, Chief Brand and Communications Officer at RBC. "We are proud to see the tournament back in its rightful place as a prominent stop on the PGA TOUR. Golf is a key driver for our brand here in Canada and internationally, and our renewed partnership demonstrates our commitment and enthusiasm for Canada's National Open Championship."
After originally signing as title sponsor, RBC announced with Golf Canada a plan for the RBC Canadian Open to generate $5 million over five years in support of children's wellness in Canada. The tournament is well on its way to achieving this goal, having contributed more than $4.1 million dollars to various charities and community programs after the first four years. As part of this vision, the RBC Canadian Open named the Mike Weir Foundation as its National Charity Partner. Proceeds from the RBC Canadian Open will help provide a lasting legacy in both the event's host community as well as communities across the country.
"Without question, RBC's involvement as title sponsor has lent stability and growth to the RBC Canadian Open and elevated its impact through charitable giving," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "RBC, in partnership with Golf Canada, also spearheaded a plan to move the RBC Canadian Open to the best golf courses throughout Canada, which has proven to be a tremendous success and has helped to strengthen its field. We are delighted that RBC will continue to provide such a positive influence to this historic tournament in the coming years."
For Golf Canada CEO Scott Simmons, RBC's continued relationship with Canada' National Open Championship solidifies RBC's standing as a champion supporter of golf in Canada.
"RBC is playing a major role in supporting excellence in Canadian golf and we are honored to have them continue on as title sponsor of the RBC Canadian Open," said Simmons. "RBC is one of Canada's most respected corporations and as a partner in golf, their brand, strength and continued commitment to conducting a world-class event has elevated the status and prestige of Canada's National Open Championship. "On behalf of our Board of Directors, staff and Canadian golf fans from coast to coast, we thank RBC for their continued investment in Canadian golf."
Friday's announcement further solidifies RBC's significant presence on the PGA TOUR. Last June, Canada's largest bank was introduced as the new title sponsor of the RBC Heritage on Hilton Head Island, S.C. through 2016. RBC also has established Team RBC, a partnership with prominent PGA TOUR members Mike Weir, Stephen Ames, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Matt Kuchar, Jim Furyk, Anthony Kim and Fred Couples, as well as Morgan Pressel of the LPGA.