The RBC PGA Scramble has announced the cancellation of its national final, originally scheduled from Oct. 4-6 at Cabot Cape Breton in Inverness, N.S.
The decision comes as a result of ongoing travel restrictions associated with the Atlantic bubble, the recent extension of Nova Scotia’s state of emergency and continued health concerns surrounding COVID-19 across the country.
The program announced its backup plans in June, committing to a decision on the national final’s fate prior to the start of regionals.
“The safety and well-being of everyone involved in the program continues to be our top priority,” said Mary DePaoli, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for RBC.
“In conjunction with our partners, we have made the decision to move forward with our alternative plans given the information available at this time. While we share in the disappointment of players, we are pleased to proceed with an enhanced and unique regional experience for all participants,” she said.
As a result of the cancellation, the RBC PGA Scramble presented by The Lincoln Motor Company will move forward with enhanced regional events featuring over $150,000 Cdn. worth of gifting and prizing.
These prizes come in addition to the complimentary Pro-level GOLFTV subscription included with all player registrations at the local level.
“We’ve been able to leverage the funds normally put toward the national final and work with our partners to create one of the all-time greatest prizing experiences available in Canada,” said Kevin Thistle, chief executive officer of the PGA of Canada.
For the first time, all regional finalists (approx. 1,100 players) will receive one dozen Pro V1s and a Titleist hat for advancing beyond the first stage of the competition.
Prizing at regionals will be awarded to the top three teams, with first-place groups winning a $1,500 Cdn. per person online shopping experience with Titleist and FootJoy and second and third-place teams receiving a Pro Shop gift certificate at their regional venue.
The top two teams will also take home a custom leather keepsake, thanks to a collaboration between Lincoln and Nova Scotia-based Dormie Workshop.
One overall winning team will be determined by comparing score differentials (net score minus course rating) across the 11 regional finals, with the national champions taking home a 2021 RBC Canadian Open VIP Package, which includes travel, accommodations and tickets to next year’s PGA Tour event at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto in addition to the shopping spree with Titleist and FootJoy.
A draw prize for two nights’ accommodation and two rounds of golf at Cabot Cape Breton will also be awarded to one lucky team.
The RBC PGA Scramble saw record-breaking participation this season, with nearly 11,000 players taking part in 140 local qualifying events nationwide. Female participation grew 25 per cent year over year, following the creation of an all-female spot at every regional final.
The program implemented several safety protocols in response to the coronavirus pandemic, including the use of online registration and scoring to reduce touchpoints, tee-time starts, mailing prizes post-play, mandatory physical distancing and more.
“We are proud to provide an enjoyable opportunity for golfers to safely compete, especially during a time when most team sports and events are unable to operate,” said Thistle.
“We look forward to building on the enthusiasm at local qualifiers to deliver an elevated experience for participants at the next stage of the competition. We would like to thank all PGA of Canada professionals and amateur players for embracing the new safety protocols that allowed us to make this possible,” he said.
The RBC PGA Scramble Regional Final season comprises 11 events over four weeks at some of the country’s top golf courses. Historically conducted as shotgun events with a closing dinner and prize presentation, this year’s tournaments will follow a tee-time format to limit group gatherings.
The first regional final kicks off Aug. 17 at Cutten Fields in Guelph, Ont.
For a complete schedule, click here.