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Bob Weeks

TSN Senior Reporter

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The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada is splitting up.

The developmental circuit for aspiring professionals will operate on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border in 2021 due to restrictions in place because of the pandemic.

The new Forme Tour will hold eight tournaments in the United States for players who hold Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada status. It will operate from June to September, with the top five points earners gaining Korn Ferry Tour membership while others will advance to the second and final stages of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament. Players will also earn World Ranking Points for their finishes.

Title sponsor Forme is a wellness-technology company that designs therapeutic wearables to optimize neck and spinal alignment, correct posture and boost recovery.

The Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada will continue to conduct events across Canada for Canadian-based players. These golfers will compete to earn 2022 Mackenzie Tour status. While a schedule hasn’t been released, a number of familiar locations will host events. A schedule is to be announced in the coming weeks.

“We’ve been quietly working on this knowing that we might need a Plan B,” admitted Scott Pritchard, the executive director of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. “After the RBC Canadian Open was cancelled, we went to Plan B.

“It became increasingly clear that we needed to give players who have Mackenzie Tour status a place to compete. Since the 2019 season, they really haven’t had a place to play. We need to get players playing.”

Canadian and international golfers who have Mackenzie Tour status are eligible – and are expected – to play on the Forme Tour.

The Forme Tour will be conducted to PGA Tour standards with 72-hole tournaments at numerous sites, mostly on the East Coast. Included are stops in Alabama, at the Auburn University Club in Auburn, Ala., and the TPC River’s Bend in Maineville, Ohio. The full schedule will be released soon.

Greg Carlson, who had been running PGA Tour China, will oversee the Forme Tour.

The two-tour solution comes after last year’s cancellation of the Mackenzie Tour-PGA Tour Canada. Golfer from the U.S. couldn’t cross the border without going through a two-week quarantine, making it unappealing to even the most ardent of player.

A four–event series sponsored by Canada Life offered up a small stopgap replacement for professionals in Canada.

Earlier this month, the Canadian circuit cancelled its lone Canadian qualifying event scheduled for Courtenay, B.C.

While there is no official word, it’s believed that this format will be a one-year solution until the border closure allows more golfers to travel to Canada.