2020 Tyson Tour Cancelled

(L-R): Junior Tyson Tour 2019 Bantam Boys champion Logan Battersby, Girls champ Jillian Friyia, Junior Boys champ Ben Landers, Juvenile Boys champ John Orlebar. Photo: Jeffrey Reed/LondonOntarioGolf.com.

From the Junior Tyson Tour:

March 19, 2020 (London, ONT) – Today, the committee of the Junior Tyson Tour (est. 1968) announces that due to the events surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the Tour will not stage any of its scheduled 2020 tournaments.

This year was to mark the Tyson Tour’s 53rd consecutive season. Ten events were scheduled, launching with the July 6 Ingersoll Open, and finishing with the Tyson Tour Invitational championship at Sunningdale Golf and Country Club on August 26. The season was to include the annual two-day Les Thomas Memorial tournament July 27-28 at Thames Valley and Fanshawe golf clubs.

Tyson Tour convenor Steve Bennett, director of golf with the City of London municipal golf system, said with safety the Tour’s first concern, and with social distancing policies and procedures taking different forms at golf clubs in Southwestern Ontario, cancelling the season was the only choice to be made.

“The Tyson Tour committee is heartbroken over its decision, but the well-being of our junior golfers is our only concern at this time. Tournaments, from junior golf to the PGA Tour, have been cancelled around the globe, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Logistics for tournament golf are unclear at best at present, so the committee will now focus on delivering the 2021 season,” Bennett said.

Initially, the Tyson Tour had delayed registration until June 1. But Bennett said as time progressed during these unprecedented times, the committee felt strongly about making its decision now, rather than later.

Steve Bennett. Photo: Jeffrey Reed/LondonOntarioGolf.com.

“For more than half a century, the Junior Tyson Tour has provided junior golfers in Southwestern Ontario with an opportunity to compete in a tournament setting, while learning life’s lessons through golf,” Bennett added. “We are the oldest tour in Canada with organized competitive golf for kids. It’s a grassroots development to get kids introduced to competitive golf. And over the years we have awarded more than $100,000 in bursaries, including bursaries from Canada Life in 2019, and most recently support from the Golf and Club Management Program at Fanshawe College.”

In 1968, former London Free Press sports writer, Bev Tyrrell, established the tour which borrows its name from the Ty in Tyrrell, and the son part from his twin boys, Tim and Tom. When Tyrrell left for Winnipeg in 1978, he handed the Tyson Tour reigns to retired, long-time Thames Valley head professional Fred Kern. He operated the tour until 2009. Andy Shaw was convenor before Bennett took over in 2016.

Contested since 1981, the Les Thomas tournament carries the name of the former Golf Ontario director, and commissioner of London’s Public Utilities Commission in the 1970s. Like Bennett, Thomas was a huge supporter of junior golf. Mike Weir captured back-to-back Les Thomas tourneys in 1986-87.

Said Bennett, “We’ll all get through this together, and we’ll come back even stronger in 2021.”

Ed. Note: Click here  for our photos from the 2019 Junior Tyson Tour Invitational championship, and click here to read our previous story on the 2020 season.

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A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989.