Storylines: Buckeyes show support, Cook named Honorary ChairmanJuly 23, 2008
PGA TOUR staff
WILL ANOTHER ALL-AMERICAN TAKE THE TITLE?? -- In a very improbable development last year, Daniel Summerhays became the first amateur in the history of the Nationwide Tour to win an event when he captured the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational in July. Summerhays, who was coming off his senior season at BYU, was one of seven NCAA Division I First-Team All-Americans who were invited and competed in the inaugural event. This year's college participants will have a tough act to follow. Vying for the title will be First-Team All-Americans Jonas Blixt/Florida State, Kevin Chappell/UCLA, Rickie Fowler/Oklahoma State, Rory Hie/USC, Sihwan Kim/Stanford, Jamie Lovemark/USC and Michael Thompson/Alabama. Fowler is the world's top-ranked amateur, according to the World Amateur Golf Ranking.
TWO-TIME WINNERS -- Colt Knost and Jarrod Lyle, the Nationwide Tour's two two-time winners, are in the field this week. Each has the opportunity to earn an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR with a third win of the season. Knost won last week at the Price Cutter Charity Championship. If either player were to win this week or next week at the Cox Classic in Omaha, Neb., it would be the earliest a player has earned an immediate promotion to the PGA TOUR in Nationwide Tour history. Heath Slocum's third victory on August 5, 2001 is the earliest date a player has won three times in a season.
JOHN COOK TO SERVE AS HONORARY CHAIRMAN -- Former Ohio State University All-American John Cook is this year's Honorary Chairman of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. An 11-time PGA TOUR winner and OSU Athletics Hall of Fame member, Cook follows in the footsteps of last year's first-year Honorary Chairman and fellow Buckeye, Jack Nicklaus. Since turning 50 last October, the Ohio native has been an active member of the Champions Tour, winning in his second start. Winless thus far in 2008, Cook has nine top-10s and is seventh on the money list. Cook, who will be competing in the Senior British Open this week, has supported the tournament's promotional efforts throughout the year.
JASON COOK RECEIVES SPONSOR EXEMPTION -- Jason Cook, son of the Honorary Chairman, received a Sponsor Exemption to compete in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. Jason played golf for Pepperdine University and since 2006 has competed on numerous mini-tours. He has three wins on the Central Florida Moonlight Tour. In 2008, he has played in three Canadian Tour events with his best finish a T38 at the Corona Mazatlan Mexican PGA Championship.
BUCKEYES' SHOW OF SUPPORT -- An impressive lineup of Ohio State legends and other sports celebrities was at the Scarlet Course on Monday for the week's kickoff event, the Safelite AutoGlass Celebrity Pro-Am. The participants included Archie Griffin, Clark Kellogg, Keith Byars, John Cooper, Greg Frey, John Hicks, Craig Kenzel, Jeff Logan, Tom Skladany and Chris Spielman, plus Dale Jarrett, Rusty Wallace and Paul O'Neill.
KYLE REIFERS / A GOLFING FAMILY FROM COLUMBUS -- Born in Columbus, Ohio, Kyle Reifers was shown the way in the game of golf by an accomplished mother and father. Both won Ohio State Amateur titles, the same event Kyle won in 2004. His father, Randy, is a member of the Ohio Golf Hall of Fame and played on the same college golf team at DePauw University as former Vice President Dan Quayle and TV analyst Mark Rolfing. Reifers, who played on the PGA TOUR last year, has three top-10s in 2008, including a T3 at the Knoxville Open. He is 29th on current money list.
NEXT WEEK -- The Tour plays its second of four straight events in the Midwest, the Cox Classic presented by Chevrolet in Omaha, Neb. Roland Thatcher captured the second of his two 2007 wins at Champions Run last July. The Classic is one of the four original Nationwide Tour events still on the schedule.
THIS WEEK IN NATIONWIDE TOUR HISTORY -- July 21, 1996 / Tom Lehman, the 1991 Nationwide Tour Player of the Year, wins the British Open at Royal Lytham and St. Annes.