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    • 2008 Honoree Chair (original release date 7/15/07)


    Columbus, Ohio - July 15, 2007 -

    2008 Honoree Chair

    Tournament Officials announced today that former Buckeye legend and Ohio native John Cook will serve as the Honorary Chairman for the 2008 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. Cook was a First Team All-American, All-Big Ten selection, letter winner and recipient of the Les Bolstad Award, given to the player with the lowest seasonal scoring average in the Big Ten, each of the three years (1977 - 1979) he was a member of the OSU golf team. He won the 1978 United States Amateur Championship while at OSU and led the Buckeyes to an NCAA Championship in 1979. He was voted into the Ohio State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1986.

    Cook turned professional in 1979 and has since recorded 11 PGA TOUR and 2 international victories. He made his second-career start on the Nationwide Tour this year, finishing tied for 8th at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open.

    "I'm thrilled to be named as the Honorary Chairman for 2008," said Cook.  "To be following Jack Nicklaus is a great honor, and for the event to be played at Scarlet is very exciting. The Ohio State University has meant a great deal to me and my family for many years. My father coached football there and my sister attended school there, so we have Ohio State in our blood."

    "The Nationwide Tour has become a proven arena for molding the PGA TOUR stars of tomorrow. Nationwide does an incredible job with their umbrella sponsorship and the Tour is very lucky to have them onboard. For Nationwide to be able to showcase their own event to Columbus is a win, win scenario and I'm extremely proud to be a part of it."


    The Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational is owned and operated by Champions of the Community, Inc., an Ohio non-profit corporation. The event is the only tournament on the Nationwide Tour to operate as an "invitational", providing a unique platform in which the best players on the Nationwide Tour will be joined by a select number of the country's top collegian/amateur golfers in a limited field of 144 players. The tournament is conducted to showcase the best golf on the Nationwide Tour on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators and to benefit charitable organizations in central Ohio. For more information, call 614-764-GOLF or visit our website at


    Nationwide, based in Columbus, OH, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $160 billion in assets.  Nationwide ranks No. 104 on the Fortune 500 list.  The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions and long-term savings plans.  For more information, visit

    Nationwide and the Nationwide Framemark are federally registered service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.  On Your Side is a service mark of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.



    As an extension of the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour identifies and transitions those select golfers whose games are ready to compete and win on golf's greatest stage.  In 2007, Nationwide Tour alumni reached the 200th PGA TOUR win milestone, which includes a grand slam of the major championships.  Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards will be at stake over the course of 32 Nationwide Tour tournaments this season, with a record $18 million in prize money available.  Recognizing this growing stature and the PGA TOUR's commitment to charity, Nationwide, one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, renewed its umbrella sponsorship of the Nationwide Tour through 2012.  The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its three tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, supports over 2,000 local charities and has surpassed $1 billion in charitable giving.  To learn more about the Nationwide Tour's rich history and the PGA TOUR's next stars, visit



    The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is completely self supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. The Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams - 17 for women, 16 for men and three that are co-educational - and is committed to providing the very finest in academic and athletics support in an effort to provide its nearly 900 student-athletes with a quality, life-changing experience at Ohio State.