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    • Top Collegians (original release date 6/6/07)

    PRESS RELEASE

    Columbus, Ohio - June 6, 2007 -

    Top collegians earn invitations to inaugural NCHI

    Tournament officials announced today that the 2007 Golf Coaches Association of America award winners have been invited to play in the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, marking the largest number of collegiate invitations given in the history of the Nationwide Tour . Ten Division I PING First-Team All-Americans were named, including Jamie Lovemark, who also captured the Arnold Palmer Award for winning the national championship individual title and the Jack Nicklaus Award as College Player of the Year, both of which are also eligibility categories for the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational.

    Lovemark of the University of Southern California collected a forth honour when he was named the Phil Mickelson Award winner as the nation's outstanding freshmen. The Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year and conference Freshman of the Year, Lovemark burst onto the scene with three wins during his first season. He won the Pac-10 Championship, Big Ten/Pac-10 Challenge and the Oregon Duck Invitational. He finished runner-up at both the NCAA West Regional and USC Collegiate Invitational, as well as third at the Inverness Intercollegiate Invitational and the CordeValle Collegiate. Lovemark also made the cut at both the Western Open and the Buick Invitational. He was a semifinalist for The Ben Hogan Award.

    Joining Lovemark in receiving invitations to the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational are the remaining members of the Division 1 PING First-Team All-American Team:

    • Senior Rhys Davies of East Tennessee State began his 2006-07 college season with a team best 69.4 stroke average. He led ETSU to the NCAA Championships during the 2005-06 season and garnered back-to-back first-team All-American honors. Davies has competed in two Walker Cups (2003 and 2005) and was the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year.
    • Billy Horschel of the University of Florida ended his freshman campaign in 2005-06 named to the PING All-Southeast Region Team, First-Team All-SEC and to the All-SEC Freshman Team. He finished the season in a tie for 10th at the NCAA Championship and earned his first collegiate individual medal when he tied for first at the NCAA West Regional. Horschel qualified for the 2006 U.S. Open Championship and competed in the 2005 U.S. Amateur and 2004 U.S. Junior Amateur.
    • Junior Dustin Johnson of Coastal Carolina University is a two-time PING All-American. He is the all-time leader in CCU career scoring average at 72.70 strokes per round and owns the top two 54-hole totals and top two single-season scoring averages in school history.
    • University of Georgia Senior Chris Kirk was the 2005-06 SEC Player of the Year and chosen as a two time First-Team All-SEC by the league's coaches. He was name to the PING All-Southeast Region Team and was Georgia's top finisher at the NCAA Championship, placing second.
    • Niklas Lemke of Arizona State University is a Golfweek preseason second-team All-American who competed for Sweden at the World Team Amateur in South Africa. A native of Linkoping Swenden, Lemke earned honorable mention All-American honors in 2005-05 with a top-20 finish at the NCAA Championships.
    • Freshman Kyle Stanley of Clemson is the current ACC Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year. He is the first golfer in ACC history to be named ACC Player of the Year as a Freshman and was also named first-team All-ACC. He led his Clemson team with 102 birdies and is the only Tiger golfer to win a tournament in 2006-07. Stanley finished second to Lovemark at the 2007 NCAA Men's Golf Championship at the Golden Horseshoe Gold Course in Williamsburg.
    • Brigham Young University Junior Daniel Summerhays was placed on Golf World's Mid-Season All-American Team and was named Most Improved Player in 2007. He broke a course record at the Golden Horseshoe Country Club and tied an NCAA record for shooting a 60. Summerhays won three high school state golf championships, one individual state championship, as well as playing on the basketball State Championship team.

    • Brendon Todd of the University of Georgia was named First-Team All-Southeastern Conference and to the PING All-Southeast Region Team during his 2005-06 Junior year. He was the SEC Co-Freshman of the year as well as First-Team All-SEC. Todd lead his Green Hope High School golf team to a state championship in 2003.
    • Lamar University Junior Dawie Van Der Walt was selected to the First-Team All-Soutland Conference two years straight. He was a PING Second-Team All-American in 2005-06 and advanced to the quarterfinals of the 195th U.S. Amateur.  Van Der Walt was the Southland Conference Freshman of the Year and was Lamar's top finisher in five of the six tournaments he played.

    In addition, one related invitation has been extended to last year's U.S. Amateur champion, Richie Ramsay of Scotland. Ramsay was a member of the 2005 Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup teams and won the 2004 Scottish Open Amateur and 2005 Irish Stroke Play Championship. He became the first Scotsman in more than 100 years to capture the U.S. Amateur when he defeated John Kelly, 4 and 2, in the final match at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minnisota.                                                     

    The Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will make its debut on the Nationwide Tour July 12-15, 2007 at The Ohio State University Golf Club - Scarlet Course. Rated as the top collegiate golf course in the country by Golf Digest, OSU Scarlet and The Ohio State University will be on display as they host the first professional golf event in school history.  The tournament will integrate the top professionals on the Nationwide Tour with the top amateurs from the collegiate ranks to create a unique field of 144 of the best up and coming players in the United States.

    The inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will feature a purse of $700,000, the third largest on the Nationwide Tour. The Golf Channel will broadcast nine hours of prime time coverage from Thursday's opening round to the trophy presentation on Sunday. Two Pro-Am's will take place during the week, a celebrity Pro-Am on Monday featuring Ohio State University and community celebrities, and the official Tournament Pro-Am played on Wednesday, July 11, 2007.  The Tournament will be operated by HNS Sports Group, a full service event manage company headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.

    For questions concerning ticket prices and availability, how to become a volunteer, and general Tournament information please call (614) 764-GOLF or visit www.nchigolf.com


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    5/1/07


    ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE TOUR

    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 www.PGATOUR.com.

    5/1/07

     


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