|Top Collegians (original release date 6/5/08)|
Columbus, Ohio - June 5, 2008 -
Tournament officials announced today that the 2008 Golf Coaches Association of America award winners have been invited to play in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. The second-year event continues to boast the largest number of collegiate invitations given in the history of the Nationwide Tour. Last year's inaugural event was won by BYU sophomore Daniel Summerhays, who became the first amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour.
"We are proud to have the The Ohio State University Golf Club - Scarlet Course as our host site, and excited to continue the tradition of allowing the best collegiate players in the country the chance to compete in what we believe to be one of the best stops on the Nationwide Tour," said John Aman, President of Champions of the Community Inc., the event's host organization.
Ten Division I PING First-Team All-Americans were invited, including Kevin Chappell, who also captured the Arnold Palmer Award for winning the NCAA 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.
Chappell earned medalist honors three times this season - the NCAA Division I Men's Championships, the Pac-10 Men's Golf Championship and the PING Arizona Intercollegiate. The Pac-10 Player of the Year recorded four other top five finishes and only placed outside of the top-10 twice in 12 stroke-play events during the 2007-08 campaign. Chappell also recorded a 4-0 record at the Callaway Golf Collegiate Match Play Championship. In addition to his
Joining Chappell 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 Jonas Blixt of Florida State was the 2007 individual ACC Champion, the first Seminole to win ACC medalist honors, and earned All-ACC and All-Southeast Region All-American honors as a junior. During his senior year Blixt recorded seven top-10 finishes and helped lead FSU to the school's first-ever ACC team championship in the sport of Golf.
• Sophomore Jamie Lovemark of the University of Southern California is coming off perhaps the most successful season in USC men's golf history in which he earned the Jack Nicklaus Award, Arnold Palmer Award, was named the Phil Mickelson Award winner as the nation's outstanding freshmen and won the 2007 NCAA individual championship. Lovemark has been named to the Division I PING First-Team All-American Team for the second straight year and was a finalist for the 2008 Ben Hogan Award. He competed in the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational but failed to make the cut.
The 2008 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will be played July 21-27 at The Ohio State University Golf Club - Scarlet Course, rated as the top collegiate golf course in the country by Golf Digest. The tournament integrates 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 second annual Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will feature a purse of $750,000, the fourth largest on the Nationwide Tour. The Golf Channel will broadcast 10 hours of coverage from Thursday's opening round to the trophy presentation on Sunday. Two Pro-Am's will take place during the week, the Safelite AutoGlass Celebrity Pro-Am on Monday, featuring Ohio State University and community celebrities, and the official Tournament Pro-Am played on Wednesday, July 23, 2008. The Tournament will be operated by HNS Sports Group, a full service event management company headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.
ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL INVITATIONAL
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 www.nchigolf.com.
ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE TOUR
Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Nationwide Tour identifies those players who are ready to compete and win on golf's greatest stage. As the official proving ground of the PGA TOUR, two-thirds of the current PGA TOUR membership played on the Nationwide Tour. Tour alumni have won more than 200 PGA TOUR titles, including a grand slam and three PLAYERS Championships. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards and a record purse approaching $19 million will be at stake over the course of 30 events in 2008 concluding with the $1 million Nationwide Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch. Recognizing the Tour's growing stature, Nationwide Insurance has 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 PGA TOUR and Nationwide Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit www.PGATOUR.com.
ABOUT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT
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.