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