|Top Collegians (original release date 7/15/09)|
Top collegians earn invitations to
Tournament officials announced today that the 2009 Golf Coaches Association of America award winners and first-team All-Americans have been invited to play in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. The third-year event continues to boast the largest number of collegiate invitations given in the history of the Nationwide Tour. The inaugural event in 2007 was won by BYU sophomore Daniel Summerhays, who became the first amateur to win on the Nationwide Tour.
"We are proud to have 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, and Associate Vice President of Strategic Sponsorships for Nationwide.
The Tournament has received verbal commitments from nine of the ten Division I PING First-Team All-Americans, including Matt Hill, 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.
Hill of North Carolina State is the second player in NCAA history - Tiger Woods of Stanford in 1996 was the other - to win his conference tournament, an NCAA regional and the NCAA Championship tournament en route to the national title since the NCAA started the regional play format. Hill won eight college tournaments during the 2008-09 school year - the previous ACC record was five in one season. Although there is no official NCAA record for most wins in a season, it is believed that Hill has now established the new mark. The remaining members of the Division 1 PING First-Team All-American Team joining Hill in the field for the 2009 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational are:
• Sophomore Rickie Fowler of Oklahoma State University is coming off a record setting freshman campaign in which he was named the winner of the 2008 Ben Hogan Award (first ever freshman recipient) and Phil Mickelson Award and competed in 11 stroke play tournaments for the Cowboys, earning top-10s in each of his first nine starts. The Murrieta, California native is the top-ranked amateur player in the country and was named a first-team All-American his first two seasons at Oklahoma State. This year Fowler has recorded four top-5 finishes, including a victory at the Aggie Invitational. He has competed in the last two U.S. Open Championships finishing T60 in his 2008 debut at Torrey Pines and missing the cut in 2009 at Bethpage Black. Fowler reported to Golfweek on June 12 the he "more than likely" will turn professional in September after competing in the Walker Cup.
The 2009 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will be played July 27 - August 2 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 players from the collegiate ranks to create a unique field of 144 of the best up and coming players in the United States.
The third annual Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will feature a purse of $775,000, the third largest on the Nationwide Tour. The Golf Channel will broadcast 9 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 presented by The Wall Street Journal played on Wednesday, July 29, 2009. The Tournament will be operated by HNS Sports Group, a full service event management 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.
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. Featuring a purse of $775,000 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.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.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 biggest stage. As the official proving ground of the PGA TOUR, two out of three PGA TOUR members are Nationwide Tour alumni. As of July 12, 2009, Tour alumni have won 250 PGA TOUR titles, including 12 majors and three PLAYERS Championships. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards and total prize money of $18.5 million will be at stake over the course of 29 events in 2009. 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 $1.3 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.
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 more than 1,000 student-athletes with a quality, life-changing experience at Ohio State.