|Unrestricted Sponsor Exemptions (7/16/08)|
Columbus, Ohio - July 16, 2008 -
Unrestricted sponsor exemptions for Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational announced
Columbus, Ohio - July 3, 2007 - With the exemption process nearing completion for the 2008 Nationwide Children's Hospital invitational, Jason Cook -- son of Honorary Chairman, John Cook -- along with Ohio State alumni Zach Doran, Stephen Gangluff and Jack Steinicke have accepted the four available unrestricted sponsor exemptions to join a field that includes commitments from the 50 leading money winners on the Nationwide Tour Money List.
A former member of the Pepperdine University Golf Team, Cook has spent time on numerous mini tours since 2006, including three wins on the Central Florida Moonlight Tour. In 2008 he has competed in three tournaments on the Canadian Tour, finishing T38 at the Corona Mazatlan Mexican PGA Championship. Cook is the son of Ohio State All-American John Cook who 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 and has recorded 11 PGA TOUR victories in his nearly 30-year professional career.
"I'm very honored to receive this exemption into the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational," said Cook. "It's the greatest feeling to have the opportunity to play in such a first-rate event. I'm excited to see how my game matches up against the best players on the Nationwide Tour and I'm also looking forward to spending some time in Columbus and playing OSU Scarlet. My dad has such a storied history there and I haven't played it since it was redesigned by Mr. Nicklaus."
A native of Dublin, Ohio, Doran was a two-time letter winner, First-Team All-Big 10 selection as a junior, and member of the 2004 Big Ten Championship team for The Ohio
State University golf team. He is currently competing on the Canadian Professional Golf Tour and finished a season-best T12 at the Iberostar Riviera Maya Open.
A member of The Ohio State University golf team from 1993-1996, Gangluff is a Marysville, Ohio native and was the 2006 Canadian Tour Order of Merit Winner and Rolex Player of the Year. He competed and made the cut in both the 2001 and 2006 United States Open Championships, to go with 15 made cuts on the PGA TOUR and four top-10 finishes on the Nationwide Tour since turning professional. As a conditional member of the Nationwide Tour in 2007 he finished T34 at the inaugural Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. Gangluff is fully exempt on the Canadian Tour in 2008 and currently ranks No. 61 in the Canadian Tour Order of Merit.
Winner of more than 100 professional golf tournaments, Steinicke was a member of The Ohio State University golf team from 1986-1989 and a letter winner for the Buckeyes during his senior season. From 1991-1993 Steinicke was a member of the Canadian Professional Golf Tour and received exempt status on the Nationwide Tour during the 1996 season. He was the Assistant Men's Golf Coach at The Ohio State University from 2001-2003 and is currently an assistant golf professional at Zanesville Country Club. Steinicke was the 2007 Southern Ohio PGA Columbus Chapter Player of the Year and has won two Southern Ohio PGA events in 2008.
"I am looking forward to being a part of such a great event," said Steinicke. "Ohio State and the Scarlet course have provided me with so many opportunities and memories over the years. I look forward to adding to these memories at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational. Receiving this exemption will give my children the opportunity to see me compete at this level, since they were young and don't remember when I played the Nationwide Tour years ago."
"Although I hope to play well, my life isn't going to change whether I play great or not," added Steinicke, who is suffering from a rare type of liver cancer and has been under going chemotherapy since diagnosed in December of 2006. "However, maybe my playing in the event will have a positive impact on a child or adult battling cancer the way that I am. Maybe a child at Nationwide Children's Hospital undergoing cancer treatments will see someone like me still living my dream and realize that they can continue to dream and do the things that make them happy. Hopefully some patient(s) will decide to live with cancer, instead of feeling like they are dying from it. That's what I choose to do."
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.
Nationwide, based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the world, with more than $161 billion in assets. Nationwide ranks #108 on the Fortune 500 list. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto, motorcycle, boat, homeowners, life, 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 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.