When the developmental circuit was formed in 1990, it was done so to provide a breeding ground for young talent on their way to the biggest stage in golf and to give those players in their late 40s a place to hone their games or re-find their form on the way to the now Champions Tour.
But the Nationwide Tour has become more than that.
Its also a place for players who are past their prime on the PGA Tour and still way too young to compete with the 50-and-overs. Its a place for them to make a living while trying to get back to the big league.
Its a place for players like Guy Boros.
Boros was a journeyman 29-year-old when he played his first full season on the Nationwide Tour in 1993. He finished 13th on the money list that year, when only the top 10 earned their PGA Tour cards.
Boros went to Q-School and qualified for the PGA Tour, and used his Nationwide experience to help him finish 76th on the money list in 1994.
Boros remained a PGA Tour regular for five seasons, winning the 1996 Greater Vancouver Open. But his two-year tour exemption ended at the end of 98, the year he finished 198th on the money list.
Using his Past Champion status, he was able to play in select PGA Tour events over the last five years; however, he spent most of his time on the Nationwide Tour, trying to regain exempt status on the regular tour.
He finally did that in 2003, when he finished 14th on the Nationwide money list. His season was highlighted by a victories in the Lake Erie Charity Classic (TGC, Beginning Thurs. at 12:30 p.m. ET), which is this weeks stop on tour, and the Dayton Open.
Boros return to the PGA Tour may be short-lived, though, as he currently resides outside the top 200 on the money list, having made only three of nine cuts this year.
It may be back to the minors in 2005.
Its not the PGA Tour, but its not a paupers tour either.
The Nationwide Tour, while catering to up-and-comers and seniors-to-be ' as well as PGA Tour vagabonds such as Boros, offers prize money in excess of $15.3 million this year, with 31 tournaments on the schedule.
This is the 14th event of the season, with a healthy $450,000 purse.
Boros wont be back to try and defend his title; hes in the field in the PGA Tours Booz Allen Classic this week, as is 2003 Lake Erie champion Patrick Moore.
This is the third edition of this tournament, which is played at the Peekn Peak Resort in Findley Lake, N.Y. Both Moore and Boros won with 275 totals. Moores winning score was 9 under, while Boros won at 13 under. Thats because the course played as a par-71 in the first year and a par-72 a year ago. Its a par-72 again this year.
In addition to the identical winning aggregate numbers, the first-round leaders each of the first two years shot 64 and the second-round leaders both years were at 134.