New Event Ready with Jacks Help

By Pga Tour MediaJuly 11, 2007, 4:00 pm
Nationwide TourCOLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Nationwide Tour's only inaugural event, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, gets underway tomorrow at Ohio State University Golf Club's Scarlet Course in the hometown of the Tour's umbrella sponsor, Nationwide.
The Scarlet Course has been host to multiple mens and womens NCAA Division I Championships dating back to 1941, as well as last month's U.S. Open sectional qualifier. The 7,141-yard, par-72 Scarlet Course was redesigned by former OSU great Jack Nicklaus in 2006. It is Golf Digest's top-rated collegiate golf course in the U.S. Nicklaus, a Columbus native, is the tournament's Honorary Chairman.
The OSU Scarlet is no stranger to quite a few of the players who are in the field. Thirty played in either an NCAA Championship or the recent U.S. Open qualifier. A number of others have competed in other collegiate competitions hosted at the OSU course.
Seven First-Team All-Americans have accepted invitations to play this week. Heading the pack is Division I individual champion Jamie Lovemark, a freshman at the University of Southern California. Two weeks after winning the national collegiate title in early June, the Californian was a playoff runner-up to former U.S. Ryder Cup team member Chris Riley in the Nationwide Tour's Rochester, MN event. He finished T45 in last week's AT&T National on the PGA TOUR.
Lovemark is joined in the field by fellow All-Americans Chris Kirk and Brendon Todd of Georgia, Billy Horschel of Florida, Dustin Johnson of Coastal Carolina, Dawie Van Der Walt of Lamar and Niklas Lemke of Arizona State.
Nick Flanagan returns to the Nationwide Tour this week, two weeks later than expected due to a hernia operation. The Aussie will be seeking to regain the No. 1 spot on the money list he relinquished to Paul Claxton during his four weeks away from the Tour. Currently second on the money behind Claxton the 23 year-old continues his pursuit of his third win of 2007 and the automatic promotion to the PGA TOUR that comes with it. A little more than $21,000 separates Flanagan and Claxton, who assumed the top spot two weeks ago when he won the Peek'n Peak Classic.
The Tour's youngest player, Jason Day, 19, captured his first Nationwide Tour victory last week in Cleveland, making him the Tour's youngest winner and the youngest ever of a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event. Day's win in the Legend Financial Group Classic vaulted him from No. 33 to well inside THE 25 at No. 8. The previous record-holder was James Oh, who was 21 when he won the 2003 Mark Christopher Charity Classic.
History will be made this week as the Pappas brothers, Brenden, Deane and Craigen, join the Nicklaus (Jackie II, Gary and Michael) and Turnesa (Jim, Joe and Mike) families as the only trio of brothers to play in the same TOUR-sanctioned event over the last 64 years. The Nicklaus boys did so at the 2003 and '04 BMW Charity Pro-Am at The Cliffs, while the Turnesas last did so in the 1943 Chicago Victory Open.
Nationwide, which is committed to its umbrella sponsorship of the Nationwide Tour through 2012, is one of the largest diversified financial and insurance service companies in the world. Based in Columbus, it is ranked No. 104 on the Fortune 500 list.
The winner will take home $126,000 of the $700,000 purse, giving a lot of players a very good chance to move themselves up the money list and into THE 25. A top-25 finish on the final Nationwide Tour money list in November secures 2008 PGA TOUR playing privileges.
All four rounds of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational will be televised on GOLF CHANNEL.
Related Links:
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    Ortiz takes Tour clubhouse lead in Bahamas

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 16, 2018, 2:19 am

    Former Tour Player of the Year Carlos Ortiz shot a bogey-free, 4-under-par 68 Monday to take the clubhouse lead in The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic at Sandals Emerald Bay.

    Four other players - Lee McCoy, Brandon Matthews, Sung Jae Im and Mark Anderson - were still on the course and tied with Ortiz at 6-under 210 when third-round play was suspended by darkness at 5:32 p.m. local time. It is scheduled to resume at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday.

    Ortiz, a 26-year-old from Guadalajara, Mexico, is in search of his fourth Tour victory. In 2014, the former University of North Texas standout earned a three-win promotion on his way to being voted Tour Player of the Year.

    McCoy, a 23-year-old from Dunedin, Fla., is looking to become the first player to earn medalist honors at Q-School and then win the opening event of the season.

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    Randall's Rant: Can we please have some rivalries?

    By Randall MellJanuary 16, 2018, 12:00 am

    Memo to the golf gods:

    If you haven’t finalized the fates of today’s stars for the new year, could we get you to deliver what the game has lacked for so long?

    Can we get a real, honest-to-goodness rivalry?

    It’s been more than two decades since the sport has been witness to one.

    With world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and former world No. 1 Rory McIlroy at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship this week, an early-season showdown would percolate hope that this year might be all about rivalries.

    It seems as if the stars are finally aligned to make up for our long drought of rivalries, of the recurring clashes you have so sparingly granted through the game’s history.

    We’re blessed in a new era of plenty, with so many young stars blossoming, and with Tiger Woods offering hope he may be poised for a comeback. With Johnson, McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka and Rickie Fowler among today’s dynamic cast, the possibility these titans will time their runs together on the back nine of Sundays in majors excites.

    We haven’t seen a real rivalry since Greg Norman and Nick Faldo sparred in the late '80s and early '90s.

    Woods vs. Phil Mickelson didn’t really count. While Lefty will be remembered for carving out a Hall of Fame career in the Tiger era, with 33 victories, 16 of them with Tiger in the field, five of them major championships, we get that Tiger had no rival, not in the most historic sense.

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    Phil never reached No. 1, was never named PGA Tour Player of the Year, never won a money title and never dueled with Woods on Sunday on the back nine of a major with the title on the line.  Still, it doesn’t diminish his standing as the best player not named Tiger Woods over the last 20 years. It’s a feat so noteworthy it makes him one of the game’s all-time greats.

    We’ve been waiting for an honest-to-goodness rivalry since Faldo and Norman took turns ruling at world No. 1 and dueling in big events, including the back nine of multiple majors. 

    In the '70s, we had Nicklaus-Watson. In the '60s, it was Nicklaus-Palmer. In the '40s and '50s, it was Hogan, Snead and Nelson in a triumvirate mix, and in the '20s and '30s we had Hagen and Sarazen.

    While dominance is the magic ingredient that can break a sport out of its niche, a dynamic rivalry is the next best elixir.

    Dustin Johnson looks capable of dominating today’s game, but there’s so much proven major championship talent on his heels. It’s hard to imagine him consistently fending off all these challengers, but it’s the fending that would captivate us.

    Johnson vs. McIlroy would be a fireworks show. So would Johnson vs. Thomas, or Thomas vs. Day or McIlroy vs. Rahm or Fowler vs. Koepka ... or any of those combinations.

    Spieth is a wild card that intrigues.

    While he’s not a short hitter, he isn’t the power player these other guys are, but his iron game, short game, putter and moxie combine to make him the most compelling challenger of all. His resolve, resilience and resourcefulness in the final round of his British Open victory at Royal Birkdale make him the most interesting amalgam of skill since Lee Trevino.

    Woods vs. any of them? Well, if we get that, we promise never to ask for anything more.

    So, if that cosmic calendar up there isn’t filled, how about it? How about a year of rivalries to remember?

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    McIlroy: 2018 may be my busiest season ever

    By Will GrayJanuary 15, 2018, 6:28 pm

    With his return to competition just days away, Rory McIlroy believes that the 2018 season may be the most action packed of his pro career.

    The 28-year-old has not teed it up since the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in early October, a hiatus he will end at this week's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. It will be the start of a busy spring for the Ulsterman, who will also play next week in Dubai before a run of six PGA Tour events leading up to the Masters.

    Speaking to the U.K.'s Telegraph, McIlroy confirmed that he will also make a return trip to the British Masters in October and plans to remain busy over the next 12 months.

    "I might play more times this year than any before. I played 28 times in 2008 and I'm on track to beat that," McIlroy said. "I could get to 30 (events), depending on where I'm placed in the Race to Dubai. But I'll see."

    McIlroy's ambitious plan comes in the wake of a frustrating 2017 campaign, when he injured his ribs in his first start and twice missed chunks of time in an effort to recover. He failed to win a worldwide event and finished the year ranked outside the top 10, both of which had not happened since 2008.

    But having had more than three months to get his body and swing in shape, McIlroy is optimistic heading into the first of what he hopes will be eight starts in the 12 weeks before he drives down Magnolia Lane.

    "I've worked hard on my short game and I'm probably feeling better with the putter than I ever have," McIlroy said. "I've had a lot of time to concentrate on everything and it all feels very good and a long way down the road."

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    What's in the Bag: Sony Open winner Kizzire

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 15, 2018, 6:05 pm

    Patton Kizzire earned his second PGA Tour victory by winning a six-hole playoff at the Sony Open in Hawaii. Take a look inside his bag.

    Driver: Titleist 917D3 (10.5 degrees), with Fujikura Atmos Black 6 X shaft

    Fairway Wood: Titleist 917F2 (16.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Blue 95 TX shaft

    Hybrid: Titleist 913H (19 degrees), with UST Mamiya AXIV Core 100 Hybrid shaft

    Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB (4), 718 CB (5-6), 718 MB (7-9), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Wedges: Titleist SM7 prototype (47, 52, 56, 60 degrees), with True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 shafts

    Putter: Scotty Cameron GoLo Tour prototype

    Ball: Titleist Pro V1x