NationwideTours Washington Debut Competes with Woods


Nationwide TourMITCHELLVILLE, Md. -- The Nationwide Tour thought it would have the Washington area all to itself this summer. Then along came Tiger Woods.
The Nationwide Tour's inaugural Melwood Prince George's County Open will be played at the Country Club at Woodmore from May 24-27 -- six weeks before Woods hosts the AT&T National at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, about 30 miles away.
Preparations for the Nationwide Tour event had been under way for almost a year when the PGA TOUR announced in February that Woods was launching his tournament. The AT&T National maintains the PGA TOUR's presence in the D.C. area after the Booz Allen Classic folded last year because the title sponsor withdrew support.
'It's been somewhat of a negative for us,' Nationwide Tour president Bill Calfee said Monday at his event's media day. 'A lot of sponsors, I think, that had committed (to us) kind of pulled back and said, 'Wait a minute, now we've got this opportunity.' But I think as we've talked more about it and people get a little better feel for it, people are sort of coming back.'
The PGA TOUR owns and operates the Nationwide Tour, and Calfee said it's a coincidence the two tournaments are making their debuts within weeks of each other.
The Nationwide field of 156 golfers, which won't be determined until May 18, will compete on the par-72, 7,059-yard course at Woodmore for a purse of $600,000. The winner will take home $108,000.
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