This week its off to Central America and the BellSouth Panama Championship. For years a fixture on the Caribbean Tour, the tournament will become the first Nationwide Tour event staged in Central America. Played in Panama City, it carries a $500,000 purse and will be played at the Panama Golf Club.
The Golf Channel will again be the exclusive broadcast partner of the Nationwide Tour and will telecast 16 tournaments, 14 domestic and two international events.
Panama is one of three new events on the Nationwide Tour schedule for 2004. The others are the Scholarship America Showdown in Minnesota hosted by Tom Lehman ' himself a former Nationwide Tour Player of the Year - and the Pete Dye West Virgina Classic.
The Nationwide Tour schedule features 31 events and prize money in excess of $15.3 million.
Following the BellSouth Panama Championship, the tour will head Down Under once again for two weeks with the Jacob's Creek Open Championship in Adelaide, Australia, Feb. 19-22, and on to Christchurch, New Zealand, for the New Zealand PGA Championship Feb. 26-29.
The Nationwide Tour Championship closes the schedule Oct. 28-31.
'We are very pleased to announce a solid schedule of events that includes three new tournaments,' said Bill Calfee, chief of operations for the Nationwide Tour. 'This tour continues to grow and is arguably the second most competitive Tour in the world. We are particularly happy with our lineup of tournaments for 2004.
'Our players continue to perform at a world-class level, and 2004 promises to be another exciting and highly competitive year.'