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NW Tour debuts '12 season in Latin America

Nationwide Tour
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The Nationwide Tour released its 2012 schedule on Thursday, featuring 27 events for its 23rd season.

The year will again begin in Latin America with events in Colombia, Panama and the debut of an event in Chile. The Chile Classic will be played in Chilean capital Santiago from Mar. 8-11. 

The first American event of the year will be the Chitimacha Louisiana Open, the traditional domestic start, played Mar. 22-25. 

The heart of the schedule will be played from June through October, with 16 events in 19 weeks. Play will begin in the Midwest, with the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open and new Indiana-based United Leasing Championship to end June. 

Several tournaments make drastic moves on the schedule. The Chiquita Classic moves from mid-July to the end of Sept. The newly-named Neediest Kids Championship will remain in the D.C. area with a new beneficiary sponsor, moving to TPC Avenel from the University of Maryland course and moving from June to Oct. The Soboba Golf Classic moves from late Sept. to early April.

The Children's Hospital Classic in Chattanooga, Tenn., will not return.

After three years at Daniel Island in Charleston, S.C., the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship moves back to TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas. TPC Craig Ranch played host to the 60-man field in 2008.

The top 25 players on the tour's money list will earn PGA Tour playing privileges in 2013. 

This season will also be the final year for the tour to have its current name. Nationwide ends its decade-long title sponsorship of the developmental circuit after 2012.