Panama Kicks Off Record Season on Nationwide

By Pga Tour MediaJanuary 16, 2008, 5:00 pm
Nationwide TourPONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- The 19th Nationwide Tour season gets underway next week (Jan. 24-27) at the Panama Movistar Championship in Panama, initiating a 30-tournament schedule offering a record of nearly $19 million in prize money.
 
Over 200 players who have Nationwide Tour access will compete in the season-long quest to secure one of 25 PGA TOUR cards for 2009 that will be awarded in early November to the Tours leading money winners at the season-ending Nationwide Tour Championship at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, TX near Dallas.
 
Last year in Panama, Miguel Carballo of Argentina, who gained entry into the field as the eighth and final sponsor exemption from the Tour de las Americas, overcame a five-shot deficit the last day to become the first player from Argentina to win on the Nationwide Tour. The 28-year-old received an automatic exemption to play the Nationwide Tour the rest of the year and finished 30th on the final money list.
 
Carballo and 131 other players will be vying for $600,000 in prize money at the Panama Golf Club, site of numerous winter tour events from 1950 into the 1980s which were won by the likes of World Golf Hall of Fame members Arnold Palmer, Sam Snead, Roberto De Vicenzo and Curtis Strange. A number of former PGA TOUR winners are expected to be in Panama, including Skip Kendall, Glen Day, David Gossett, Gary Hallberg, Greg Kraft, Steve Pate and Willie Wood.
 
The Tour will travel from Panama to Morelia, Mexico for the 50th playing of the Mexico Open presented by Corona, a new edition to the Nationwide Tour schedule, Jan. 31 ' Feb. 3. The Jack Nicklaus-designed Tres Marias Golf Club is the host venue.
 
The first four Nationwide Tour events will be played outside of the United
States. Following Panama and Mexico, the Tour heads to New Zealand and
Australia for the HSBC New Zealand PGA Championship and the Moonah Classic, respectively, in mid February. Both events are co-sanctioned with the PGA Tour of Australasia. Golf Channel will televise 16 tournaments in 2008,
beginning with these two.
 
The Nationwide Tours domestic schedule begins in March at the Chitimacha Louisiana Open in Lafayette, LA.
 
A number of promising young golfers between the ages of 22 and 24 who have already experienced success on the collegiate and/or amateur scene will call the Nationwide Tour home in 2008 in pursuit of their 2009 PGA TOUR card (* indicates they are currently in the fields in Panama and Mexico):
 
Matt Every: A three-time first-team All-American at the University of Floridanamed 2006 Ben Hogan Award winner as nations top collegiate golfer.Played in 2005 Walker Cup.Was low amateur (T28) at the 2005 U.S.
Open.Missed qualifying for PGA TOUR by two shots in December.Grandfather was classmates with architect Pete Dye at Rollins CollegeAge 24Resides in Jacksonville Beach, FL.Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
 
Chris Kirk: Earned first-team All-American honors his junior and season seasons at the University of Georgia.Helped UGA win the national championship in 2005.Winner of 2007 Ben Hogan Award as nations top collegiate golfer.Set team record winning seven tournaments in his college career.Age 22.Resides in Sea Island, GA.Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
 
Colt Knost: Won 2007 U.S. Amateur and U.S. Public Links Championship and was a member of that years victorious U.S. Walker Cup team in Ireland.One of only three amateurs (joining Bobby Jones/1930 and Jay Siegel/1983) to win three USGA events in the same season.Was nations top-ranked amateur when he turned pro.Played collegiately at SMUAge 22.Resides in Dallas, TX.Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
 
Spencer Levin: First-team All-American at the University of New Mexico in 2004-05 and second team the year before.Low amateur (T13) at 2004 U.S.
Open, best finish since Jim Simons in 1971A two-time winner on the Canadian Tour in 2007.Won the 2004 California State Amateur, Porter Cup and Scratch Players Championship.Middle name is Joseph, named after Joe Montana.Pitched in three California State Championship All-Star games.Age 23. Father, Don, played the PGA TOUR in the early 1980s.Resides in Elk Grove, CA.Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
 
Daniel Summerhays: Earned first-team All-American honors in 2007 at Brigham Young University.Shot a 10-under-par 60 in college event at the Golden Horseshoe GC in Williamsburg, VA.First amateur to win a Nationwide Tour event, doing so at the Nationwide Childrens Hospital Invitational last July.Accepted Tour membership and went on to make 11 cuts in 13 events.Family members with professional experience include an uncle (Bruce/Champions Tour), a brother (Boyd/Nationwide Tour) and a cousin (Carrie/LPGA).Served two-year mission in Chile in 2003-05.Age 24.Resides in Farmington, UT.Earned Nationwide Tour status as a result of winning Nationwide Tour event in July.
 
Brendon Todd: Was a four-time All-American at the University of Georgia, including first-team honors in 2007.Won SEC individual championship as a freshman in 2004.Member of UGAs national championship team in 2005.Won on the Tarheel and Hooters Tours in 2007.Age 22. Resides in Atlanta, GA.Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying Tournament.
 
Casey Wittenberg: Runner-up to Nick Flanagan in the 2003 U.S. Amateur at
Oakmont CC.Attended Oklahoma State where he earned second-team
All-American honors in 2004.Played on that years Walker Cup team..Led Hooters Tour money list in 2007 with two wins.Finished T13 in 2004 Masters as an amateur.Has competed in 12 Nationwide Tour events, making four cuts.Has made nine cuts in 22 PGA TOUR starts.Age 23.Resides in Memphis, TN....Earned Nationwide Tour status via 2007 PGA TOUR Qualifying
Tournament.
 
The youngest player on the Nationwide Tour in 2008 is D.H. Lee of South Korea, who turns 21 on April 9th. Rounding out the top 10 of youngest players this year (in order) are: Woo Joon Lee/South Korea (22), Todd (22), Knost (22), Kirk (22), Wittenberg (22), Garrett Osborn/Birmingham, AL (23), Tyler Aldridge/Nampa, ID (23), Alex Prugh/Spokane, WA (23) and Every (24).
 
Related Links
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    NCAA DI Women's Champ.: Scoring, TV times

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:50 pm

    The NCAA Division I Women's Golf Championship is underway at Kartsen Creek Golf Club in Stillwater, Okla.

    After three days of stroke play, eight teams advanced to the match-play portion of the championship. Quarterfinals were contested Tuesday morning with semifinals in the afternoon. The finals are being held on Wednesday. Golf Channel is airing the action live.

    Wake Forest junior Jennifer Kupcho won the individual title. Click here for live action, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.

    Scoring:

    TV Times (all times ET):

    Tuesday
    4-8PM: Match-play semifinals (Click here to watch live)

    Wednesday
    4-8PM: Match-play finals

    Getty Images

    Fort Worth Invitational: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

    By Golf Channel DigitalMay 22, 2018, 10:30 pm

    The PGA Tour makes the short drive from Dallas to Fort Worth and Colonial Country Club. Here are the key stats and information for this week. Click here for full-field tee times.

    How to watch:

    Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 4-7PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream

    Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.

    Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream: https://www.golfchannel.com/pgastream; CBS, 3-6 p.m.


    Purse: $7.1 million

    Course: Colonial Country Club (par 70, 7,209 yards)

    Defending champion: Kevin Kisner. Last year he defeated Jordan Spieth, Sean O’Hair and Jon Rahm by one stroke


    Notables in the field

    Jordan Spieth

    • Finished T-2, 1st and T-2 in last three starts in this tournament

    • 52 under par at Colonial last five years (best of anyone by 27 strokes in that span)

    • 100 birdies/eagles made here last five years (most of anyone in that span)


    Rickie Fowler

    • First start since missed cut at The Players

    • More missed cuts (3) than top-10 finishes (2) in 2018


    Jon Rahm at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship.

    Jon Rahm

    • Finished T-2 in this tournament last year (66 in final round)

    • 17 top-5 finishes in 46 official worldwide individual starts as professional


    Webb Simpson

    • First start since Players victory (fifth PGA Tour win)

    • Fifth on Tour in strokes gained: putting this season (177th two seasons ago)

    Getty Images

    Maguire's storied Duke career comes to an end

    By Ryan LavnerMay 22, 2018, 8:39 pm

    STILLWATER, Okla. – After losing in the quarterfinals here at the NCAA Women’s Championship, Duke coach Dan Brooks gathered his team and walked back toward the 18th hole. He wanted to get away and deliver a parting speech to senior Leona Maguire, one of the most important players in program history.

    “I feel like I didn’t say enough, and I feel like I didn’t say it right,” he said afterward. “I guess that’s inevitable when dealing with a player who has meant so much.”

    Maguire’s heralded Duke career came to an end Tuesday when she and her teammates dropped their quarterfinal match to Southern Cal, 3 1/2 to 1 1/2. Maguire did her part, winning, 1 up, against USC’s Jennifer Chang, but it still wasn’t enough.

    Maguire will go down as one of the best players not just in Duke’s storied history, but all time in college golf. She’s a two-time Player of the Year. She finished with the best scoring average (70.93) in Division I women’s golf history. She had a record 32 competitive rounds in the 60s. She spent 135 weeks at the top of the World Amateur Golf Rankings, another record.

    The 23-year-old from Ireland is the rare collegian who turned down guaranteed LPGA status to return to school to earn her degree and try to win a NCAA title with twin sister Lisa, the team’s No. 5 player. Ultimately, they never reached the championship match.

    “I wouldn’t change a thing,” she said softly outside the clubhouse. “The experiences, the memories, I wouldn’t change it for the world.”

    Maguire said that she’s turning pro soon and has a full schedule upcoming. She’ll play the ShopRite LPGA Classic and then try to capitalize on her full status on the developmental Symetra circuit.

    Asked about her potential at the next level, Brooks said that Maguire can be a future Hall of Famer.

    “She’s the hardest worker and the smartest player I’ve ever coached,” he said. “I’m really going to miss her.”

    Geoff Ogilvy and family at the 2009 WGC-Accenture Match Play. Getty Images

    Notes: Ogilvy moving family to Australia

    By Doug FergusonMay 22, 2018, 6:55 pm

    Geoff Ogilvy's immediate future involves fewer golf tournament and longer flights.

    Ogilvy has been contemplating in the last few years moving back home to Australia, and after discussing it with his Texas-born wife, Juli, they plan to return to Melbourne shortly after Christmas.

    Their daughter, Phoebe, turns 12 in October and will be starting the seventh grade in Australia. They have two sons, Jasper (10) and Harvey (8). The Ogilvys figured that waiting much longer to decide where to live would make it tougher on the children.

    ''We just talked about it, for lots of reasons, and we kept making pros and cons. Juli was strong on it,'' Ogilvy said. ''We're excited. I'm at the point where I'm not going to play 27 times a year. It's going to be brutal to play from there. But you've got to choose life.''

    Ogilvy won the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot, and he counts three World Golf Championships among his eight PGA Tour victories. He also has won the Australian Open and the Australian PGA Championship and has reached No. 3 in the world.

    His last victory was in 2014, and Ogilvy has slipped to No. 416 in the world.

    He has been dividing some of his time with a golf course design business with projects that include Shady Oaks in Fort Worth, Texas, (including a ''Little Nine'' course that opened last year), a renovation in China and a 36-hole course called Peninsula Kingwood in Melbourne.

    Ogilvy, who grew up at Victoria Golf Club, still has a home on the 14th hole of the West Course at Royal Melbourne. If he didn't move back home, Ogilvy figured he would be spending six months in Melbourne and six months in Scottsdale, Arizona.

    ''It's a feeling more than anything,'' he said. ''Scottsdale is dreamy. We live a great existence. I know what I'm getting there. If we didn't move back, we'd be a six-and-six family. The kids get out of school, and they're bounced back and forth. It's not good for continuity.''

    As for golf?

    Ogilvy narrowly kept his full PGA Tour card last year and this season has been a struggle. He hasn't sorted out what kind of schedule he would keep, understanding it would involve long trips from Sydney to Dallas.

    The immediate goal would be to play a heavy fall schedule and miss most of the West Coast swing to get acclimated to the move.

    ''And then we'll start working it out,'' he said.


    US OPEN QUALIFYING: The U.S. Open likes to consider its championship the most democratic of the majors, and it has it just about right again this year. With the addition of 23 players who became exempt by being in the top 60 in the world ranking, 77 players in the 156-man field are exempt from qualifying. That number could go up slightly with another cutoff for the top 60 the Sunday before U.S. Open week.

    The U.S. Open is the only American major that does not offer automatic exemptions to PGA Tour winners. Five such winners from this season still face qualifying, including Patton Kizzire, who has won twice (OHL Classic at Mayakoba and Sony Open). The others are Austin Cook, Ted Potter Jr., Andrew Landry and Aaron Wise.

    Kizzire is at No. 63 in the world, followed by Wise (66) and Landry (69). All have three weeks to crack the top 60.

    Until 2011, the U.S. Open offered exemptions to multiple PGA Tour winners since the previous Open. It leans heavily on the world ranking, as do the other majors. It also awards recent major champions and top finishers from the previous U.S. Open, along with the Tour Championship field from the previous year, to reward a consistently strong season.

    ''All of the tours around the world have bought into the official world golf ranking rankings,'' said Jeff Hall, the USGA's managing director of rules and open championships. ''And this provides just the right place for us to be with exemptions. We don't have to get into the weighting of one tour over another, this championship versus that event, a week-to-week event. We focus on the official world golf rankings and it seems to get us the right players for our championship.''



    FICKLE GAME: Careers can change quickly in golf. No one can attest to that as well as Michael Arnaud.

    The 36-year-old Arnaud had never finished better than a tie for fifth in his 49 starts on the Web.com Tour, and that was three years ago. His career earnings were just over $130,000. He had only made it into one previous event this year, and he wasn't in the field at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina last week until Kent Bulle withdrew on the eve of the event.

    Arnaud tied the course record with a 60 in the second round. He closed with a 63 and won by five shots.

    He won $126,000 and moved to No. 13 on the money list, giving him a reasonable chance to reach the PGA Tour if he finishes the season in the top 25.

    ''A lot of people kept pushing me when I wanted to step away from it,'' Arnaud said. ''My wife was one of those that told me to take the chance and go. Low and behold it really paid off.''


    SHINNECOCK SAVANT: Rory McIlroy is excited to get back to Shinnecock Hills for the U.S. Open, a course he already has played a few times.

    Equally excited is his manager, Sean O'Flaherty, who knows the course on New York's Long Island better than McIlroy.

    O'Flaherty spent two summers as a caddie at Shinnecock Hills.

    He went to college at Trinity in Dublin, had friends in the Hamptons and came over during the summer months in 2002 and 2003 to work as a caddie.

    ''I got to know a lot of members,'' O'Flaherty said. ''I can't wait. To me, it's the best course in the world.''


    DIVOTS: Justin Thomas won the Honda Classic on Feb. 25 at No. 4 in the world. No one from the top 10 in the world has won a PGA Tour event since then, a stretch of 12 tournaments. ... Guy Kinnings is leaving IMG after nearly 30 years to become the deputy CEO and Ryder Cup director of the European Tour. He will report directly to European Tour chief Keith Pelley. ... The LPGA tour will play in China during its fall Asia swing at the Buick LPGA Shanghai at Qizhong Garden Golf Club. The tournament will be Oct. 18-21, one week before the men play the HSBC Champions at Sheshan International in Shanghai. ... Alice Chen of Furman has been selected for the Dinah Shore Trophy, awarded to top college women who excel in golf, academics and work off the golf course. ... The Irish Open is going to Lahinch Golf Club in 2019, with former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley serving as the tournament host.


    STAT OF THE WEEK: Matt Kuchar, Peter Uihlein and Jhonattan Vegas are the only players to compete in all five Texas events on the PGA Tour this year.


    FINAL WORD: ''The sum of his shots seems to add up to slightly less than the sum of the shots from another guy.'' - Geoff Ogilvy on Jordan Spieth.