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).
 
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    Kang on cheating allegation: 'I did the right thing'

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 1:26 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Three weeks after his playing partner claimed that he “cheated” while taking an improper drop at the Quicken Loans National, Sung Kang insisted Thursday that he did nothing wrong.

    Joel Dahmen tweeted that Kang cheated after a lengthy dispute about where his ball had last crossed the line of a hazard. A PGA Tour official ruled in Kang’s favor, he made par on the hole, shot 64 and earned one of the available spots in the Open Championship.

    Kang didn’t learn of the controversy until the next day, when he received an email from a PGA Tour communications official seeking comment. He researched online what the furor was about, then issued a brief statement through the Tour (which added its own statement, saying that there was “no clear evidence” to suggest that Kang dropped incorrectly).

    Kang said he tried to clear the air with Dahmen before the first round of last week’s John Deere Classic, but they never had the opportunity to discuss their differences.

    “I followed the rules official and I think I did the right thing,” Kang told a handful of reporters Thursday following his opening round at Carnoustie, where he shot a 2-under 69 to sit three shots off the early lead.

    Kang said he was hesitant to discuss the incident with reporters, because he said there clearly was a difference in opinions. He said he’d already told his side to South Korean news outlets but that “whatever I say, some people are going to trust it and some people are not going to trust it. Then I’ve got to think about it more and more when it’s not going to help my golf game.”

    “I really want to say a lot of things about it, the truth about what happened,” he added, “but I’m not going to say anything.”

    Kang said that he wouldn’t alter his approach when dealing with rulings in the future.

    “No. Why?” he said. “I did the right thing. There’s no point in changing.”

    Getty Images

    Kisner (67) enjoying 'frat' life, soccer matches with Jordan and Co.

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:49 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The frat house tradition continued this year at The Open, with a group of seven high-profile Americans rooming together for the week, including early first-round leader Kevin Kisner.

    Kisner explained after his opening 5-under 66 that the group – which includes Jordan Spieth, Jason Dufner, Zach Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler – has spent the week talking about how demanding Carnoustie is playing and enjoying the summer weather.

    “We're out there playing soccer at night and hanging out,” he said.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    To be clear, this isn’t a proper soccer match, but instead a penalty-kick situation with all but one player taking turns trying to score.

    “I just try to smash [Dufner] in the face,” Kisner laughed. “He's the all-time goalie.”

    Although Kisner said he’s always impressed with the athletic prowess of other players, Spieth has proven himself particularly adept on the impromptu pitch.

    “Jordan scored when Duf tripped, it was hilarious,” Kisner smiled. “[Spieth] is good until he sends it over the goal four houses over, and we've got to go knock on a neighbor’s door for the soccer ball.”

    The group is actually staying in two local houses that are next to each other, one with a large enough back yard and a soccer net, but perhaps not enough soccer balls.

    “We’re going to have to Amazon Prime a couple new balls to replace the ones we lost,” Kisner said.

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    Van Rooyen continues links run with impressive 67

    By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 12:27 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For Erik van Rooyen familiarity has not bred contempt.

    The South African, like many European Tour players, has been on a links golf odyssey the last three weeks, playing the Irish Open, Scottish Open and this week’s Open Championship in consecutive weeks, and the crash course paid off on Day 1 at Carnoustie when he opened with a 4-under 67 to assure himself a spot among the early leaders.

    Although van Rooyen missed the cut last week just down the coast at Gullane Golf Club, he entered the final round in Ireland with a four-stroke lead.


    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


    “I didn't pull it off the final day,” said van Rooyen, who closed with a 74 to tie for fourth place. “I still think I played pretty well. I was nervous. That's completely normal, and I'll learn how to deal with that. I'll take that experience into tournaments like this.”

    Van Rooyen, who was alone in second place when he completed his round, began his round with back-to-back birdies and was bogey-free until the last hole. It was just what one would expect from a player who has immersed himself in links golf for the better part of a month.

    “We've been playing nice golf now the last three weeks, so definitely used to the way this course is playing, definitely used to handling the wind,” he said. “So I'll be ready.”