News

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship sets giving record to Nationwide Children’s Hospital with $2,104,254 donation

 

Columbus, Ohio – Tournament officials announced today that the 12th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, concluded August 26, 2018, at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course, raised a total of $2,218,004 for central Ohio charitable organizations, including $2,104,254 for pediatric cancer research and treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The total marks the largest single-season charitable donation raised for the hospital in the 12-year history of the Web.com Tour Finals event and the second consecutive time the $2 million mark has been exceeded. Since its inception in 2007 the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has donated a total of nearly $11.5 million in support of the hospital’s pediatric cancer program.

 

“Every year, our corporate sponsors as well as other local and national businesses continue to support this tournament and Nationwide Children’s Hospital at record-setting levels,” said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of Marketing for Nationwide and president of the Champions of the Community, the host organization for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. “We are truly grateful for the funds they provide and the time they dedicate to support the life-saving work being done by the doctors, nurses and staff at the hospital.”

 

“Clinicians and researchers at Nationwide Children’s Hospital are advancing the field of pediatric cancer treatment and this is only possible with the support of our philanthropic partners,” said Steve Allen, MD, CEO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The commitment of Nationwide, the Web.com Tour, The Ohio State University Department of Athletics and countless volunteers allows us to care for young cancer patients now, and to make discoveries that will help families in the years to come.”

 

The tournament’s commitment to Nationwide Children’s Hospital was ensured through 2021 when in August 2017, a three-year extension of the agreement between the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and the PGA TOUR was announced that preserves the tournament as a Web.com Tour Finals event. Additionally, a three-year agreement with The Ohio State University Golf Club was announced, confirming the Scarlet Course will continue to host the tournament. 

 

The 2018 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will be held August 12–18 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course and once again be the first of three stops in the Web.com Tour Finals.

 

“On behalf of HNS Sports Group and our tournament staff, I would like to thank our partners, volunteers and The Ohio State University Golf Club,” said Tournament Director Kip McBride. “The level of support provided to this tournament is truly inspiring and we are incredibly thankful to all who graciously donate their time to support and help raise funds for charitable organizations in central Ohio. We are also excited to be able to once again kickoff the Web.com Tour Finals in Columbus. This community has some of the best golf fans on Tour and the tournament’s position in the playoff order insures that they will be treated to the best field of the year on the Web.com Tour next August.”

 

For information concerning tickets, how to become a volunteer, and general tournament news, please call (614) 764-GOLF or visit www.ncc-golf.com. Stay connected with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Twitter @NCHC_Golf, on Instagram at NCHCGolf, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NationwideChildrensChampionship.

 

 

 

 

ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is owned and operated by Champions of the Community, Inc., an Ohio non-profit corporation. The event is managed by HNS Sports Group and is one of three Web.com Tour Finals tournaments that will determine the 50 players who earn PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2019-2020 season and their eligibility position under the TOUR’s enhanced qualifying system.  Featuring a purse of $1,000,000 the tournament is conducted to showcase the best golf on the Web.com Tour on one of the most challenging venues in the world, The Ohio State University – Scarlet Course, for the enjoyment of spectators and to benefit charitable organizations in central Ohio. For more information, call 614-764-GOLF or visit our website at www.ncc-golf.com.

 

ABOUT NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2018-19 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of nearly 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.

  

ABOUT THE WEB.COM TOUR

Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Web.com Tour continues to identify those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. Web.com became the Tour’s umbrella sponsor on June 27, 2012, with a 10-year agreement in place through 2021. In 2013, the Web.com Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Web.com Tour and the season culminating at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals. This season marks the 29th year of competition on the Web.com Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 500 PGA TOUR titles, including 23 major championships and eight PLAYERS Championships. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Web.com Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Twitter (@WebDotComTour), Facebook (facebook.com/WebDotComTour) and Instagram (Instagram.com/WebDotComTour).

 

ABOUT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is completely self supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. The Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams – 17 for women, 16 for men and three that are co-educational – and is committed to providing the very finest in academic and athletics support in an effort to provide its more than 1,000 student-athletes with a quality, life-changing experience at Ohio State. 

 

ABOUT HNS SPORTS GROUP

HNS Sports Group is a Dublin, Ohio-based LLC founded in 2000. The company offers over 125-plus years of collective experience and is committed to providing professional, efficient and effective client representation in the categories of sponsorship consultation, event management, hospitality management, sales representation and tournament operation within the golf market. To learn more about HNS Sports Group, visit www.hnssports.com.

 

 

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FINAL ROUND RECAP – Robert Streb victorious in playoff

Final-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 *Robert Streb 65-68-68-71–272 (-12)
2 Peter Malnati 69-68-69-66–272 (-12)
3 Cameron Davis 69-71-67-66–273 (-11)
4 Shawn Stefani 67-72-68-67–274 (-10)
T5 5 tied at 275 (-9)

 *Won via sudden-death playoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Streb victorious in playoff at Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio –  After capturing the 36-hole lead at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, Kansas State University alum Robert Streb appeared calm and confident, remarking to media that he knew he had what it took to capture the title at the end of the week.

Streb backed up his claim with strong play in the final two rounds in Columbus, carding rounds of 68-71 on the weekend to finish the tournament at 12-under 272, enough to force a playoff with fellow PGA TOUR winner Peter Malnati. The 31-year-old would go on to par the first hole in sudden death, topping Malnati’s bogey to pick up his first win in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since the RSM Classic in 2015.

Streb, who held shares of the 36- and 54-hole lead, struggled on Sunday, parring his first two holes at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course before picking up a bogey on the par-4 third. He moved back into red numbers with birdies on his next two holes, eventually making the turn at 1-under 35, remaining atop a leaderboard that at one point saw as many as six players tied for the lead.

The Oklahoma native turned Kansas resident would hit trouble again after making the turn, bogeying Nos. 10 and 11 to drop back down in the standings.

While Streb struggled, Malnati surged, posting a 5-under 66 in the final round to move into a share of the lead. A par from Streb on the last would send the two into a playoff, the third on Tour this season and the fourth in tournament history.

The duo faced trouble off the tee on the first playoff hole, causing each to hit their second shot from the immediate rough. Streb and Malnati both landed their shots on the green, but a par putt lip-out from Malnati would ultimately be the deciding factor.

“Peter’s a good friend,” Streb commented after sinking his par putt for the victory. “We both more or less achieved what we were trying to achieve [in securing a PGA TOUR card].  I would say it was probably a little more relaxed than normal.  Could have flipped a coin, I think everybody would have been all right.  It was nice to come out on top.”

With their finishes this week, both Malnati and Streb secured a return to the PGA TOUR for the 2018-19 season.

“It’s really nice,” Streb remarked. “It’s been a pretty big struggle all year. I played a lot and was not playing well, so it’s really nice to get that knocked out the first week.  [Now I’m] just going to work on improving and get ready for next year.”

“I can’t tell you how good that feels,” Malnati said of his return. “It’s cool and, you know, I’ve never really played this game to make money, but I don’t want to have to do something else to make money, either. So to get back to the PGA TOUR, it’s just a little bit of freedom.”

Also heading to the PGA TOUR next year is 2018 Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation champion Cameron Davis.

Davis entered Sunday six strokes back of the lead, playing in the fifth-to-last grouping. The 23-year-old didn’t let that deter him, however, notching a 5-under 66 to make a jump up the leaderboard. The performance was reminiscent of his win in Nashville earlier this season, where the Tour rookie overcame a six-stroke deficit in the final round to pick up the title.

“I was in a position where I was going okay,” Davis said, “but I still didn’t really have much to lose so I just went out there knowing that if I had a good round and kind of pieced one together – there wasn’t much wind today so I wasn’t sure I was going to get as high up as I did with that score, but it kind of worked out the way it has.  It’s nice to be up near the top.”

The finish was enough to move Davis into the mix, but with several groups still on the course, the Australian was forced to sit and wait, watching the leaderboard to see if the finish would be enough to lock up a card.

“It would be nice to play the next three weeks without having to think about it,” Davis said as he waited, “but at the same time, even if I do sneak in there, I still want to play well over the next three weeks, so I wouldn’t let it get to my head or anything like that. It would be cool to celebrate knowing that I’m there if I do get in, but otherwise, I still really want to make the most of the next three events.  It’s still really big tournaments and really strong fields, so I just want to make sure I can kind of keep it going and play well the next three events.”

The solo-third finish came with a $68,000 paycheck for Davis, enough to secure the 2017 Emirates Australian Open champion a spot in The 50.

“Any good week will get you in,” Davis remarked of the Finals, “but you’ve got four of them as well, so you don’t have to do it all the first week.  If you don’t have a great week, you still have plenty of time.  So I just kept on telling myself you don’t have to rush and do it all now, but if you play really well, take what you get.  So I did end up playing really well over the last couple of days and it’s nice to be where I am.”

SATURDAY NOTES:
* Sunday weather: Scattered showers, High of 89, Winds S/SW 10-20 mph.

* This week’s purse was $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion, Robert Streb.

* This week marked the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

About Robert Streb

HEIGHT: 5-10   WEIGHT: 165
BIRTHDATE: April 7, 1987
BIRTHPLACE: Chickasha, Oklahoma
RESIDENCE: Shawnee, Kansas
FAMILY: Wife, Maggie; Daughter, Catherine; Son, David Frank
EDUCATION: Kansas State University (Marketing, 2009)
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2009

* Streb becomes the sixth 54-hole leader to go on to capture the title in Columbus since its inception in 2007, with the most recent being Justin Thomas in 2014. Streb is also the seventh straight player to win when playing out of the final Sunday grouping.

* Including the one-hole playoff on No. 18, both Streb and Malnati played the hole five times. Streb played the hole at 2-under, while Malnati played it in 4-over, including a lip-out bogey in the playoff from roughly 15 feet.

* Jonathan Byrd carded the low round of the day with a 6-under 65 to jump 40 spots from T70 to T30.

* Shawn Stefani bookended his tournament with 4-under-par 67s to claim a solo fourth finish and lock up a return to the PGA TOUR. A late birdie on No. 17 ended up being the difference for the 36-year-old. The 221-yard par-3 played as the fourth-toughest hole throughout the week, but Stefani played it 1-under.

* Leading the contingency of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica alumni in this week’s field was 2017 Nashville Golf Open champion Lanto Griffin. Griffin finished T5 with four rounds in the 60s.

* While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much money is needed to finish in the top 25 of the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards handed out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship, below is how much money the 25th man on the money list earned in each of the past two four:

2013     Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014     Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015     Rob Oppenheim                      $32,206.00
2016     Tim Wilkinson                        $27,425.00#
2017     Seamus Power                         $40,625.00            

# – denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

              Front (36)         Back (35)          Total          Cumulative

R1         35.956                34.912                70.868       

R2         36.154                35.750                71.904         71.386

R3         35.747                35.053                70.800         71.191                                                      

R4         35.987                35.000                70.987         71.140                                                      

* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour travels to Northeast Ohio for the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick, the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals. The Tour then takes a week off before traveling to Boise, Idaho, for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco and then heads to Atlantic Beach, Florida, for the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

ROUND 3 RECAP – Knous, Streb share 54-hole lead

Third-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 Jim Knous 68-68-65–201 (-12)
  Robert Streb 65-68-68–201 (-12)
3 Joseph Bramlett 70-68-65–203 (-10)
  Denny McCarthy 66-69-68–203 (-10)
5 Three tied at 204 (-9)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim Knous, Robert Streb share lead heading into final round at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio – In a round broken up by a weather delay in Columbus, Jim Knous and Robert Streb stayed one stroke clear of the field with matching scores of 12-under 201 heading into Sunday’s final round at the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Knous tied the low round of the day with a 6-under 65, while Streb maintained his 36-hole lead with a 3-under 68. Joseph Bramlett and Denny McCarthy each sit two shots back at 10-under 203.

Making his career debut in the Web.com Tour Finals, Knous was on fire from the start, birdying the first five holes to jump to the top of the leaderboard. The string of birdies matched the longest streak of his Web.com Tour career after a similar stretch in the first round at the 2017 LECOM Health Challenge.

“Five birdies in a row obviously is a dream come true,” said Knous, a Colorado School of Mines alum. “But, I mean, I was just hitting shots good, hitting shots close to the hole. There really weren’t that many long putts. The putt on No. 5 was a downhill trickler about 20 feet, so that was kind of a bonus there.”

Knous had a less eventful back nine, carding six consecutive pars before birdying the par-4 16th. Two more pars locked up the 54-hole lead, Knous’ second this season.

The father-of-one entered last week in need of a strong finish to end the Regular Season inside the top 75 on the money list to secure a Web.com Tour Finals berth.

“I mean, [last week] being on the bubble like that, [No.] 74, and knowing I needed a good finish to make the Finals and then doing it and playing well and finishing in the top 5 was huge. I was just so excited,” said Knous.

Knous is in the midst of a breakout season on Tour, with two top-five finishes already under his belt, including last week at the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. He finished the Regular Season at No. 52 on the money list, and a win on Sunday would earn him his first PGA TOUR card.

While Knous is looking to reach the PGA TOUR for the first time, Streb is contending to regain status after competing on the PGA TOUR during the 2017-18 season.

“I putted really well the first two days,” said Streb, a Kansas State alum. “It was a little wishy-washy for a few holes today, then made some coming in.  So really nice to hang in there.  We’ll see how tomorrow goes.”

After birdying No. 2 for the second time in three days, Streb bogeyed the ninth to make the turn even on the day. He turned up the heat on the back nine with birdies at Nos. 12 and 15 before punctuating his round with a 25-foot birdie on the final hole to the delight of the crowd surrounding the 18th green.

“Yeah, [I was] just trying to get a tee ball in the fairway [on No. 18],” Streb remarked. “Hit a good second shot, came up a little shorter than I was hoping for, but obviously made a long putt and, yeah, gave me a good chance [heading into] tomorrow.”

Competing in 29 TOUR events this season, the Oklahoma native made 10 cuts, picking up a top-10 finish at the Barbasol Championship (T10), where he held a share of the 54-hole lead. The 31-year-old is a former PGA TOUR champion at the 2015 McGladrey Classic.

SATURDAY NOTES:
* Saturday weather: Scattered showers, High of 80, Winds S/SW 10-20 mph.

* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.

* This week marks the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, five 54-hole leaders/co-leaders have gone on to capture the title in Columbus, with the most recent being Justin Thomas in 2014. Through 23 events this season, seven third-round leaders have been able to convert their lead into a 72-hole victory, with the most recent being Sungjae Im at last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz.

* The largest come-from-behind victory in tournament history occurred in 2009, when Derek Lamely overcame an eight-stroke deficit to take home the title (the third largest come-from-behind victory in Tour history). Entering Sunday, 29 players sit within eight strokes of the lead.

* Georgia Tech alum Seth Reeves posted a third-round 6-under 65 to tie the round of the day and move into a tie for fifth. Reeves, who had a late-season surge to earn a Web.com Tour Finals berth for the second straight year, looks to join 2018 Web.com Tour graduates and fellow Yellow Jackets Anders Albertson and Roberto Castro on the PGA TOUR next year with a strong finish Sunday in Columbus.

* After carding a T10 finish at last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open to earn a spot in the Web.com Tour Finals, Australian Curtis Luck has strung together rounds of 67-69-68 to sit at 9-under 204, just three back of the lead, heading into Sunday.

* Leading the contingency of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica alumni in this week’s field is 2017 Nashville Golf Open benefitting the Snedeker Foundation champion Lanto Griffin. Griffin sits T8 heading into Sunday, just five back of Knous and Streb.

* Two-time European Tour winner Dylan Frittelli took the biggest advantage of Moving Day, posting a 6-under 65 Saturday to jump 38 spots up to T14 heading into the final round.

* While it is difficult to estimate exactly how much money is needed to finish in the top 25 of the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards handed out at the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship, below is how much money the 25th man on the money list earned in each of the past two four:

2013     Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014     Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015     Rob Oppenheim                      $32,206.00
2016     Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft       $35,125.00#
2017     Seamus Power                         $40,625.00            

# – denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

              Front (36)         Back (35)          Total          Cumulative

R1         35.956                34.912                70.868       

R2         36.154                35.750                71.904         71.386

R3         35.747                35.053                70.800         71.191

Round 2 Recap – Streb sits atop leaderboard headed into weekend

 

Second-Round Leaderboard

 

Pos. Name Scores
1 Robert Streb 65-68–133 (-9)
2 Kramer Hickok 66-68–134 (-8)
3 Four tied at 135 (-7)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Streb sits atop leaderboard heading into weekend play at Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – It was a windy Friday in Columbus for the 12th playing of the Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, but not even the wind gusts could stop former PGA TOUR winner Robert Streb from making a statement in the Buckeye State, posting a second-round 3-under 68 to move to 9-under 133 heading into the weekend. 2017 Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada Player of the Year Kramer Hickok sits one back of Streb, followed by a host of players tied at 7-under 135.

“[It feels] a little different,” Streb said of holding the 36-hole lead. “I haven’t done too much of it this year, but it’s nice to be playing well, putting well.  Hopefully, I can keep getting some chances this weekend and see how we do.”

Streb, who entered Friday one stroke back of the lead, ran into trouble early at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course. After picking up a bogey on his opening hole Thursday, Streb ran into the same fate on Friday, carding a five on the par-4 10th (his first hole of the day).

“I hit it way left,” he said when asked what led to the error. “I got a pretty good break and just basically guessed poorly on the green firmness.  I got through the green [on my approach shot], had a tough chip, and then hit a good one.”

The mistake ended up being the only one of the day for the Kansas State University alum, who kept his scorecard clean for the remainder of the round. Birdies on Nos. 12 and 18 allowed Streb to make the turn at 1-under 34 and join a collection of players who had become bunched atop the leaderboard.

After parring the first three holes of his second nine, the father-of-three needed something big to build momentum and break away from the rest of the pack.

That something big came for Streb in the form of an eagle at the par-5 fourth.

“That was nice,” Streb remarked after the round. “I wasn’t sure if I was going to cover the bunker or not.  It covered, I had a pretty good number, and luckily, it landed soft on the green and I had a good putt at it.”

The 2012 Mylan Classic champion would go on to par his remaining five holes, ending the day with a 68.

After finishing at No. 178 in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Standings this year, Streb looks to return to the PGA TOUR with a win this week and make up for a 2017-18 season that was full of struggles. The Oklahoma native made just 10 of 29 cuts, picking up a lone top-10 finish at the Barbasol Championship (T10), where he held a share of the 54-hole lead.

Unlike Streb, Hickok’s status for next season has already been determined.

After notching four top-10s, including a runner-up, in his rookie season, the 26-year-old ended the Regular Season at No. 23, earning his first PGA TOUR card at the conclusion of last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz.

“I feel like I’m really just freewheeling it out here this week,” Hickok commented after the first round. “I feel like there’s a lot of guys that have a lot more pressure than I do, whether they’re trying to [regain] their PGA TOUR card or they’re trying to get to the PGA TOUR for the first time.  So my mentality is just way different.  I’m really relaxed and just got nothing to lose, so I’m just out there playing the best golf I can.”

That sense of freedom allowed Hickok to continue his strong play into Friday, picking up five birdies alongside two bogeys to finish the day at 3-under 68, moving to 8-under 134 for the tournament.

“It’s tough out there,” Hickok remarked. “You’ve got to be really patient. I hit the driver really well today, which allowed me to put myself in position to score, but even then you can still make a quick bogey. 

“The whole game plan is just to limit the mistakes, and I feel if you limit the bogeys, you’ll be able to shoot some low rounds out here. It’s not about making birdies; it’s not a birdie fest, so just limit the mistakes as much as you can and it seems to be helping so far.”

 

FRIDAY NOTES:

* Friday weather: Partly Cloudy, High of 81, Winds S/SE 8-16 mph.

* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.

* This week marks the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* Friday’s cut came at 1-over 143 with 75 players advancing to the weekend. Andres Romero made the biggest jump up the leaderboard with a 5-under 66 to make the cut, rising from T134 after the first round to T63 after Friday.

* Only two 36-hole leaders/co-leaders have been able to convert their lead into a victory in Columbus (Daniel Summerhays, 2007; Seung-Yul Noh, 2013). Through 23 events this year, five second-round leaders have captured a title at the end of the week, with the most recent being Sepp Straka at the KC Golf Classic.

* Leading the contingency of PGA TOUR Latinoamérica alumni in this week’s field is Sebastian Muñoz, who has already locked up his PGA TOUR card as a member of The 25. Muñoz carded a second-round 4-under 67 to move to T7, just three back of the lead.

* After a strong performance (T6) at last week’s WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz to earn his first Web.com Tour Finals berth, Curtis Luck is again inside the top 10 at T7. The former No. 1 amateur golfer in the world is looking to earn his first PGA TOUR card after a 36-hole total of 6-under 136.

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

              Front (36)         Back (35)          Total          Cumulative

R1         35.956                34.912                70.868       

R2         36.154                35.750                71.904             71.386                                          

 

* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour travels to Northeast Ohio for the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick, the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals. The Tour then takes a week off before traveling to Boise, Idaho, for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco and then heads to Atlantic Beach, Florida, for the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

Round One Recap – Norlander leads after first round witha 7-under-par 64

First-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 Henrik Norlander 64 (-7)
2 Robert Streb 65 (-6)
3 Kramer Hickok 66 (-5)
  Ben Crane 66 (-5)
  Denny McCarthy 66 (-5)

 

Henrik Norlander captures opening-round lead at Web.com Tour’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

COLUMBUS, Ohio – For some, the four-event Web.com Tour Finals series represents a chance to earn their first PGA TOUR card. For others it’s a route to return to the TOUR and personal redemption for a season that might not have been to their liking. For Sweden native Henrik Norlander, it’s a mix of both.

The 31-year-old has spent the past two seasons playing on the Web.com Tour after losing his PGA TOUR card following a rough 2016.

With his sights set on a TOUR return, Norlander wasted no time taking advantage of the opportunity, opening with a 7-under 64 at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, good for a one-stroke lead over fellow past Web.com Tour winner Robert Streb.

Norlander was dialed in from the get-go in Columbus, carding a birdie on three of his first four holes. Despite stumbling at the par-5 sixth and walking away with bogey, the Augusta University alum still put together a strong round, following up pars on Nos. 7-9 with a string of birdies on five of the first six holes on his back nine (Nos. 10-12 and 14-15).

“I hit a lot of fairways, obviously,” Norlander said of the stretch, “and then I hit a lot of iron shots.  I had 200 yards into No. 11, hit it to a foot.  Two-putted No. 12, and then hit it to seven feet maybe on No. 14, which is a hard hole. I was able to make that…  I mean it’s cliché, but I just tried to stay in the present.  I felt like I did a really good job of that today.”

The Atlanta, resident would go on to challenge the tournament record of 8-under 63 after his back-to-back birdies on Nos. 14 and 15, but a par-bogey-birdie finish would leave him one stroke shy.

“I got greedy on No. 17 and tried to go for the flag,” he remarked. “I came out of it in the bunker and I was actually shocked by how easy that bunker shot was because I was on the upslope.  Almost sort of took me out of my focus.  I thought I was going to have a really tough shot and I got up there and it was sort of easy.  I hit a pretty bad bunker shot, hit a decent putt.  It was nice to bounce back and finish with a birdie.”

In 20 Regular-Season starts this year, Norlander picked up seven top-25 finishes, including a runner-up at the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae. The performance was enough to earn him a Web.com Tour Finals berth for the sixth-straight year, but at No. 32 on the money list, it wasn’t enough for a return to the PGA TOUR. Norlander isn’t letting that stop him; instead, he feels freer than ever in his chase.

“I didn’t get in the top 25 [on the money list],” Norlander commented after his round, “which was the goal obviously for the season.  So, I tried to regroup and had three goals the next four events: try to take it a little slower, have fun and just trust everything I’m doing.  I only have an upside to play these four events.  I have full status on the Web.com Tour next year, which obviously is not my ultimate goal, but there’s only upside playing these four events.  I’m just trying to have fun.”

Streb falls into the latter of the two earlier mentioned categories as well, competing in this week’s event after finishing at No. 178 in the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Standings this season.

Trouble struck early for Streb, who carded a bogey on the par-4 first.

A wayward tee shot left the 31-year-old in the immediate rough near a tree and a rough chip out of the area led to more trouble. Streb struggled on the green, missing a putt and ultimately walking away with a bogey on the opening hole.

The former PGA TOUR winner refused to let the hole define his round, however, bouncing back with a birdie on the second hole to shift the momentum.

“The birdie on the second hole after bogeying the first,” Streb said of the bounce back, “was a nice help.  Kind of squashed that slow start, so that was good.  Kind of kept it rolling after that… You know the weather today was going to be really good, so you’re going to get some chances.  Had it been blowing 25, maybe that’s a little different, but with the good weather, if you keep hitting good shots, you’re going to get a lot of looks at it.”

Streb played clean golf after the opening hole, picking up birdies on Nos. 5 and 6 before making the turn and picking up four more on his final nine. The 66 was his lowest round in a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event since carding a 63 in the third round of the 2018 Barbasol Championship to take the 54-hole co-lead with eventual tournament champion Troy Merritt.

The Kansas State University alum has competed in this event twice before, carding a T22 finish in 2012 and ending 2013 tied for 28th. Streb credits his past experience with the course as a factor for his success on Thursday.

“It’s good,” Streb commented when asked about the Jack Nicklaus-designed course, “and this place is just a good test.  If you’re playing well, you’ll do fine, and if you’re not, you’re kind of scrambling all day.  So, it’s very fair and can be pretty tough when the wind blows and it gets bouncing.”

FRIDAY NOTES:

* Friday weather: Mostly sunny, High of 78, Winds N 5-10 mph.

* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion.

* This week marks the beginning of the Web.com Tour Finals, a four-event series that concludes at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Florida, Sept. 20-23. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft-Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* The highest start by an eventual tournament currently sits at even-par 71, with 2009 champion Derek Lamely and 2015 champion Andrew Loupe having both opened tournament play with the score. Eighty-one players currently sit at even-par or better heading into the second round.

* Only one 18-hole leader/co-leader has been able to convert their lead into a victory in Columbus (Bill Lunde, 2008). Through 23 events this year, three first-round leaders have captured a title at the end of the week, with the most recent being Martin Trainer at the Price Cutter Charity Championship presented by Dr Pepper.

* This week’s field features two past champions, Ben Kohles (2012) and Daniel Summerhayes, who won the event as an amateur in 2007. Kohles and Summerhayes both opened play with an even-par 71.

* Leading the contingency of Mackenzie Tour – PGA TOUR Canada alumni in this week’s field is 2017 Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year and Order of Merit winner Kramer Hickok. Hickok, who was one of nine Mackenzie Tour alums to receive their PGA TOUR card last week in Portland, opened with a 5-under 66 to move to T3, just two strokes back of the lead.

 

* The Ohio State University GC’s Scarlet Course scoring average:

              Front (36)         Back (35)          Total

R1         35.956                34.912                70.868                                                        

* NEXT WEEK: The Web.com Tour travels to Northeast Ohio for the DAP Championship presented by NewBrick, the second event of the Web.com Tour Finals. The Tour then takes a week off before traveling to Boise, Idaho, for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco and then heads to Atlantic Beach, Florida, for the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.

Record-setting charitable donation announced for 11th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

2017 check presentation to Nationwide Children’s Hospital – pictured left to right:
President of Champions of the Community Mike Boyd (Nationwide), and Board members
Steve Allen, MD (Nationwide Children’s Hospital) and Tom Feeney (Safelite AutoGlass)

Record-setting charitable donation announced for 11th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

 

2018 tournament dates announced

 

Columbus, Ohio – Tournament officials announced today that the 11th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, held August 28 – September 3, 2017, at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course, raised a total of $2,116,065 for central Ohio charitable organizations, including $2,004,065 for pediatric cancer research and treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The total marks the largest single-season charitable donation raised for the hospital in the 11-year history of the Web.com Tour Finals event and the first time the $2 million mark has been exceeded. Since its inception in 2007 the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has donated a total of over $9.3 million in support of the hospital’s pediatric cancer program.

 

“Once again, the level of support our partners in central Ohio and across the country continue to provide to this tournament is truly inspiring,” said Mike Boyd, senior vice president of marketing for Nationwide and president of Champions of the Community, the host organization for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. “We are incredibly thankful for our corporate sponsors and other businesses who graciously donate their time and funds to support the incredible, life-saving work being done at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”

 

“At Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we treat children with cancer from all over the world, and our pediatric cancer research is devoted to giving those children the best opportunity for healthy lives,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer, Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “Nationwide has been our longtime partner in this work, and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship – its staff and volunteers, the Web.com Tour and The Ohio State University Golf Club – help make our clinical care and research possible. Children everywhere are benefitting because of their generosity.”

 

On August 29, 2017 a three-year extension of the agreement between the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and the PGA TOUR was announced that insures the tournament will continue as a Web.com Tour Finals event through 2021. Additionally, a three-year agreement with The Ohio State University Golf Club was announced, confirming the Scarlet Course will continue to host the tournament. 

 

The 2018 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will be held August 20–26 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course and once again be the first of four stops in the Web.com Tour Finals.

 

“We’re excited to be in a position to once again kickoff the Web.com Tour Finals in Columbus,” said Tournament Director Kip McBride. “Central Ohio has some of the best golf fans on Tour and the tournament’s placement in the playoff order insures that they will be treated to the best field of the year on the Web.com Tour next August.”

 

For information concerning tickets, how to become a volunteer, and general tournament news, please call (614) 764-GOLF or visit www.ncc-golf.com. Stay connected with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Twitter @NCHC_Golf, on Instagram at NCHCGolf, and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NationwideChildrensChampionship.

Peter Uihlein secures PGA TOUR card with Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship win

Final Leaderboard

Pos. Name Score
1 Peter Uihlein 69-69-67-65—270 (-14)
2 Ryan Armour 68-68-65-70—271 (-13)
3 Andrew Landry 68-67-70-68—273 (-11)
Tom Lovelady 72-67-64-70—273 (-11)
5 Abraham Ancer 66-70-71-67—274 (-10)

Columbus, Ohio – Could it be possible that Peter Uihlein’s love for baseball led to his victory at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Sunday afternoon? Earlier this year, Uihlein played in the Shell Houston Open and finished his final round early enough to catch his favorite team, the Boston Red Sox, battle their biggest rival, the New York Yankees, in primetime.

Uihlein, who has played the European Tour the past 4 years, accomplished his goal by carding a final-round 65 at The Ohio State University’s Scarlet Course to beat local favorite Ryan Armour by a stroke. The victory was worth $180,000 and places the 28-year-old from New Bedford, Mass. on top of the Web.com Tour Finals money list with three events left.

“I got the last game, Sunday night,” said Uihlein. “Never had that in five years. I’m never home on a Sunday night after playing a round of golf on a Sunday without making a cut. First time ever, and you kind of like sit back and be like that’s pretty convenient. That kind of hit home a little bit. So I was like, I really kind of want to at least get my PGA TOUR card so I can have moments like that when I can spend a little time at home with my girlfriend and two dogs.”
“This is a proper test,” said Uihlein, referring to the Scarlet Course. “You gotta drive the ball well. You gotta hit your irons well. And it’s a shame that it rained because that first day was phenomenal for how fast the greens were, how difficult it was. You know, it changed your mindset a little bit, you need to make some birdies. But it’s not a walk in the park.”

Since he turned pro in 2011, Uihlein has flown across the pond to compete in Europe and Asia. The former Oklahoma State Cowboy had the credentials to play on TOUR being a two-time All-American and 2010 United States Amateur champion, but chose to head overseas.
“All of a sudden my first event as a pro I end up on a plane to India,” said Uihlein. “You go there for the first time, really not leaving the country very rarely, and all of a sudden you go to India, totally different. It’s a different world, different cultures. Just a different environment. You get to see things I never would have seen if I didn’t leave America.”

Uihlein arrived in Columbus No. 12 in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai. He’s enjoyed success outside the U.S. with a win at the Madeira Islands Open along with being named the Tour’s Rookie of the Year in 2013. On Saturday, he talked about wanting the chance to become a global player and this winter he’s going to get the opportunity.

“There’s so many good events now in Europe,” said Uihlein, who has made 114 starts on the European Tour. “It’s really tough. I got to sit down and look at both schedules. I just don’t know. I don’t know next year’s schedule in Europe. I haven’t looked at the PGA TOUR schedule. Right now, I don’t know where I’m going to be playing but I’m going to try and do both and see what happens.”

Armour hit his worst drive of the week on the 18th and was left with a near impossible second into the home hole. After leaving the approach 20 yards short, the former Ohio State Buckeye sailed his pitch 40 feet behind the hole and missed the par save to force a playoff.

Armour didn’t win the golf tournament, but he secured his return to the TOUR.

“Mission accomplished,” said Armour, about the runner-up performance. “The job was to get back to the TOUR, and that’s what happened. I already have a start in Napa, So, that is something that you can take as a positive, and old Scarlet here, I mean she’s tough, and I finally got a little piece of her. But the old girl is a really hard golf course.”

Tom Lovelady made a life-changing putt on the 72nd hole. Being in contention on Sunday is stressful enough without the added pressure of trying to earn your TOUR card and the 24-year-old from Mountain Brook, Ala. rose to the occasion. After hitting his approach on No. 18 to 10 feet, Lovelady drained the birdie bid and celebrated with a fist pump, knowing that was to get on TOUR next season.

“Unbelievable,” said Lovelady, who earned $58,000 for his T3 effort in Columbus. “I mean it’s what I dreamed of. You always hope it comes true. You just never know because golf’s a hard game and there are so many good players. There’s no other way to put it that it’s a dream come true, unbelievable.

Sunday Notes:
* Sunday weather: Partly cloudy. High of 77. Wind W/SW 7-14 mph with gusts up to 20 mph.
* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to Uihlein.
* Uihlein earns his first career win in his third start on Tour. It was his first start as a professional on the Web.com Tour. His previous best finish was a T9 at the 2011 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, which came as an amateur.
* Uihlein’s victory comes at age 28 years, 0 months and 5 days. Uihlein turned 28 on Tuesday of the tournament week.
* Uihlein is the second former Oklahoma State Cowboy to win in the last three weeks after Talor Gooch won the News Sentinel Open presented by Pilot three weeks ago.
* With his victory, he earns an exemption into the 2018 Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide.
* With his victory, he is the third consecutive winner of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship winner to come from at least three shots back entering the final round. He entered the final round four shots back of Ryan Armour.
* Uihlein is the second non-member to win the Web.com Tour Finals opener after Bryson DeChambeau won the DAP Championship a year ago. DeChambeau went on to win the John Deere Classic this year after earning his TOUR card through the Finals. `

About Peter Uihlein
HEIGHT: 6-2 WEIGHT: 195
BIRTHDATE: August 29, 1989
BIRTHPLACE: New Bedford, Massachusetts
RESIDENCE: Jupiter, Florida
EDUCATION: Oklahoma State University
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2011
JOINED TOUR: 2017

* Ryan Armour led the field in driving accuracy at 87.50%, hitting 49 of 56 fairways.

* Tom Lovelady, who earns his PGA TOUR card with a T3 finish, posted a career-best T3 finish after birdieing the 72nd hole. He has now posted top-10s in four of his last six starts. Lovelady, who was on Alabama’s 2013 and 2014 national championship teams, was teammates on the Crimson Tide with Bobby Wyatt and Trey Mullinax, who both got their PGA TOUR cards through the Web.com Tour a year ago. Lovelady was teammates in 2013 as well with Justin Thomas, who won the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.

* Before Lanto Griffin’s win at the Nashville Golf Open Benefitting the Snedeker Foundation after making the cut on the number, he had made the cut in just four of his first 11 starts of the season with a T19 as his best finish to that point. But Griffin’s season turned around in Nashville, and he’s now made his last 10 cuts with a victory, T6, T8 and three additional top-20s. Griffin’s T8 in Columbus is his third top-10 in his last 10 starts. Griffin moved up to 19th on the combined Regular Season and Finals money list after ending the Regular Season in 22nd to get his PGA TOUR card.

* Keith Mitchell posted his third consecutive top-10 with a T6 finish in Columbus. He held the 36-hole lead after opening with rounds of 65-67 but posted rounds of 70-73 on the weekend. His check of $34,750 would be enough to earn a TOUR card three of the last four years. Mitchell finished No. 26 on the Regular Season money list after finishing one shot shy of earning his TOUR card at the Regular Season finale in Portland.

* Five-time PGA TOUR winner Ben Crane, who is making his first Web.com Tour start since 2001, has played the TOUR full-time since 2002, but had to return to the Web.com Tour Finals after finishing No. 147 in the FedExCup standings. Crane is nearing regaining his TOUR card after a T6 in Columbus. With the T6 finish, Crane earned $34,750, which would be enough to get a Finals card three of the last four years. Crane led the field in scrambling (82.61%).

* Abraham Ancer arrived in Ohio at No. 3 on the Tour money list, just $73,233 behind Brice Garnett, but is now within $17,822 of Garnett after moving into second-place on the combined Regular Season and Finals money list with a solo-fifth place finish. It is Ancer’s sixth top-five of the season. Ancer led the field in putting average (1.591) and putts per round (26.25).

* Brett Stegmaier opened the Web.com Tour Finals with a T8 finish in his bid to return to the PGA TOUR. Stegmaier’s last trip to the Web.com Tour Finals saw him finish 13th on the Finals money list in 2015 to secure his PGA TOUR card. Stegmaier finished No. 101 in the FedExCup standings in 2016 to keep his TOUR card this season, but after finishing No. 181, he’s back at the Web.com Tour Finals hoping to return to the TOUR. Stegmaier led the field in greens in regulation (81.94%).

* 2016 U.S. Amateur Champion Curtis Luck finished T19 in his Web.com Tour debut.

* Three of the last four winners of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship – Seung-Yul Noh (2013), Justin Thomas (2014), and Grayson Murray (2016) – have won on the PGA TOUR within two years of their win in Columbus.

* Four of the top-10 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship a year ago went on to win on the PGA TOUR this year – Murray, Cameron Smith, Cody Gribble and Xander Schauffele.

* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the fifth year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years excluding The 25 from the Regular Season money list:
2013 No. 25 Bobby Gates $33,650.00
2014 No. 25 Eric Axley $36,311.66
2015 No. 25 Rob Oppenheim $32,206.00
2016 No. 25 Tim Wilkinson* $27,425.00

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled

* Scoring averages for the week:

Front (36) Back (35) Total (71) Cumulative
R1 36.531 35.608 72.138 —
R2 36.167 35.921 72.087 72.113
R3 35.521 35.141 70.662 71.629
R4 36.099 34.732 70.831 71.430

Keith Mitchell continues to build on his lead with a potential PGA TOUR card in sight

Second-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Score
1 Keith Mitchell 65-67—132 (-10)
2 Seth Reeves 70-64—134 (-8)
3 Andrew Landry 68-67—135 (-7)
4 Ryan Armour 68-68—136 (-6)
Abraham Ancer 66-70—136 (-6)

Keith Mitchell continues to build on his lead with a potential PGA TOUR card in sight at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

Columbus, Ohio – Just five days after coming up one shot short of securing his PGA TOUR card, Keith Mitchell is showing no signs of any lingering scar tissue this week in Columbus after taking the 36-hole lead by three shots at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the first of four Web.com Tour Finals events. Mitchell, who opened the day with a one-shot lead, posted a 4-under 67 in breezy conditions at the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club. At 10-under 132, he leads Seth Reeves by two for the first 36-hole lead of his career.

“I think [last week] has a lot to do with it. It’s more like a chip on my shoulder,” Mitchell said. “I’m kind of just out there, you know, just playing with 100 percent on every shot. And you know when you get that close you’re going to get just one shot away from a whole entire season of golf, you don’t really have time to just sit back and be complacent on the golf course. So we’ve been trying to really go 100 percent on every shot, no matter what the circumstances are, and it’s really paid off so far.”

It doesn’t hurt Mitchell’s cause that he’s continued to put on a ball-striking clinic and might be striking the ball better than anyone else in the field on one of the hardest courses the Web.com Tour sees each year. Through two rounds on the 7,455-yard layout, he’s hit 30 of 36 greens in regulation (second best in the field), ranks second in putts per green in regulation and has posted a field-leading 12 birdies.

“I’ve been hitting a lot of knockdown shots out there, especially in the wind,” Mitchell said. “Just keeping myself under control. A lot of times when I get a little out of whack, I swing too hard and try to hit the ball too far and too high. So really working on that and kind of controlling my distances better and it’s really paying off.”

Mitchell’s been on a tear in recent weeks with a T11, T3, and T6 in his last three starts. He even held a share of the lead after 54 holes last week in Portland and thinks the pressure of playing for a TOUR card down the stretch on Sunday last week will have him better prepared for playing with the lead this weekend.

“I just think we can handle it better now. I felt better than I ever had last week when I had the lead going into Sunday. And then after what happened, I just feel like I’m going to keep getting better and better,” Mitchell said. “So you know, it is only Friday afternoon. So we’re trying not to really feel like we’re protecting a lead or anything like that. We gotta play great this weekend. And it might feel different on Sunday having the lead, but right now just trying to make it routine.”

Reeves’ round was anything but routine, getting within one of the course record with a 7-under 64 as 20-30 mile per hour gusts swept through the golf course to get within two of Mitchell.

“I was just trying to make as many as I could. I was just like trying to go catch [Mitchell] really,” Reeves said. “I mean it was tough, but for some reason I like playing in the wind. All my best rounds this year have been in the wind, I feel like. So you kind of wake up and you see the wind and think it’s going to be a tough day, but when I get out there, I feel really comfortable in it. And just got off to a good start. Hit some good shots, some things went my way, and I’ve been putting really well, for I mean months honestly. And the ball striking has come together and that’s where the scores come from.”

Andrew Landry, who trails by three in solo third, has already locked up his TOUR card, but will nevertheless have his heart on his sleeve this weekend. Following the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, he’ll be playing for his hometown of Port Neches-Groves, Texas this weekend. The 30-year-old will be donating a percentage of his winning’s this weekend to Hurricane Harvey relief, a storm that’s had devastating implications for his brother and his family and friends that still live in in the little town outside of Beaumont, Texas.

“This is a pretty intense week with a lot of family members back home losing a lot of their stuff, and especially my brother he lost everything with the hurricane,” Landry said. “I’m playing this week, and I’m going to donate a lot of my earnings to the Harvey victims, and we’re going to try to get involved with that somehow or some way. So playing right now for Southeast Texas.”

Landry’s parent’s home was fine in the storm, but his brother wasn’t so lucky. After leaving Portland, they’re all currently staying at Landry’s residence in Austin as they await word of when they can get back into their homes.

“My brother has about six or seven feet inside his house,” Landry said. “Thankfully they didn’t lose their Suburban. It was parked at the airport. They were out in Portland with us. My parents, the same, were out in Portland with us. So their vehicles were fine. And then we’re just going to play it by ear right now. They’re not going to be able to get back into their house until maybe late next week to even see what the damage is. I know for sure they’ve got a lot of water in there.”

FRIDAY NOTES:
* Friday weather: Cloudy and breezy. Wind N 10-18 mph with gust of 20-30. High of 65.
* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to the champion.
* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.
* A total of 71 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 2-over 144.
* Tee times for the third round will be 8:00 am to 10:00 am off No. 1 & 10 in threesomes.
* This is seventh time in the tournament’s 10-year history that the cut has been over par.
* This is the sixth time in 23 events the 36-hole cut has been over par on Tour this year:
11-over The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic
4-over United Leasing & Finance Championship
2-over The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic
2-over Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship
1-over Club Colombia Championship
1-over Panama Claro Championship

* This is the third year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years:
2013 No. 25 Bobby Gates $33,650.00
2014 No. 25 Eric Axley $36,311.66
2015 No. 25 Rob Oppenheim $32,206.00
2016 No. 24 Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft* $35,125.00
2017 No. 25 ??? ???

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

* In his 40th start, Keith Mitchell holds the 36-hole lead of a Web.com Tour event for the first time. Mitchell has recorded a T11 (Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae), T3 (News Sentinel Open presented by PILOT) and a T6 (WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz) in his last three events. In that span, Mitchell has posted only one round over par (R2 – 73 – Ellie Mae Classic).

* Seth Reeves’ 7-under 64 in the lowest second-round score at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship in the 10-year history of the tournament. Reeves also tied his lowest score on Tour this season (R1 – 64 – Air Capital Classic). In 21 starts, Reeves has made nine cuts and recorded two top-10s.

* Abraham Ancer arrived in Ohio at No. 3 on the Tour money list, just $73,233 behind Brice Garnet. A solo second or better this week would place Ancer in first since Garnett missed the cut. Ancer is the only player inside the top 10 on the money list without a Tour win this season. He has recorded three runner-up performances in 20 starts this season. The first-round 5-under 66 was his lowest round at the Scarlet Course. He enters the weekend four back. In 2015, Ancer started the third round of the Nova Scotia Open in a tie for 37th place but carded weekend rounds of 64-68 to defeat Bronson Burgoon in a playoff.

* Local favorite and former Ohio State Buckeye Ryan Armour opened with 68-68, tying his lowest score on the Scarlett Course since 2009 (R4 – 68). Armour, who enters the weekend four back (T4), has missed the cut in his last six appearances in Columbus and has only broken par twice in that span. Armour played this season on the PGA TOUR and posted one top-10 in 20 starts (T4 – Wyndham Championship) and finished the season No. 160 in the FedExCup standings.

* Peter Uihlein is currently No. 12 in the European’s Tour Race to Dubai. Uihlein carded back-to-back 69s and is 4-under-par, T6, in his Web.com Tour Finals debut. In seven starts on the PGA TOUR this season, Uihlein made five cuts and posted three top-25s including a T5 at the Puerto Rico Open. Uihlein has made two appearances at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. In 2011, Uihlein recorded rounds of 69-67-70-68 for a 10-under-par score that placed him in a tie for ninth.

* Former U.S. Amateur champion Curtis Luck carded his second even-par 71 in as many rounds and is in T31 heading into the weekend.

* Leading money winner Brice Garnett posted rounds of 74-71 and missed the 36-hole cut by one stroke.

* Scoring averages for the week:
Front (36) Back (35) Total (71) Cumulative
R1 36.531 35.608 72.138 —
R2 36.167 35.921 72.087 72.113

 

KEITH MITCHELL TAKES FIRST-ROUND LEAD

First-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Score
1 Keith Mitchell 65 (-6)
2 Abe Ancer 66 (-5)
  Sam Saunders 67 (-4)
  Alex Cejka 67 (-4)
5 Nine players tied at 68 (-3)

 

Columbus, Ohio – After falling just one-shot shy of securing his PGA TOUR card a week ago in Portland, Keith Mitchell showed no signs of an emotional hangover Thursday with an opening round 6-under 65 to grab the first-round lead by one over Abraham Ancer at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. With 25 more PGA TOUR cards on the line over the course of the four-event Web.com Tour Finals, Mitchell knows he can easily atone for coming up shy as the No. 26 guy on the Regular Season money list, and that rebound started with seven birdies and a bogey at the Scarlet Course at The Ohio State University Golf Club.

“I mean the new system gives us a huge chance. I mean once you finish 26-75, everybody starts fresh,” Mitchell said. “That can be a good thing or a bad thing, but this week we’re trying to look at it as a good thing. We’re here, and if we play good like we’ve been playing the last couple of weeks, I don’t think last week is going to matter at all.”

That doesn’t mean it was any easier to sleep Sunday night. After failing to make birdie on any of the last three holes, he estimated he only slept about 45 minutes with the replays continually running through his head and in front of him on his TV.

“I stayed up all night until 5 AM watching the coverage. I think I was hoping maybe the guy out there would do something different,” Mitchell said. “I didn’t really sleep at all that night, thinking about it and all the scenarios that could have happened, but I think it’s good for me in the long run. There’s no way that I could learn that or teach that unless something like that happened.”

He thought about the missed six-footer for birdie at the 16th and the 20-foot putt that came up just one revolution shy for birdie at 17. He thought about the 72nd hole, too, where he thought he needed an eagle at the last to get his TOUR card and subsequently tried to hole the chip, when he only needed a birdie to secure 25th TOUR card handed out.

“I knew I couldn’t dwell on it because I still have a great opportunity to get my PGA TOUR card. I know I’m playing well, and I have four weeks to do it. So, I tried to focus on that as much as I could. Yes, everyone wants a putt to go to the PGA TOUR, and unfortunately not only did I miss it but I didn’t know it was to go to the TOUR. But now I have four more tournaments, so if I play like I’m playing I’ll give myself plenty more chances.”

Mitchell gave himself plenty of chances Thursday after opening with a bogey at the second. On the day, he hit 16 of 18 greens. With three more ball-striking days like that, he could have the immediate vengeance he seeks come Sunday.

“It was a nice round,” Mitchell said. “Pete, my caddie, is always staying positive out there, and I needed that today. I really hit it well and was pretty stress free. Didn’t have any par putts outside a couple feet. So I was very fortunate to get some good breaks and just execute what I needed to do.”

If Mitchell’s looking for an example of the model he hopes to emulate, he need look no further than Xander Schauffele, who finished in 26th on the 2016 Regular Season money list but secured his TOUR card in the Finals here in Columbus with a T9 finish and went on to win on TOUR this season.

Fresh off back-to-back top-10s, Mitchell feels like his game is in prime position to follow Schauffele’s example in not letting the Regular Season bubble define his year.

“It’s kind of easing a little bit just knowing that you still have a chance,” Mitchell said. “I mean I’m playing the best I’ve played in a while coming into this week. So, I’m just trying to float on that.”

Ancer, who opened with a bogey-free 5-under 66, arrives on the heels of his third runner-up of the season – and fifth top-five.

“Felt great. The course is in awesome shape,” Ancer said. “The game plan was to hit as many fairways as possible and then really be very disciplined with the second shots. The greens are firm out there. So, you can’t really short side yourself. So, I was able to do that for the most part and made some putts on both sides. So, it was a pretty solid round, not many mistakes. So, I’m pretty happy.”

Sam Saunders and Alex Cejka opened with 4-under 67s to jump into a share of third after one round.

THURSDAY NOTES:

* Thursday weather: Mostly sunny. Wind N 8-16 mph. High of 78.

* This week’s purse is $1M with $180,000 awarded to the champion.

* This is the first tournament in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Sept. 25-Oct. 1. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded last week following the WinCo Foods Portland Open presented by Kraft Heinz. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the third year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to estimate exactly how much money it will take to finish in the top-25 on the Finals money list and collect one of the remaining 25 PGA TOUR cards that will be handed out in a few weeks.

Here’s how much money the No. 25 man on the money list earned in each of the past two years:
2013    No. 25 Bobby Gates                            $33,650.00
2014    No. 25 Eric Axley                               $36,311.66
2015    No. 25 Rob Oppenheim                                   $32,206.00
2016    No. 24 Cody Gribble/Kelly Kraft*          $35,125.00
2017    No. 25 ???                  ???

*denotes three events played (Web.com Tour Championship was cancelled)

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship extends agreement with Web.com Tour for additional three years

Tournament will continue as Finals event at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course

Columbus, Ohio – Tournament Officials announced today a three-year extension of the agreement between the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and the PGA TOUR that insures the tournament will continue as a Web.com Tour Finals event through 2021. Additionally, a three-year agreement with The Ohio State University Golf Club was announced, confirming the Scarlet Course will continue to host the tournament.

“Since the first tournament in 2007, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has developed into one of the Web.com Tour’s finest events, setting high standards in tournament hosting, corporate community involvement, and most importantly, the impact of charitable dollars to Nationwide Children’s Hospital,” said Dan Glod, President of the Web.com Tour. “Today’s announcement about the three-year extensions with Champions of the Community and The Ohio State University ensure the community impact will remain in place and the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will play a pivotal role in determining who earns PGA TOUR cards through 2021.”

“We are thrilled that this tournament will continue to be played in Columbus at The Ohio State University Golf Club,” said Mike Boyd, president of the tournament’s host organization, Champions of the Community. “This event allows central Ohio golf fans to see the future stars of the PGA TOUR play in their hometown. It also brings awareness about the work being done at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and raises much-needed funds which allow the hospital to fulfill its mission of providing world-class health care for every child that walks through the door, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.”

Since its inception in 2007, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has been a leader in generating charity dollars on the Web.com Tour. Through 2016, the event has raised more than $7.3 million in support of the pediatric cancer program for its primary beneficiary, Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

The tournament proudly announced record-high donations to Nationwide Children’s Hospital the past four years, topping the one million dollar mark for the first time in 2014. Donations the past years have grown from $1,003,769 in 2014, to $1,253,322 in 2015, to $1,604,500 last year. Thanks to the continued corporate and community support, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is poised yet again to raise the charity bar and significantly increase the donations to the Hospital.

“Nationwide Children’s Hospital is thankful that the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, PGA TOUR and The Ohio State University have again decided to continue to bring a highly competitive golf tournament to central Ohio,” said Steve Allen, MD, chief executive officer of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. “The tournament and community’s support of our pediatric cancer program for more than a decade has been evident with the record-breaking donations during the past four years of play. The tournament’s ongoing commitment plays a significant role in helping to raise vital awareness of the hospital’s mission to help children from all over the world.”

Together with the tournament’s charity focus, the other constant for the event will be the host venue, The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course. The Scarlet Course has played host to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship from its inception and remains one of the truest tests of golf on the Web.com Tour. The Ohio State University Golf Club is also the only site to have hosted a Finals event since the Web.com Tour initiated the four-tournament Finals in 2013.

“We congratulate the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on the tournament’s new agreement,” said Gene Smith, vice president and director of athletics at The Ohio State University. “We are proud that The Ohio State University Golf Club and the Scarlet Course will continue to serve as host site, not only for the exposure the tournament provides what we believe are the best golf facilities in the collegiate community, but most importantly because we enjoy being partners with an event that does so much for charity, principally Nationwide Children’s Hospital, an organization that has enjoyed a longtime academic relationship with The Ohio State University Medical Center. It is a privilege to be a part of such a great cause.”

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is managed by HNS Sports Group, a full service event management company headquartered in Dublin, Ohio.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship was played as an invitational from 2007 to 2012. The tournament debuted as a Finals event in 2013 when the Web.com Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR and began awarding all 50 cards for the following PGA TOUR season. Previously, 25 cards were awarded to the leading money winners on the Web.com Tour at season’s end and 25 more cards via the PGA TOUR Qualifying School in December. The PGA TOUR Qualifying School is no longer in existence, having been replaced by the Web.com Tour Qualifying School, which provides a first step on the path to the PGA TOUR.

The 11th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship begins this Thursday, August 31, as the first of four Finals events and will feature a blended field of the top 75 players from the Web.com Tour this year and players from the PGA TOUR finishing Nos. 126 – 200 on the regular season FedExCup points list, less those with exemptions.

The exempt player from the Web.com Tour Regular Season top 25 will be identified at the conclusion of the four Finals events, using combined Regular Season and Finals money. Therefore, any top-25 player can earn the coveted No. 1 position if he performs well enough in the four Finals events. A second full exemption will be awarded to the highest cumulative earner based on the four-event Finals’ money list.

The ordering of all 50 players after the Web.com Tour Finals will be done on an alternating basis, using the two lists of card earners.

The field for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will compete over 72 holes of stroke play, with a cut to the top-65 players and ties after 36 holes. Golf Channel will broadcast tournament coverage from Thursday’s opening round to the trophy presentation on Sunday in high definition. The Nationwide Children’s
Hospital Championship’s Charity Ticket Program, now entering its 10th year, allows for participating charity organizations to receive donations based on the number of “charity tickets” redeemed at the tournament. For a list of participating charities and information about how to join the program please visit www.ncc-golf.com.

General admission for this award winning stop on the Web.com Tour is free. For details and to print free tickets the public may visit http://www.ncc-golf.com/tickets.

For Tournament information please visit www.ncc-golf.com or call (614) 764-GOLF. Stay connected with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Twitter (@NCHC_Golf), Instagram (@NCHCGolf) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/NationwideChildrensChampionship).

ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL CHAMPIONSHIP

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is owned and operated by Champions of the Community, Inc., an Ohio non-profit corporation. The event is one of four Web.com Tour Finals tournaments that will determine the 50 players who earn PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2017-2018 season and their eligibility position under the TOUR’s enhanced qualifying system. Featuring a purse of $1,000,000 the tournament is conducted to showcase the best golf on the Web.com Tour on one of the most challenging venues in the world, The Ohio State University – Scarlet Course, for the enjoyment of spectators and to benefit charitable organizations in central Ohio. For more information, call 614-764-GOLF or visit our website at www.ncc-golf.com.

ABOUT NATIONWIDE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2017-18 list of “America’s Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric healthcare system providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of nearly 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.4 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at NationwideChildrens.org.

ABOUT THE WEB.COM TOUR

Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Web.com Tour continues to identify those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. In 2013, the Web.com Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Web.com Tour and the season culminating at the four-event Web.com Tour Finals. Web.com became the Tour’s umbrella sponsor on June 27, 2012, with a 10-year agreement in place through 2021. This season marks the 28th year of competition on the Web.com Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 476 PGA TOUR titles, including 23 majors and seven PLAYERS Championships. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its Tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, has surpassed $2.46 billion in charitable giving. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Web.com Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Twitter (@WebDotComTour), Facebook (facebook.com/WebDotComTour) and Instagram (Instagram.com/WebDotComTour).

ABOUT THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY ATHLETICS DEPARTMENT

The Ohio State University Department of Athletics is completely self supporting and receives no university monies, tax dollars or student fees. The Department of Athletics sponsors 36 fully funded varsity teams – 17 for women, 16 for men and three that are co-educational – and is committed to providing the very finest in academic and athletics support in an effort to provide its more than 1,000 student-athletes with a quality, life-changing experience at Ohio State.

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