News

Volunteer registration now open for the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship

Columbus, Ohio – Tournament officials announced today that volunteer registration for the 11th annual Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is now open to the public at www.ncc-golf.com.

The 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will be held August 28 – September 3 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course and for the first time will be the first of four stops in the Web.com Tour Finals.

“We are extremely grateful for the nearly 700 individuals each year that donate their time to the tournament,” said tournament director Kip McBride. “Our volunteers play an essential role in every aspect of the tournament and are vital in our goal to raise charitable donations for pediatric cancer research and treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Thanks in large part to the efforts of our dedicated volunteers, a record $1,723,105 was raised last year alone for Nationwide Children’s, and more than $7.3 million has been raised since the tournament’s inception in 2007.”

Volunteers have a variety of different areas available to choose from during registration. These areas represent the many tasks required to conduct a Web.com Tour Finals Event. A description of each area is available at www.ncc-golf.com.

All volunteers receive a uniform that consists of a golf shirt and cap. Volunteers also receive breakfast and lunch for each day they work. In addition, all volunteers are invited to attend a catered post-tournament party immediately following play on Sunday, September 3. To cover the cost of the uniform volunteers are charged a fee of $35.00. These contributions represent an additional way volunteers help maximize the charitable donations the tournament provides to Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Since 2013, all 50 PGA TOUR cards have come through the Web.com Tour. 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 The PGA TOUR Qualifying School is no longer in existence, having been replaced by the Web.com Tour Qualifying School, which provides a first step on the path to the PGA TOUR.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 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will play a pivotal role in determining who will earn PGA TOUR membership for the 2017-2018 season. At the end of the four Finals events, a second set of PGA TOUR cards will be awarded to those players who earn the most cumulative money in the four Finals events.

The top-25 from the Web.com Tour Regular Season automatically secures their TOUR cards and will carry their earnings into the Finals. The order of priority for all 50 cards will be determined at the conclusion of the Finals.

General admission and parking for the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is offered free of charge to the public. For details please visit www.ncc-golf.com.

For general 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 and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NationwideChildrensChampionship.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship earns Web.com Tour’s Outstanding Achievement Award

 

 

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, conducted annually at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, was awarded with the Web.com Tour’s “Outstanding Achievement Award” at the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Meetings on Wednesday, December 7 in Las Vegas.

 

“I am honored to present the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship with this year’s Outstanding Achievement Award,” said Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee. “After a decade as one of the strongest events on the schedule, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship continues to grow each year, and the staff excelled across all fronts in delivering their best tournament to date and making a significant impact in the Columbus community.”

 

The Outstanding Achievement Award recognizes the tournament which developed and implemented a new promotion or activity with measurable results, driving sales, attendance and media coverage. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship succeeded on all three fronts via the following achievements:

 

  • Raised a record-setting $1.7 million for central Ohio charitable organizations – the third consecutive year in which the tournament has raised more than $1 million.
  • Produced fan and family activations such as free golf lessons, a daily putting challenge, a free pancake breakfast, autograph signings and an appearance from Brutus Buckeye.
  • Implementation of an innovative fan experience, “Birdie Time is Miller Time” at the 13th hole with the Pub Thirteen venue, featuring open seating in a sports bar atmosphere and drink specials for birdies.
  • Presented an unsurpassed media presentation enhancing the coverage and stature of the event.

 

nchc-award

Pictured left to right: Bill Calfee (Web.com Tour President), Kip Eriksen (Executive Director, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship), Randy Ford (Sales Director, Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship), Dan Glod (COO, Web.com Tour)

 

“We are thrilled with the continued growth of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship and humbled to receive this award,” said Terrance Williams, Chairman of the Board of the tournament’s host organization, Champions of the Community. “To be recognized by the Web.com Tour and generate record charity dollars for Nationwide Children’s Hospital exemplifies the success of this meaningful event.”

 

Since the tournament’s inception in 2007, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has donated a total of over $7.3 million in support of the pediatric cancer program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

 

In 2017, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will become the first of four stops in the Web.com Tour Finals, with a date set for August 28 – September 3 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course. The tournament was previously the third of four events, a position it held since the Web.com Tour instituted the Finals system in 2013.

Record-setting charitable donation announced for 10th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship – 2017 Tournament moves to first of four stops in Web.com Tour Finals

 

 

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Columbus, Ohio – Tournament officials announced today that the 10th playing of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, held September 19-25, 2016 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course, raised a total of $1,723,105 for central Ohio charitable organizations, including $1,604,500 for pediatric cancer research and treatment at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The total marks the largest amount raised by the tournament for the hospital in the 10-year history of the Web.com Tour Finals event – the third consecutive year such a historic mark has been achieved. Since its inception in 2007 the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has donated a total of over $7.3 million in support of the hospital’s pediatric cancer program.

 

“For the third straight year, we’ve been able to raise more than $1 million for our single-season giving total to Nationwide Children’s Hospital through this tournament,” said Terrance Williams, Chairman of the Board of the tournament’s host organization, Champions of the Community. “We’re truly grateful for the generosity of our corporate sponsors, whose support is critical to our success. Also, we extend our gratitude to our dedicated volunteers, central Ohio golf fans and the membership and staff at The Ohio State University Golf Club who continue to support the tournament each year.”

 

“During the past decade, the pediatric cancer program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital has benefitted from the immense generosity from Nationwide, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship tournament staff and volunteers, the Web.com Tour and The Ohio State University Golf Club,” said Steve Allen, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Nationwide Children’s. “The patients, families and staff at Nationwide Children’s are grateful for the unrelenting support and kind corporate and community pledge that is significant in helping Nationwide Children’s Hospital realize its mission of helping children everywhere regardless of a family’s ability to pay.”

 

On September 23, 2015 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 2018. Additionally, a three-year agreement with The Ohio State University Golf Club was announced, confirming the Scarlet Course will continue to host the tournament.  An option for an additional three years was included within both agreements.

 

In 2017, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will become the first of four stops in the Web.com Tour Finals and be held August 28 – September 3 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course. The tournament was previously the third of four stops, a position it held since the Web.com Tour instituted the playoff system in 2013.

 

“We’re excited to be in a position to kickoff the 2017 Finals in Columbus,” said Tournament Director Kip McBride. “Central Ohio has some of the best golf fans on Tour and the tournament’s new place 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 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 one of four Web.com Tour Finals tournaments that will determine the 50 players who earn PGA TOUR playing privileges for the 2016-2017 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 2016-17 list of “America’s 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 more than 11,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.2 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. Nationwide Children’s remains true to the original mission since its founding in 1892 of providing care regardless of a family’s ability to pay. 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. A 10-year agreement (through 2021) is in place. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won 452 PGA TOUR titles, including 22 majors and six PLAYERS Championships. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, surpassed $2.3 billion in charitable giving through 2015. To learn more about the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

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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Grayson Murray comes from four back for first victory

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 25: Grayson Murray watches his tee shot on the 13th hole during the final round of the Web.com Tour Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship at The Ohio State University Golf Club on September 25, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Final-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 Grayson Murray 69-67-68-68—272 (-12)
2 Cameron Smith 67-71-67-68—273 (-11)
3 Kevin Tway 66-70-71-67—274 (-10)
Martin Flores 66-70-71-67—274 (-10)

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Grayson Murray already had his PGA TOUR card secured. With seven top-10s in his first 15 starts on the Web.com Tour, Murray had been knocking on the door. On Sunday, the 22-year-old earned his first Web.com Tour victory at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, edging Cameron Smith by one shot with a final-round 3-under 68. The Web.com Tour rookie came from four shots back in the final round to take over first on the Web.com Tour Finals money list in the penultimate event.

“I racked up so many top-10s this year, I was knocking on the door, and I knew if I kept putting myself in position on Sunday it was going to just be a matter of time before I won,” Murray said. “Just credit to everyone around me keeping me positive through those stretches where I did miss the cut this year, and my parents, my swing coach, some mentors back home, just it couldn’t be possible without all them.”

When Murray exited the scorer’s tent after signing for a 12-under 272, Martin Flores was the only player remaining on the golf course with a chance of catching him. Trailing Murray by two shots with two to play, Flores made par at the 17th and knew he needed to hole out at the par-4 18th for eagle to force a playoff. He nearly did, rattling the flagstick with his approach into the par-4 finishing hole, but the ball caromed off to the left of the pin to seal up the victory for Murray.

Murray entered the day four shots back of Flores, but the 54-hole leader shot a 4-over 40 on the front nine to allow Murray to make up ground. Although Murray wasn’t particularly pleased with an even-par 36 on the front, he entered the back nine just two shots back of the lead, and quickly birdied three of the first four holes on the back nine to tie Smith at the top at 12-under.

After Smith made a costly bogey at the par-4 15th, Murray never relinquished the lead with five crucial pars to close out the tournament.

“Stayed patient all day,” Murray said. “Made a bogey on 8, and that birdie on 10 really got me going on the back nine and made a great couple par saves on the back nine that I was giving myself five, six footers it seemed like every hole on that back nine, but I was confident stroking it well. It’s just a dream scenario, walking up 18 with a one-shot lead.”

Entering the Tour season with conditional status after a T74 finish at Web.com Tour Qualifying School, Murray didn’t make his first start of the season until Monday qualifying for the Chitimacha Louisiana Open presented by NACHER. The Raleigh, North Carolina native missed the cut by one shot there, but got his next shot a couple weeks later with a sponsor’s exemption into his home event – the Rex Hospital Open. He never looked back, finishing T10 there and T8 the following week at the BMW Charity Pro-Am.

Murray posted two more top-10s in June and July and nearly won the Digital Ally Open, missing a birdie putt at the last for the outright victory before falling in a playoff to Wesley Bryan. That runner-up helped secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2016-17 season, but the win remained elusive. Not anymore.

“I want to think this is only the beginning of what could be on the PGA TOUR,” Murray said. “I need to keep working really hard and keep going. It’s very, very tough to win out here and I’m going to enjoy this win for sure, but I know the great champions keep working even harder after they get that first win so that’s my plan.”

 

 

As special as the walk was for Murray, it was even more special because of who was beside him – his caddie, Mike Hicks. Hicks was on the bag for Payne Stewart for all three major championships and had been a long-time family friend after Murray played with his son, Jacob Hicks, in a junior event years ago. Ever since, the two had stayed in touch and Hicks caddied for him through Web.com Tour Qualifying School but had been out with Vaughn Taylor on the PGA TOUR this season. With Taylor’s season complete, Hicks joined Murray this week for the first time this season and will be heading with him up to the TOUR next season.

“It was awesome. We were walking up the fairway, and I said I hope we can get 10 more years out of you on my bag and just 10 more years of enjoyment,” Murray said. “Because after Payne Stewart passed away, he’s had good players, but I don’t think he’s really enjoyed his walk like he did with Payne. I’m not trying to compare myself to Payne whatsoever, but I’m really good friends with Mike and his son, and we go back a long way. I hope we can have many more years of enjoyment out on the course.”

Although Smith fell a shot short of his first Web.com Tour victory, the 23-year-old Aussie wasn’t too disappointed as the runner-up finish locked up a return to the TOUR for the 2016-17 season.

“I’m just happy that I’m heading back to the PGA TOUR, to be honest,” Smith said. “That was, obviously, the goal through these four weeks and to get it done a week early is definitely a relief.”

Kevin Tway and Flores finished in a tie for third at 10-under. Tway secured a return to the TOUR with his final-round 4-under 67.

Sunday Notes:

* Sunday weather: Partly cloudy. High: 88, Low: 65, Winds: S-SE 5-10 mph.

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

* This is the third event in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Oct. 6-9. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded four weeks ago following the WinCo Foods Portland Open. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the fourth year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to gauge 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 three 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

* Grayson Murray earns his first career win in his 19th start on Tour. His previous best finish was a T2 at the Digital Ally Open.

* Murray’s victory comes at age 22 years, 11 months and 24 days. Murray is the youngest player to win on Tour since Si Woo Kim’s triumph at the 2015 Ellie Mae Classic.

* Murray is the 17th first-time winner this season through 24 events. Rookies on Tour have accounted for 10 victories this season.

* Murray is the 14th player in his 20s to win on Tour in 2016 in 24 events.

* Murray tops the Finals money list with $248,000. Murray has earned $407,973 this season and trails leading money winner Wesley Bryan by $41,429 heading into the Web.com Tour Championship.

* At the beginning of the week, Murray pledged to donate $50 for every birdie he made during the tournament. Murray changed the amount to $100 for every birdie recorded on Sunday. In total Murray made 18 birdies this week and decided to donate $2,000 to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

* Murray’s finishes in the first three Finals events

W/D     DAP Championship                                                      $0
3          Albertsons Boise Open                                                 $68,000
1          Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship              $180,000

* Murray’s 12-under-par 272 total falls two strokes shy of the Harris English’s tournament-record 14-under 270 (2011).

About Grayson Murray
HEIGHT: 6-1 WEIGHT: 190
BIRTHDATE: October 1, 1993
BIRTHPLACE/RESIDENCE: Raleigh, North Carolina
EDUCATION: Arizona State University
TURNED PROFESSIONAL: 2015
JOINED TOUR: 2016

* Australian Cameron Smith secured a TOUR card with his runner-up performance in Columbus. Smith’s $108,000 vaulted him up the Finals money list to No. 4. The 23-year-old posted just three top-25s in his sophomore season on TOUR and finished No. 157 in the FedExCup standings.

* Cody Gribble made $35,125 for his T5 in Columbus and is in a tie for 19th place on the Finals money list with Kelly Kraft. Gribble played holes six through 12 in 7-under-par. He started the day with two bogeys and added two more on the back nine. His last birdie came at the par-4 16th which placed him in a four-way tie for fifth.

* After finishing the Regular Season No. 27 on the money list, Kevin Tway secured his TOUR card with a T3 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Tway carded a final round 67 to move inside the top five and earned $58,000 for his performance.

* Other notables to earn TOUR cards in Columbus are Will MacKenzie ($67,500), Xander Schauffele ($42,395) and Ryan Blaum ($49,100). Schauffele ended the Regular Season No. 26 on the money list and has turned up the heat during the Finals. Blaum has played his best during the Finals and recorded a T5 in Boise and a T18 in Columbus. MacKenzie has posted two top 10s in the finals (T6 – DAP Championship; T5 – Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship).

Scoring Average for the Scarlet Course for the week:
Front (36)         Back (35)         Total (71)         Cumulative
R1:       35.819             34.976             70.795             —-
R2:       36.120             35.096             71.216             70.998
R3:       36.500             35.091             71.591             71.195
R4        36.348             34.697             71.045             71.158

Martin Flores leads by three heading into final round

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 24: Martin Flores reads a putt on the first green during the third round of the Web.com Tour Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship at The Ohio State University Golf Club on September 24, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Third-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
1 Martin Flores 68-66-66—200 (-13)
2 Tag Ridings 69-65-69—203 (-10)
3 Grayson Murray 69-67-68—204 (-9)

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Martin Flores fired a 5-under 66 Saturday to take the 54-hole lead at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the third of four Web.com Tour Finals events.

Flores sits at 13-under-par 200 heading into the final round, three better than Tag Ridings (69).

Grayson Murray (68) is four shots back while Carlos Ortiz (66) and Cameron Smith (67) find themselves five back after the third round.

“I’m not going to change anything,” said Flores, when asked about playing with the lead. “I respect every individual out here, and I know that anybody can put together a hot round, so I’ve got to keep doing what I’m doing. I know the golf course is very, very difficult and it’s going to be a challenge.”

Flores got off to a shaky start with a bogey at the first. It took a while for the Lincoln Land Charity Championship winner to get comfortable on the putting surfaces. Even with birdies at holes four and seven, Flores struggled with his speed early in his round.

“I struggled early with lag putting,” said Flores, who had 29 putts on Saturday. “I was leaving everything short. Just struggled with the speed. Then as the round went on I started to hit the ball close quite a few times, but I started getting the speed a lot better. So I was very happy with that.”

The Ohio State University Golf Club’s demanding Scarlet Course has tested the patience of the players all week. It has consistently been in the top five toughest courses on Tour year-in and year-out during the tournament’s 10-year history. Mistakes are going to happen around the Alistair MacKenzie layout and Flores made a few of his own Saturday afternoon.

After a bogey on the par-4 11th hole, the Dallas, Texas native rattled off four consecutive birdies to take a commanding lead of the tournament.  Following pars at No. 16 and 17, Flores stuffed a wedge from 88 yards to five feet on the home hole and made birdie to cap off his second consecutive 66.

“I stayed to my approach and I just kept going along and I think birdies just happen,” said Flores, who takes the outright lead into the final round of a Web.com Tour event for the first time in his career. “You have to let them happen. It’s very, very hard to force birdies. Especially out here. So if you try to make birdies, if you’re trying to force things, I think that typically backfires.”

Flores has been noticeably different since his win in Springfield, Illinois earlier this summer. The 33-year-old former University of Oklahoma standout has played with tremendous confidence since securing his PGA TOUR card with his maiden Tour victory.

“I want it really bad,” said Flores, when asked about the stoic look on his face. “I’m sure just like anybody else. I’m really focused on my approach and what I’m doing out there.”

 

 

Entering the week Flores trailed leading money winner Wesley Bryan by a little more than $161,000. With every Finals event carrying a one million-dollar purse, the first-place prize in Columbus is worth $180,000. If Flores can hang on and win on Sunday, he will be in pole position to win the season-long money title.

“I want to pass Wes Bryan, just like I’m sure everybody else does,” said Flores. “Wes has had a fantastic year winning three times, but, yeah, I want that spot and I’m going to go out tomorrow and do my best. Tomorrow’s going to be a challenging day, and we’ll see what I can do.”

Win or lose Sunday, Flores won’t have trouble keeping things in perspective thanks to a ball marker he uses every round that was given to him a few years ago. It’s not a true coin, but the head of a necklace, the size of a quarter, that serves as a reminder of what means the most to him.

“Yes, my grandfather passed away, I believe it’s been two and a half, almost three years,” said Flores, when asked about the sentimental trinket. “Before he died, I believe my grandfather gave it to my father or gave it to him at a young age, I’m not sure. But he gave it to me at Colonial I think three years ago and I’ve used it ever since. So, I miss him all the time and it’s kind of a reminder of what’s truly important and it keeps a fresh perspective.”

With a TOUR card on the line this week, Ridings has performed well under pressure. The 42-year-old Keller, Texas native has found his game during the Finals and is one round away from earning his TOUR card after a third-round 69.

“It feels great always,” said Ridings, who has posted three straight rounds in the 60s at the Scarlet Course for the first time in his career. “It feels really good on this golf course to actually beat it three days in a row. So I’m going to try to just stay focused on doing that. You’ve got to beat it off the tee and then you can play in from there.”

Saturday Notes:

* Saturday weather: Mostly cloudy. High: 79, Low: 68, Winds: NE 7-14 mph.

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

* This is the third event in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Oct. 6-9. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded four weeks ago following the WinCo Foods Portland Open. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the fourth year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to gauge 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 three 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

* With two of the four Finals events completed, it’s still difficult to gauge exactly how much money it will take to secure a top-25 spot on the money list, but here is a list of the players entering the week on the Finals Bubble for the 25 cards (excluding The 25) and how they have fared so far this week:

No. 23: Erik Barnes                  $18,075             MC

No. 24: Stuart Appleby             $17,010             T52

No. 25: Xander Schauffele        $15,395             T9

No. 26: John Peterson               $14,500             N/A

No. 26: John Mallinger             $14,500             MC

No. 26: Scott Harrington           $14,500             MC

* Martin Flores has led/co-led after 54 holes only two times in his career on the Web.com Tour. Flores previously held the co-lead at the 2011 Rex Hospital Open, where he finished T2. In his lone Web.com Tour victory, Flores was in solo second entering the final round. Flores is making his third appearance in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He’s finished in the top-20 both times with a T19 in 2011 and T20 in 2015.

* Flores’ three-shot lead through 54 holes ties Seung Yul-Noh for the largest 54-hole lead in this tournament’s history, which Noh went on to close out with a five-shot victory.

* In the previous nine years of this championship, the 54-hole leader has gone on to win five times with the last being Justin Thomas in 2014. The largest come-from-behind victory at this championship was Derek Lamely in 2009, who shot a final-round 65 to come from eight back and beat Rickie Fowler, who was an amateur at the time, in a playoff.

* There have been three playoffs in this championship’s history.

* In the final round at the DAP Championship, Tag Ridings seemingly found something with a 3-under 67 – his best round in two months on the Web.com Tour. Ridings has now posted eight consecutive under-par rounds after getting the streak started on that Sunday in Cleveland.

* Cameron Smith earned Special Temporary Membership on the PGA TOUR in June of 2015 after a fifth-place finish at the CIMB Classic and a T4 at the 2015 U.S. Open. Smith went on to earn TOUR membership for the 2016-17 season via non-member FedExCup points, but the 22-year-old struggled in his first full season on TOUR with only three top-25 finishes in 24 starts. Smith’s best finish of the season came in February with a T11 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. As a result, the Aussie finished 157th in the FedExCup standings and is at the Web.com Tour Finals in search of a return to the TOUR. In his first Web.com Tour start, Smith finished T28 at the DAP Championship before missing the cut at the Albertsons Boise Open. After a 4-under 67 in the third round in Columbus, Smith could be heading for a return to the TOUR as the Brisbane, Australia native enters the final round in T4 at 8-under 205, five shots back of the lead.

* Three-time Web.com Tour winner Carlos Ortiz fired the round of the day Saturday – a 5-under 66 – to climb up 16 spots on the leaderboard into T4 at 8-under 205.

* Ryan Blaum ($36,500), D.A. Points ($35,075), Rod Pampling ($33,032), and Will Mackenzie ($32,375) were all on the verge of locking up their PGA TOUR card for the 2016-17 season entering this week based off of the number that it took in previous years to secure one of 25 TOUR cards given out during the Web.com Tour Finals, and each could lock it up tomorrow with a solid finish. Blaum (T28), Points (T42), Pampling (T28), and Mackenzie (T19) are all assured to add to their totals this week and could lock up their card with a good final round.

* With a stroke average of 72.773 (+1.773) in 2015, the Scarlet Course played as the third toughest track on Tour last season. Through three rounds this year, the Scarlet Course is playing slightly easier with a stroke average of 71.195.

 

 

Scoring Average for the Scarlet Course for the week:
Front (36)         Back (35)         Total (71)         Cumulative
R1:       35.819             34.976             70.795             —-
R2:       36.120             35.096             71.216             70.998
R3:       36.500             35.091             71.591             71.195

TAG RIDINGS AND MARTIN FLORES SHARE TWO-SHOT LEAD

riding-flores

 

 

 

 

Columbus, Ohio – Tag Ridings and Martin Flores carded the best two scores of the day Friday to take a share of the second-round lead by two shots at 8-under 134 at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the third of four Web.com Tour Finals events. Ridings carded the best round of the day – a 6-under 65 – to grab his share of the lead, while Flores bogeyed the last for a 5-under 66 to join Ridings at the top with a two-shot lead over eight players – Nicholas Lindheim (68), Xander Schauffele (68), Jason Millard (67), Grayson Murray (67), Kevin Tway (70), Bobby Wyatt (69), Whee Kim (71), and Erik Compton (69 – in a tie for third at 6-under.

“I’m very happy with [my round],” Flores said. “I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdie. I hit it close, hit it well, so extremely happy. I hit the shot I wanted to there [on 18], I thought I hit a good drive, but that’s just kind of how it goes sometimes.”

After opening with a 2-under 69, Ridings began his second round on the back nine with a chip-in on No. 10 that was the start of three straight birdies on Nos. 10-12. Ridings’ first bogey of the day came at the par-4 13th, but he reeled off birdies at Nos. 14, 16, 4, and 6 on the way in to finish off his best round of the season.

“Well, this is kind of my favorite thing to do is play long, tough conditions and tough golf courses,” Ridings said. “So, why that is, I wish I knew, but probably more under par after two rounds on this golf course than I was anywhere all summer. It makes you think a little bit. If you mess up, you’ve got to take your punishment and get out of there and I did that a couple of times the last two days.”

 

 

Following a 52nd place finish on the Web.com Tour Regular Season money list, Ridings is hoping to get hot at the right time and use this Web.com Tour Finals as the vehicle to take him back to PGA TOUR, where he’s spent the bulk of eight seasons with 12 career top-10s on TOUR.

“I think everybody that hasn’t done their job so far in the first two weeks or first part of the year definitely feels that pressure,” Ridings said. “You want to get it done as quickly as possible to take the heat off.”

Flores doesn’t have that pressure, having already locked up his PGA TOUR card for the 2016-17 season. The 34-year-old began his second round on the front nine and turned in 1-under, but he got hot starting on the back nine, knocking it within five feet for easy birdies on Nos. 10, 12, 13 and 14 to tie the lead at 8-under. Flores surged into the solo lead with a 20-footer at the par-4 15th for his fourth consecutive birdie – and fifth in his first six holes of the back nine – but bogeyed the last to end the day with the co-lead.

“I’m very, very happy with my ball striking,” Flores said. “I gave myself a lot of close putts, and I converted those today. The speed control has been really, really great. Other than that I haven’t really had to deal with anything else up to this point. So I would like to just keep doing what I’m doing and see what happens.”

A year ago here at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, Flores also held the 36-hole lead but weekend rounds of 74-71 dropped him into T20. Flores feels like he’s more prepared to close out a victory this year, though, after securing his first Web.com Tour victory at the Lincoln Land Charity Championship in July to lock up a return to the PGA TOUR.

“I just want to win more often,” Flores said. “I haven’t won very much at all. I just want to keep putting myself in position to win and see how I can do.”

In 20 starts on the Web.com Tour this season, Flores posted a victory, two thirds and three additional top-10 finishes on his way to a fifth-place finish on the Regular Season money list. With 142 career PGA TOUR starts under his belt, the Fort Worth, Texas native is looking to round his game into shape just in time for his sixth full season on TOUR after spending the better part of 2010 and 2012-2015 on TOUR before returning to the Web.com Tour in 2016 to work his way back.

“You are where you are for a reason, and obviously, I didn’t play very well in the 2015 season, so I had an opportunity to come back out here and keep improving on my game,” Flores said. “So I’m very thankful for that, and I look forward to the return and should. It’s always a challenge to play on the PGA TOUR, so I really enjoyed that.”

 

 

Schauffele, who is currently T3 after back-to-back 68s, is also looking for his PGA TOUR card after finishing one spot out of a jump to the TOUR with a 26th place finish on the Regular Season money list. The 22-year-old entered this week inside the Finals bubble but just barely at No. 25 on the Finals money list, setting the stage for what could be a huge weekend for the young San Diego native.

“I still get nerves like everyone else, I hope, but I feel like I belong the more and more I do this and more and more I have these talks with [the media],” Schauffele said. “It makes me feel better about how I’m playing, so I’m definitely feeling comfortable.”

Friday Notes:

* Friday weather: Partly cloudy. High: 88, Low: 65, Winds: S-SE 5-10 mph.

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

* A total of 66 players made the 36-hole cut, which came at 1-under 141.

* This is the fourth time in the tournament’s 10-year history that the cut has been under par.

* This is the third event in the Web.com Tour Finals, a series of four events that will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla., Oct. 6-9. Twenty-five PGA TOUR cards were awarded four weeks ago following the WinCo Foods Portland Open. An additional 25 cards are up for grabs during the four Finals events, as well as positioning for all 50 cards.

* This is the fourth year of the Finals format and it’s difficult to gauge 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 three 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

* With two of the four Finals events completed, it’s still difficult to gauge exactly how much money it will take to secure a top-25 spot on the money list, but history dictates that something over the $40,000 mark could be enough to garner a 2016-17 PGA TOUR card. Here is a list of those eight players who have topped that number after two events and how they finished in the DAP Championship and Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, respectively:
– Michael Thompson                 $184,000          T39, 1st
– Bryson DeChambeau              $180,000          1st, MC
– Miguel Angel Carballo           $108,000          MC, 2nd
– Andres Gonzales                    $87,266            P2, T18
– Scott Stallings                        $68,875            T6, T5
– Andrew Johnston                   $54,910            T28, 4th
– Zack Sucher                           $44,018            5th, T37
– Gonzalo Fdez-Castano            $41,500            T16, T9

 

* Tag Ridings has led/co-led after 36 holes three times in his career on Tour. Ridings has only made $9,493 in two starts in the Finals, well back of the magic number of $40,000. Ridings is making his sixth appearance in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. He’s made the cut four times with his best finish coming in 2010 (T9).

* Ridings’ third-round scoring average at the Scarlet Course is 71.33.

* Flores trailed heading into the third round earlier this year at the Lincoln Land Charity Championship, carded 65-67 and earned his first Tour victory to secure his PGA TOUR card for 2016-17.

* Schauffele has recorded a T50 at the DAP Championship and a T18 at the Albertsons Boise Open and earned $15,395 in the first two Finals events. His third-round scoring average this season is 69.71.

* With a stroke average of 72.773 (+1.773) in 2015, the Scarlet Course played as the third toughest track on Tour last season.

Scoring Average for the Scarlet Course for the week:
Front (36)         Back (35)         Total (71)         Cumulative
R1:       35.819             34.976             70.795             —-
R2:       36.120             35.096             71.216             70.998

 

Whee Kim controls early lead with opening round 6-under-par 65!

Kim takes command with first round lead

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 22: Whee Kim of South Korea lines up a putt on the 18th green during the first round of the Web.com Tour Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship at The Ohio State University Golf Club on September 22, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 22: Whee Kim of South Korea lines up a putt on the 18th green during the first round of the Web.com Tour Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at The Ohio State University Golf Club on September 22, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – South Korea’s Whee Kim narrowly missed out on retaining his PGA TOUR card last month, and wound up turning to the season-ending Web.com Tour Finals in order to make a return trip to golf’s biggest stage for the 2016-17 season. An opening 65 on Thursday at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship put Kim atop the leaderboard at Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, and in good position with 54 holes to go in the year’s penultimate event.

Kim opened his week in the day’s morning wave with a birdie on the par-4 third and a bogey on the par-3 fifth to sit at even par early in the day.

From there, the 24-year-old birdied Nos. 7 and 8 to turn in 2-under 34 before venturing to the club’s closing nine for a flurry of red numbers.

“I missed a lot of putts to start, but I hit really good iron shots,” said Kim after his round. “I made a lot of good opportunities to make a lot of birdies today.”

Birdies on 10, 12 and 13 vaulted Kim to 5-under-par for his round as the somewhat soft conditions on Thursday allowed for a plethora of low numbers on a course not known for yielding them.

At the short par-4 16th, he added yet another birdie to move to 6-under on the day, where he eventually finished after closing pars on 17 and 18 left him with a first-round 65 and the event’s day one lead.

“I think the greens are softer than I expected. The last few years it was real firm and then fast,” Kim said. “The speed is fast here, but they’re a little softer, so it’s playing much easier, especially when you hit a short iron in or a wedge.”

Kim spent 2013 and 2014 on the Web.com Tour, posting a combined five top-10 finishes and a 16th-place finish in the 2014 Web.com Tour Finals to secure his PGA TOUR card for the 2014-15 season. During that run to the TOUR, he posted a T3 finish at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, where weekend rounds of 67-69 left him one shot shy of a playoff between Justin Thomas and Richard Sterne, which Thomas went on to win.

Once on the PGA TOUR, Kim posted two top-10 finishes – including a season-best T3 at the Barbasol Championship – to finish No. 123 on the PGA TOUR money list, which enabled him to keep his card for the 2015-16 season via the TOUR’s top-125 money list exemption.

This past season, however, he missed seven cuts in his first 11 starts before notching a T3 at the John Deere Classic in August to finish the year at No. 127 in the FedExCup.

Part of the slow start was attributed to a stint in the Korean military from December 1-31, which left him with some catching up to do at the start of 2016 while trying to compete against PGA TOUR players who spent the brief offseason practicing nonstop.

“I think it was tough for me because these guys are so good and if I miss a few shots it’s going to be no chance,” said Kim, who avoided the standard 22-month military commitment via his gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games. “So, a lot of practice and then almost the end of the season I played pretty good, and then I think I (finally) played my game. So, for now it’s pretty good.”

The experience, however, was a good one for Kim, who is one of a handful of recent Korean golf stars who had to serve in the military at an inopportune time.

“It was a good experience, that kind of military service,” he said. “It was a different kind of experience from what I’ve done for a long time. It was fun.”

Two players are tied for second at 5-under-par, including Kevin Tway, the son of 1986 PGA Championship winner Bob Tway.

“I got off to kind of a rough start, 2-over through two, but after that, I made like eight birdies in the next 14 or 15 holes, which is nice out here,” said Tway, whose father followed him for the round. “I started getting the ball in the fairway a little bit more, which makes it a little bit easier to attack the hole.”

Tway’s Web.com Tour career began in in 2013, where a win at the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco helped deliver a 2013-14 PGA TOUR card, thanks to a fifth-place finish on the Regular Season money list.

The former Oklahoma State star lost his card following his rookie year, and has since played full-time on the Web.com Tour, narrowly missing out on returning to the PGA TOUR after 28th- and 27th-place finishes on the money list in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Under the watchful eye of his father, who tallied eight wins during a standout PGA TOUR career, Tway spent the early part of the week working on his swing with just two events left in the Web.com Tour Finals.

“Sometimes I get caught (having), I don’t know, almost too (many) complicated swing thoughts, so just a real simple swing thought of keeping my head still, which has kind of been nice with my irons and I had the ball going a little straighter, which is nice,” he said.

Matching Tway with a 66 of his own was Spain’s Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, who recorded the low round of the afternoon wave on Thursday.

Fernandez-Castano, 35, has seven career wins on the European Tour, where he is also an impressive 4-2 in playoffs – defeating the likes of Henrik Stenson (BMW Asian Open) and Lee Westwood (British Masters). He has competed in all four major championships, posting a career-best T10 at the 2013 U.S. Open.

The Madrid native used a T3 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in 2013 to spark a two-and-a-half-year stint on the PGA TOUR, where he notched seven additional top-25 finishes. He wound up in the Web.com Tour Finals last fall, posting three of four made cuts. A T58 finish at the Tour’s annual Qualifying Tournament gave Fernandez-Castano conditional status on Tour this year, where he has recorded two top-10 finishes, including a T9 last week in Boise.

The T9 paired with a T16 at the DAP Championship earlier this month to give Fernandez-Castano $41,500 in Web.com Tour Finals earnings, which has him eighth on the Finals money list, and secure for a return to the PGA TOUR in 2016-17.

Field study: Web.com Tour Finals qualifiers

It’s time for the Web.com Tour Finals, the four-event series that will determine PGA TOUR eligibility for the 2016-17 season.

The Finals begin at the inaugural DAP Championship in Cleveland, Ohio, September 8-11, to be contested at famed Canterbury Golf Club.

Here’s the updated field for the event.

WEB.COM TOUR FINALS: Frequently asked questions | Eligibility for Finals explained | Qualifying structure | Priority Ranking explained

We’ll proceed to Boise, Idaho for the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco at Hillcrest CC, September 15-18, a long-running Web.com Tour event that will assume a Finals spot for the first time this year.

We’ll then circle back to Columbus, Ohio for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship at the Ohio State University Golf Club (Scarlet Course), September 22-25. The traditionally demanding Scarlet Course holds the distinction of being the only returning Finals venue.

The Finals will conclude at the Web.com Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach CC in the Jacksonville, Florida metroplex, October 6-9. The event heads a few miles north from its previous home at TPC Sawgrass (Dye’s Valley Course) in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The top 25 players on the Web.com Tour Regular Season money list have already earned their PGA TOUR card for the 2015-16 season, and their money list (Bucket A) will continue through the Finals, with Priority Ranking determined upon the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship. The rest of the field – Nos. 26-75 on the Web.com Tour money list; Nos. 126-200 in the TOUR FedExCup standings – will battle for the 25 remaining TOUR cards (Bucket B). Priority Ranking will alternate between top finishers from Bucket A and Bucket B, from the No. 1 spot to the No. 25 spot on each money list. The only way to cross over from Bucket A to Bucket B is by winning the Finals money list, which Derek Fathauer did in 2014.

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship Claims Inaugural Web.com Tour Truck Award

The Truck Award Photo

Web.com Tour Finals event delivers on operations and volunteer fronts to claim “Truck cooler”

 

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, conducted annually at The Ohio State University Golf Club’s Scarlet Course, was awarded with the Web.com Tour’s inaugural Truck Award at the PGA TOUR’s Tournament Meetings on Wednesday, December 2 in Miami, Fla.

 

“On behalf of the Web.com Tour, I am delighted to congratulate the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on winning the 2015 Truck Award,” said Web.com Tour President Bill Calfee. “The ‘Truck’ is the veritable command station at all of our events, with operations and volunteer efforts all stemming from the well-traveled 18-wheeler. Kip and his team are to be commended for putting forth one of the Tour’s most well-run tournaments.”

 

The Truck, which is emblazoned with the Web.com Tour logo and the faces of Tour alums, is not only the centralized operation center for tournaments, but is also a familiar gathering spot each night during tournament week.

WICHITA, KS - JUNE 28:  A Web.com operations truck during the final round of the Web.com Tour Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna at Crestview Country Club on June 28, 2015 in Wichita, Kansas. (Photo by Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)

Countless players have spent time in the Truck, socializing with volunteers and the operations staff to further cement the Web.com Tour as a rare sports arena in which fans can interact with the game’s up-and-coming stars.

 

Each week, after finishing his trophy presentation and media duties, the tournament champion makes his way to the Truck to sign the large white cooler, which serves as an iconic meeting spot from tournament to tournament on the Web.com Tour. As winner of the inaugural Truck Award, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship was presented with the 2015 cooler, featuring signatures from every winner this past season.

IMG_0638.JPG

 

From day one, Tournament Director Kip McBride and his team have put forth a streamlined volunteer effort to help one of the most pivotal events during the Web.com Tour Finals run smoothly from start to finish. By incorporating not only those involved with The Ohio State University, but also the community of Columbus, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship has secured a dedicated support group from which to launch one of the Tour’s most successful events each year.

 

“We are excited and honored to receive the inaugural Truck Award,” said McBride. “This award justly symbolizes the dedication and support of the 600 plus volunteers that work countless hours to help make the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship a premier stop on the Web.com Tour and enable the tournament to donate valuable funds in support of the pediatric cancer program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.”

 

The 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will return to Ohio State’s Scarlet Course on September 19-25.

 

 

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. A 10-year agreement (through 2021) is in place. The Tour is in its 26th year of competition in 2015. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Web.com Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won 425 PGA TOUR titles, including 21 majors and five PLAYERS Championships. The PGA TOUR, through the efforts of its tours and their tournaments, sponsors, players and volunteers, surpassed $2 billion in charitable giving in Jan. 2014. To learn more about the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

ABOUT WEB.COM

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