News

Hovland and Percy share first-round lead

First-Round Leaderboard

Pos. Name Scores
T1 Viktor Hovland 64 (-7)
T1 Cameron Percy 64 (-7)
3 Doug Ghim 65 (-6)
4 Matthew NeSmith 66 (-5)
T5 Three players tied 67 (-4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Viktor Hovland and Cameron Percy fired matching 7-under 64s to claim the first-round lead at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. Doug Ghim sits one stroke behind after posting a 6-under 65, while Matthew NeSmith trails by two after an opening-round 66.

 

Hovland did not show any nerves in his Korn Ferry Tour debut. The 21-year-old recorded birdies on three of his first seven holes and made the turn at 3-under for the round.

 

Hovland caught fire with an eagle at the par-5 12th, moving him to 5-under. He carded his only bogey of the day at the par-4 14th but rebounded with birdies on his final three holes to post an opening-round 7-under 64.

 

“This course could be pretty hard, and a lot of the pins were kind of tucked in,” Hovland said. “I finally got some good looks and finally made a birdie on No. 4 and a nice putt on No. 5 to kind of get kick‑started. I made three really nice putts to finish and hopefully that will keep me going for the rest of the week.”

 

Hovland enters the Korn Ferry Tour Finals after a summer to remember. The highly touted Oklahoma State University alum recorded five top-16 finishes in six PGA TOUR starts between June and early August including a T12 at the U.S. Open as an amateur. He earned his best result as a professional with a solo-fourth at the Wyndham Championship two weeks ago.

 

Despite his impressive stretch, Hovland fell 67 FedExCup points short of earning his PGA TOUR card. He now looks to capture a spot in The Finals 25 and secure his place on TOUR for the 2019-20 season.

 

“I’ve played well,” Hovland said of his summer. “I think most of all the fact that I’ve been so consistent every week. I haven’t had one fourth and then two missed cuts and then one 25th or 18th. The fact that I’ve made all the cuts that I’ve been playing in, that gives me even more confidence. I feel like in the [Korn Ferry Tour] Finals, if you just play consistently good golf, that should get the job done.”

 

Tied with Hovland atop the leaderboard is Cameron Percy. The veteran began his round with three consecutive pars but tallied birdies on four of his next six holes. Percy vaulted up the leaderboard after holing his approach shot from 183 yards for eagle at the par-4 11th. He closed his round with two birdies and a bogey over his final seven holes, earning him a share of the lead.

 

“I just hauled off a 6‑iron and it looked like it went really close,” Percy said of his approach on No. 11. “The cameraman sort of made a, ‘Whoa!’ I thought, oh, it must be pretty close. We got up there and we were looking, and the cameraman goes, ‘No, it went in.’ We had no idea.”

 

Percy, who is making only his 11th Korn Ferry Tour start this season, has recorded two top-10s and five top-25s in 2019. The 45-year-old suffered a wrist injury earlier this year while on vacation with his family.

 

“I’ve played three events in four months, I think,” Percy recalled. “I just haven’t played any golf. I fractured my wrist earlier in the year, I was really struggling to start off just getting in the rhythm of playing golf again.”

 

The injury left Percy sidelined for all of April and May, but he still managed to finish the Regular Season ranked 58th in The 25. Despite the setback, the Australian still has his sights set on a return to the PGA TOUR.

 

Sitting alone in third place is Doug Ghim who opened with a 6-under 65 on Thursday. Ghim won the 2018 Ben Hogan Award as the top male college golfer while at the University of Texas. The 23-year-old has made six PGA TOUR starts this season and is in search of his first PGA TOUR card.

 

 

THURSDAY NOTES:

* Thursday’s weather: Partly cloudy, with a high of 85. Wind W/NW at 7-14 mph, gusting to 18 mph.

* Low round of the day: 7-under 64, shared by Norway’s 21-year-old Viktor Hovland and Australia’s 45-year-old Cameron Percy.

* No player in his 40s has won on the Korn Ferry Tour this season, however 13 players in their 20s have won.

* Of the players who earned PGA TOUR cards by finishing in The 25, none are within three strokes of the lead. Xinjun Zhang, the No. 1 player in The 25, sits T19 at 2-under. Bo Hoag, a standout for the Ohio State Buckeyes before turning professional who won his first Korn Ferry Tour title and PGA TOUR card at last week’s event in Portland, sits T19 at 2-under as well.

* Six of 24 first-round leaders/co-leaders have gone on to win this season, most recently Nelson Ledesma at the TPC Colorado Championship at Heron Lakes.

* Viktor Hovland’s 64 came in the opening round of his first Korn Ferry Tour appearance. In 10 PGA TOUR starts this season, Hovland posted 64 three times – R4/Rocket Mortgage Classic, R4/John Deere Classic, R3/Wyndham Championship.

* Cameron Percy’s 64 marked his 10th under-par opening round in 11 Korn Ferry Tour starts this season (73/+2/The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club).

* Doug Ghim (3rd/65) came into the week off three consecutive missed cuts, using three different caddies in his last five events. His caddie this week, Micah Fugitt, also caddied for him when he sat fourth through 54 holes at the PGA TOUR’s Farmers Insurance Open earlier this year, eventually finishing T20.

* Matthew NeSmith (4th/66) finished T2 at the NCAA Columbus Regional as a University of South Carolina freshman when the Ohio State University Club – Scarlet Course hosted the event in 2013. NeSmith shot a career-low 63 two weeks ago in the opening round of the Ellie Mae Classic at TPC Stonebrae and tied that score in the second round to hold a two-stroke lead through 36 holes, eventually finishing T8 for his third top-10 on the season.

* India’s Anirban Lahiri (T5/67) was 2-over after five holes, but rallied with six birdies, including his final two holes, to be one of three international players at 4-under or better (Hovland/Norway, Percy/Australia).

* Julian Etulain (T19/69) aced the 205-yard 17th hole with a 5-iron, the first on No. 17 in tournament history. It marks the seventh hole-in-one at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship (most recent, J.J. Spaun/R3/2016) and the 18th on the Korn Ferry Tour this season.

* Kevin Chappell (T84/73) returned to the tournament where he made his professional debut in 2008, finishing T40 that week. Chappell, who has been recovering from microdiscectomy surgery, last competed at the PGA TOUR’s 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic.

* This week’s purse is $1,000,000, with $180,000 going to the champion. The winner will also receive 1,000 Korn Ferry Tour Points.

* The par-4 11th hole (473 yards) & par-3 13th hole (221 yards) ranked as the toughest holes on the course Thursday with a scoring average of 4.348 and 3.348, respectively.

* The par-5 12th hole (562 yards) ranked as the easiest hole on Thursday. The hole played to an average of 4.428 and yielded 10 eagles and 65 birdies.

 

 

*Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course Scoring Average:


Front                    Back                     Total                     Cumulative

R1                                        36.232                 35.580                  71.812

Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship announces player commitments for 2019 field

Columbus, Ohio – At 7 p.m. EDT Tournament Officials announced the 138 player blended field of PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour players who are eligible and have committed to compete in the 2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship. The following players finished 126-200 on the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup points list or within the top-75 on the Korn Ferry Tour points list and will play in the first of three Korn Ferry Tour Finals events being hosted August 12 – 18 at The Ohio State University Golf Club in Columbus, OH.

The current field of competitors for Columbus is highlighted by a number of past winners on the PGA TOUR, Korn Ferry Tour and internationally, collectively representing 35 TOUR victories, 99 Korn Ferry Tour wins and 69 international titles.

The field includes the following players:

Albertson, Anders

Alexander, Tyson

Alker, Steven

Anderson, Mark

Arnold, Jamie

Baker, Chris

Barber, Blayne

Binfield, Wade

Blair, Zac

Bozzelli, Dominic

Bramlett, Joseph

Brehm, Ryan

Burgoon, Bronson

Byrd, Jonathan

Campbell, Brian

Campos, Rafael

Cappelen, Sebastian

Chappell, Kevin

Chin, John

Coletta, Brett

Compton, Erik

Covello, Vince

Crane, Ben

Creel, Joshua

Crick, Brandon

Cunningham, George

Danielson, Charlie (N-M)

Davis, Cameron

Díaz, Roberto

Dou, Zecheng

Dougherty, Kevin

Duncan, Tyler

Echavarria, Nicolas

English, Harris

Etulain, Julián

Flores, Martin

Garber, Joey

Gellerman, Michael

Ghim, Doug

Gibson, Rhein

Gligic, Michael

Gómez, Fabián

Gribble, Cody

Griffin, Lanto

Guthrie, Luke

Hagy, Brandon (Med)

Harding, Justin (N-M)

Harkins, Brandon

Harrington, Scott

Hearn, David

Hickok, Kramer

Higgs, Harry

Hirschman, Grant

Hoag, Bo

Hodges, Lee

Hoffmann, Morgan (Med)

Hoge, Tom

Hossler, Beau

Hovland, Viktor (N-M)

Hubbard, Mark

Huh, John (Med)

Hurley III, Billy

Jacobson, Freddie (Med)

Jaeger, Stephan

Jones, Kyle

Kaufman, Smylie (Med)

Kennerly, Billy

Kim, Whee

Kohles, Ben

Lahiri, Anirban

Langley, Scott

Lebioda, Hank

LeBrun, Steve

Ledesma, Nelson

Lindheim, Nicholas

Lipsky, David (N-M)

Lovemark, Jamie (Med)

Lower, Justin

Luck, Curtis

Mahan, Hunter

Marino, Steve (Med)

Martin, Ben (Med)

McCarthy, Dan

McCumber, Tyler

McNealy, Maverick

Murray, Grayson (Med)

NeSmith, Matthew

Norlander, Henrik

Novak, Andrew

Oda, John

Oppenheim, Rob

Percy, Cameron

Power, Seamus

Prugh, Alex

Ramey, Chad

Randolph, Jonathan

Reeves, Seth

Riley, Davis

Roach, Wes

Rodríguez, José de Jesús

Rozo, Marcelo

Saxon, Charlie

Scheffler, Scottie

Schnell, Brady

Schniederjans, Ollie

Seiffert, Chase

Sharma, Shubhankar (N-M)

Shelton, Robby

Silverman, Ben

Smotherman, Austin

Stanger, Jimmy

Stefani, Shawn

Stegmaier, Brett

Streb, Robert

Sucher, Zack

Svensson, Adam

Svoboda, Andrew

Taylor, Ben

Teater, Josh

Todd, Brendon

Trahan, D.J.

Uihlein, Peter

van der Walt, Dawie

Ventura, Kristoffer

Vogel, T.J.

Wagner, Johnson

Weaver, Drew

Weekley, Boo (Med)

Werenski, Richy

Whaley, Vincent

Wheatcroft, Steve

Wilkinson, Tim

Wright, Chase

Wu, Dylan

Yates, Greg

Yuan, Carl

Zalatoris, Will

Zhang, Xinjun

138 Players in Field

Notes:

  • Korn Ferry Tour players Nos. 1-75 are in bold. PGA TOUR players Nos. 126-200 are unbolded. Those in italics are either non-members who earned enough equivalent FedExCup points to finish 126-200 (N-M) or PGA TOUR players with medical exemptions (Med) as noted.
  • Field size is 138 players as of 7 p.m. ET, Monday, August 12, 2019.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will play a pivotal role in determining who will earn PGA TOUR membership for 2019-2020 season. At the end of the three Finals events, a second set of PGA TOUR cards will be awarded to those players who earn the most cumulative money in the three Finals events.

The top-25 from the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season will carry their points into the Finals. Their order of priority will be determined at the conclusion of the Finals.

Exempt status on the PGA TOUR will be awarded to one member inside of the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Top 25 at the conclusion of the three Finals events, using combined Regular Season and Finals points. Therefore, any Top-25 player can earn the coveted No. 1 position if he performs well enough in the three Finals events. A second full exemption will be awarded to the highest cumulative earner among the three Finals events, if different from the No. 1 player among the Top 25.

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.

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

Stay connected with the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship on Twitter (@NCHC_Golf), Instagram (nchcgolf) and Facebook (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 three Korn Ferry 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 Korn Ferry 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 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care 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 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 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 Abigail Wexner 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 KORN FERRY TOUR
Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops those players who are ready to compete and win on golf’s biggest stage. In 2013, the Korn Ferry Tour became The Path to the PGA TOUR with all 50 available PGA TOUR cards coming through the Tour and the season culminating at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. This season marks the 30th year of competition on the Korn Ferry Tour. Three out of four PGA TOUR members are Korn Ferry Tour alumni. Tour alumni have won more than 500 PGA TOUR titles, including 24 major championships and eight PLAYERS Championships. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM, or follow the Tour on social media via Instagram (@KornFerryTour), Twitter (@KornFerryTour) and Facebook (facebook.com/KornFerryTour).

 

 

 

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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Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship Volunteer registration now open for 2019 tournament

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columbus, Ohio – Tournament officials announced today that volunteer registration for the 13th annual Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is now open to the public at www.ncc-golf.com.

 

The 2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship will be held August 12 – 18 at The Ohio State University Golf Club – Scarlet Course and serve as the first of three stops in the Web.com Tour Finals.

 

“We are extremely grateful for the nearly 700 individuals each year that donate their time to this special event,” said tournament director Kip McBride. “Our volunteers play an essential role in every aspect of the tournament and are vital to our goal of raising 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 $2,104,254 was raised last year alone for Nationwide Children’s, and more than $11.5 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. To cover the cost of the uniform volunteers are charged a fee of $45.00. 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 2019-2020 season. At the end of the three Finals events, a second set of PGA TOUR cards will be awarded to those players who earn the most cumulative points in the three Finals events.

 

The top-25 from the Web.com Tour Regular Season automatically secure their TOUR cards and will carry their points 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 2019 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship is offered free of charge to the public. For details please visit www.ncc-golf.com. The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship’s Charity Ticket Program, now entering its 12th 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.

 

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.

 

 

 

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 health care 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 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 Abigail Wexner 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 Web.com Tour Finals. This season marks the 30th 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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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