Pro Golf

Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship on pathway to PGA Tour

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For the second consecutive year, central Ohio is located on the direct path to the PGA Tour.

From Sept. 11-14, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship (NCHC) will serve as the third of four stops on the Web.com Tour Finals. The field is comprised of the top 75 money winners on the Web.com Tour and Nos. 126-200 on the PGA Tour's FedExCup points list. At the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Championship on Sept. 21 at TPC Sawgrass, 50 players will have earned their PGA Tour cards for the 2014-15 season.

"We are excited to see how the tournament unfolds and what storylines develop as the blended field of players competes for a 2014-15 PGA Tour card," tournament director Kip McBride said.

Dublin natives Kyle Reifers and Chris Wilson highlight the contingent from the Web.com Tour. Ostrander native and PGA Tour player Ben Curtis also is expected to compete at Ohio State's par-72, 7,455-yard Scarlet Course.

Reifers, a 2002 Watterson graduate, secured his exemption for the 2014-15 PGA Tour season when he tied for 21st in the WinCo Foods Portland Open that concluded Aug. 24 at Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club in Portland, Ore., to rank 25th in the Web.com Tour money list.

Curtis finished the PGA Tour regular season No. 131 on the FedExCup points list. He currently has partially-exempt status on the PGA Tour for next season.

Curtis, who won the 2003 British Open, is one of five former major winners eligible to compete in central Ohio along with Lucas Glover (2009 U.S. Open), Trevor Immelman (2008 Masters), Mike Weir (2003 Masters) and Y.E. Yang (2009 PGA Championship).

Seung-Yul Noh, the NCHC's defending champion, will not return. Last year, the native of South Korea became the third consecutive 22-year-old to win the event, carding a 12-under-par 272 to finish five strokes ahead of runner-up Edward Loar. It marked the largest margin of victory in the tournament's seven-year history.

Having earned full exemption on the PGA Tour this season, Noh was 42nd in the FedExCup Playoffs entering the Deutche Bank Championship that concluded Sept. 1 at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. In his previous 25 events, he made the cut 18 times with four top-25 finishes and earned his first career PGA Tour victory, winning the Zurich Classic of New Orleans that concluded April 27.

This is the eighth year in which the Web.com Tour has held an event at OSU's Scarlet Course. The NCHC has grown on and off the course, setting a record last year by donating of $874,169 to Nationwide Children's Hospital.

"We've generated over $3.4 million for Nationwide Children's Hospital since this tournament began eight years ago," said Rich Foster, president of the tournament's host organization, Champions of the Community.

"It's thanks to the generosity of our sponsors. But more importantly, our golf fans of central Ohio have turned out and supported this event. It's been great."

Tickets to the NCHC can be purchased at www.ncc-golf.com or by calling (614) 764-GOLF. Weekly grounds admissions tickets (Thursday-Sunday) cost $30 and a single-day ticket (Thursday-Sunday) is $10. The practice rounds (Monday-Wednesday) are open to the public and free of charge.

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