Nationwide Tour

Nationwide Tour
Nationwide Tour logo


The Nationwide Tour is the developmental tour for the U.S.-based PGA Tour, and features professional golfers who have either failed to score well enough at that level's Qualifying School (the main tour's qualifying tournament, popularly referred to as "Q-School") to earn their PGA Tour card, or who have done so but then failed to win enough money to stay at that level. Those who are on the top 25 of the money list at year's end are given PGA Tour memberships for the next season.


The "satellite tour" was formalized by the PGA Tour in 1990, originally named the Ben Hogan Tour, sponsored by the Ben Hogan Golf Company.[1] The first season of 1990 had 30 events, and the typical event purse was $100,000. After three seasons, Nike acquired the title sponsorship and the tour's name became the Nike Tour, which held for seven seasons (1993-99). The name was changed again to the Tour for three seasons (2000-02). The current name is a result of the purchase of naming rights by Nationwide Insurance in 2003. In 2007 there were 32 events, one each in Australia, New Zealand, and Panama, with the remainder in the United States. All three countries continue to host events on the tour, played early in the season; Canada and Mexico have been added since 2008, and Colombia hosted an event in March 2010. The events in Australia and New Zealand are co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia. Purses in 2010 range from $500,000 to $1,000,000, about one-tenth of the level on the PGA Tour.

Rules and results

All Nationwide Tour tournaments operate similar to typical PGA Tour tournaments in that they are all 72-hole stroke play events with a cut made after 36 holes. The cut on the Nationwide Tour is for the top 60 players and ties, unlike 70 for the PGA Tour. The fields are usually 144 or 156 players, depending on time of year (and available daylight hours). For the aforementioned international events, the joint tour will split players spots with the Nationwide Tour for proper sanctioning. As with the PGA Tour, the winner of the tournament will get a prize of 18% of the total purse.

Since this tour is a developmental tour, players are usually vying to play well enough to gain status on the PGA Tour. The main ways of having status for the Nationwide Tour are to finish in a group of the top 50 golfers at qualifying school after the top 25 and ties, those who finished between 26th and 60th on the previous year's money list, and those who were formerly fully exempt on the PGA Tour in the recent past. Around 14 open qualifying spots are given during the Monday of tournament week, and those who finished in the top 25 of a Nationwide event are automatically exempt into the next tournament. If a Monday morning qualifier wins an event, they will earn full-exempt status for the remainder of the season. Past PGA Tour winners aged 48 and 49 can play on the Nationwide Tour on an increased basis to prepare themselves for the Champions Tour.

Since 1997, a player who wins three tournaments in one year on the Nationwide Tour receives an immediate promotion to the PGA Tour for the remainder of the year and for the following year.[2] This "performance promotion" (sometimes informally referred to as a "battlefield promotion") has occurred nine times:[3]

In 2007 Paul Claxton became the first man to reach US$1 million in Nationwide Tour career earnings.[4]

The Nationwide Tour is one of the 10 tours on which Official World Golf Rankings points are available, and one of only two developmental tours that offer ranking points, the other being the Europe-based Challenge Tour.

2011 schedule

The table below shows the Nationwide Tour's 2011 schedule. The numbers in parentheses after winners' names show the player's total number of wins on the Nationwide Tour including that event. No one accumulates many wins on the Nationwide Tour because success at this level soon leads to promotion to the PGA Tour.

Date Tournament Location Winner OWGR
Feb 27 Panama Claro Championship Panama Australia Mathew Goggin (3) 14
Mar 6 Pacific Rubiales Bogotá Open Colombia South Africa Brenden Pappas (n/a) 10[5] Official money, unofficial win[6] -
tournament shortened to 36 holes by weather
Mar 27 Chitimacha Louisiana Open Louisiana United States Brett Wetterich (3) 14
Apr 17 Fresh Express Classic at TPC Stonebrae California Sweden Daniel Chopra (3) 14
May 1 South Georgia Classic Georgia United States Ted Potter, Jr. (1) 14 Won as a Monday qualifier
May 8 Stadion Classic at UGA Georgia United States Russell Henley (am) (1) 14 Won as an amateur
May 22 BMW Charity Pro-Am South Carolina South Africa Garth Mulroy (2) 14
Jun 5 Melwood Prince George's County Open Maryland United States Steve Wheatcroft (1) 14
Jun 12 The Rex Hospital Open North Carolina United States Kyle Thompson (3) 14
Jun 19 Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open Kansas Australia Mathew Goggin (4) 14
Jun 26 Mexico Open Mexico United States Erik Compton (1) 14
Jul 17 Chiquita Classic Ohio Scotland Russell Knox (1) 14
Jul 24 Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational Ohio United States Harris English (am) (1) 14 Won as an amateur
Jul 31 Utah Championship Utah United States J. J. Killeen (1) 14
Aug 7 Cox Classic Nebraska United States J. J. Killeen (2) 14
Aug 14 Price Cutter Charity Championship Missouri United States Steve Friesen (1) 14 Won as a Monday qualifier
Aug 21 Midwest Classic Kansas Australia James Nitties (1) 14
Aug 28 News Sentinel Open Tennessee United States Kirk Triplett (1) 14
Sep 4 Mylan Classic Pennsylvania England Gary Christian (2) 14
Sep 18 Albertsons Boise Open Idaho United States Jason Kokrak (1) 14 Last player to gain entry into the field
Sep 25 Soboba Golf Classic California United States Ted Potter, Jr. (2) 14
Oct 2 WNB Golf Classic Texas New Zealand Danny Lee (1) 14
Oct 9 Children's Hospital Classic Tennessee Argentina Miguel Carballo (2) 14
Oct 16 Miccosukee Championship Florida United States Jason Kokrak (2) 14
Oct 23 Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open Florida Australia Gavin Coles (5) 14
Oct 30 Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island South Carolina United States Ken Duke (2) 20

Career money leaders

The table shows all golfers who have earned above $1 million on the Nationwide Tour as of the 2011 season. Players in bold were 2011 Nationwide Tour members.

Rank Player Country Earnings ($)
1 Darron Stiles  United States 1,614,777
2 Paul Claxton  United States 1,538,215
3 Jeff Gove  United States 1,411,457
4 Hunter Haas  United States 1,398,873
5 Chris Tidland  United States 1,338,160
6 Gavin Coles  Australia 1,324,267
7 Craig Bowden  United States 1,295,189
8 Kyle Thompson  United States 1,286,669
9 Jon Mills  Canada 1,213,138
10 Roger Tambellini  United States 1,202,642
11 Fran Quinn  United States 1,189,856
12 Tom Scherrer  United States 1,153,933
13 Vance Veazey  United States 1,151,583
14 Justin Bolli  United States 1,130,843
15 Kevin Johnson  United States 1,091,278
16 Jeff Klauk  United States 1,081,671
17 David Branshaw  United States 1,053,538
18 D. A. Points  United States 1,046,630
19 Jason Gore  United States 1,033,736
20 Mathew Goggin  Australia 1,022,493
21 David McKenzie  Australia 1,014,628
22 Joe Daley  United States 1,004,571

There is a full list on the PGA Tour's website here.

Money list and Player of the Year winners

Year Money winner Earnings (US$) Player of the Year
Nationwide Tour
2011  J. J. Killeen (USA) 414,273
2010  Jamie Lovemark (USA) 452,951 United States Jamie Lovemark
2009  Michael Sim (AUS) 644,142  Michael Sim (AUS)
2008  Matt Bettencourt (USA) 447,863  Brendon de Jonge (ZIM)
2007  Richard Johnson (WAL) 445,421  Nick Flanagan (AUS)
2006  Ken Duke (USA) 382,443  Ken Duke (USA)
2005  Troy Matteson (USA) 495,009  Jason Gore (USA)
2004  Jimmy Walker (USA) 371,346  Jimmy Walker (USA)
2003  Zach Johnson (USA) 494,882  Zach Johnson (USA) Tour
2002  Patrick Moore (USA) 381,965  Patrick Moore (USA)
2001  Chad Campbell (USA) 394,552  Chad Campbell (USA)
2000  Spike McRoy (USA) 300,638  Spike McRoy (USA)
Nike Tour
1999  Carl Paulson (USA) 223,051  Carl Paulson (USA)
1998  Bob Burns (USA) 178,664  Bob Burns (USA)
1997  Chris Smith (USA) 225,201  Chris Smith (USA)
1996  Stewart Cink (USA) 251,699  Stewart Cink (USA)
1995  Jerry Kelly (USA) 188,878  Jerry Kelly (USA)
1994  Chris Perry (USA) 167,148  Chris Perry (USA)
1993  Sean Murphy (USA) 166,293  Sean Murphy (USA)
Ben Hogan Tour
1992  John Flannery (USA) 164,115  John Flannery (USA)
1991  Tom Lehman (USA) 141,934  Tom Lehman (USA)
1990  Jeff Maggert (USA) 108,644  Jeff Maggert (USA)

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ - sports business - "Legendary brand will soon have new owner - again" - 2003-08-12 - accessed 2010-05-26
  2. ^ 2008 Nationwide Tour Eligibility Requirements
  3. ^ Nationwide Tour Midseason Review
  4. ^ PG County Open victory makes Claxton first million-dollar, May 27, 2007
  5. ^ Points reduced 25% due to only 36 holes being played
  6. ^ Pappas declared winner in weather-plagued Bogota

External links

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