When the Nationwide Tour announced in 2007 it would give exemptions into the Nationwide Children's Hospital Invitational, played at Ohio State's Scarlet Course, to all those named GCAA/Ping Division I first-team All-Americans, it quickly became one of the best perks for winning the honor. The college students could accept the exemptions even if they had turned pro, although with a year left in school at the time, BYU's Daniel Summerhays played in the tournament for pride, not pay. Four magical days later, he had become the first amateur ever to win a Nationwide Tour event and subsequently turned pro to capitalize on the tour card that would come with victory.
To see a repeat of Summerhays' performance this week when the second edition of the event is contested in Columbus, Ohio, might be asking a bit much, but seven first-team All-Americans will give it a shot:
Jonas Blixt, Florida State
Kevin Chappell, UCLA
Rickie Fowler, Oklahoma State
Rory Hie, Southern California
Sihwan Kim, Stanford
Jamie Lovemark, Southern California
Michael Thompson, Alabama
Blixt, Chappell and Thompson are playing as pros. Lovemark played in the event last year but missed the cut.
Passing on the exemption are__Jorge Campillo__ (Indiana) and Joel Sjoholm (Georgia State), both of whom are playing in their native Europe, and Webb Simpson (Wake Forest), who finished second in last week's Nationwide Tour event but has an exemption into this weeks Canadian Open on the PGA Tour.