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Nationwide Tour's 2012 schedule released

The Nationwide Tour unveiled its 2012 schedule on Thursday and it will begin with three events outside the United States.

The first two events of the year flip-flop spots on the calendar with the Pacific Rubiales Colombia Championship kicking off the season on Feb. 16.

Two weeks later, the tour heads to Panama for the Panama Claro Championship, which was the first stop last year. The following week the tour will move to Chile for the first of three new events.

The first U.S. stop will be in Louisiana, from March 22-25, with two tournaments in California after that. The tour returns east for four events, then has its final event outside the United States from June 7-10 with the Mexico Open.

The second new event, the United Leasing Championship at Victoria National Golf Club, takes place June 28-July 1 in Indiana.

The second half of the season has the tour making its annual stops in Wichita, Omaha, Boise and Midland, Texas.

As the tour heads into October, it will move to Potomac, Maryland for the Neediest Kids Championship, which is the final new event this season.

The tour wraps up its season from October 25-28, with the Nationwide Tour Championship at a new location, the TPC Craig Ranch. That event moved from Daniel Island Club in Charleston, S.C.

"The growth and impact of the Nationwide Tour we saw in 2011 was especially significant," said Bill Calfee, president of the Nationwide Tour. "Alumni victories on the PGA Tour reached 320 and were highlighted by seven wins by members of our 2010 class, including 2011 Rookie of the Year Keegan Bradley's extraordinary effort at the PGA Championship.

"On the Nationwide Tour, we experienced many memorable storylines and enjoyed one of our best years ever, both competitively and in terms of community impact."