Since 2005, the Rex Hospital Open has been the home of exciting Nationwide Tour golf in North Carolina. A victory at the Rex Hospital Open is one step in the season-long quest by Nationwide Tour players to finish in the top 25 of the tour's money list and earn a coveted spot on the PGA TOUR.
Champion: James Hahn
James Hahn finished 2012 Web.com TOUR in fifth position and earned his PGA TOUR card for 2013.
At the 2012 Rex Hospital Open, James earned his first career title with a playoff win over Scott Parel. He got up and down for birdie on the second playoff hole to win. Shot a 4-under 67 in the final round at TPC Wakefield Plantation to finish at 13-under 271. Missed a downhill, 15-foot birdie putt on his last hole of regulation and then had to wait for the final three groups to finish. James collected a first-place check for $99,000, which moved him to No. 5 on the season money list. Following his win in Raleigh, he took a late-night flight to the west coast, where he played in the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier in San Francisco. He posted rounds of 66-70 and was co-medalist to earn a berth in the Open at The Olympic Club. Posted scores of 73-80 in San Francisco and missed the cut in what was his PGA TOUR debut.
Closed his year with a solo second at the Web.com Tour Championship to move up from No. 13 to No. 5 on the final 2012 money list. Tapped in a short birdie putt on the 72nd hole at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, to finish at 14-under 270, two shots back of winner Justin Bolli.
Champion: Kyle Thompson (68-66-68-68=270/-14)
The 2011 Rex Hospital Open came down to the final hole as Kyle Thompson finished at 14-under-par 270. A 7 foot birdie putt gave Thompson a one-stroke victory over Scott Brown (69-63-71-68=271/-13), Troy Kelly (68-70-63-70=271/-13), and Martin Flores (66-67-68-70=271/-13). The win was the third of Thompson's career on the Nationwide Tour.
With a six-way tie for the lead at minus-13 going into the last hole, Brown was the first of the group and failed to make a birdie. Thompson teed off second, making his birdie. Flores and Kelly shot last, missing 25 and 22 foot birdies. Thompson's victory made him the first two-time Rex Hospital Open winner, after his 2007 win, and placing him inside the top 25 on the money list.
Champion: John Riegger (66-64-63=193/-20)
After rain forced the cancellation of the final round, John Riegger was declared the tournament's champion with a 54-hole score of 20-under-par 193. The score was a tournament record through 54 holes and matched the fifth-lowest 54-hole score in Nationwide Tour history. Chris Nallen (67-65-66=198/-15) finished second, five strokes back of Riegger.
Despite Riegger's record-setting performance, the weekend's best story may have come from a player 30 years Riegger's junior. Grayson Murray, North Carolina's top-rated junior and a 16-year-old sophomore at Raleigh's Leesville Road High School, became the second-youngest player in Nationwide Tour history to make a cut. After earning a spot in the tournament by winning the Rex Junior Invitational earlier in the week, Murray shot an opening-round 73 before rebounding with a second-round 66. Murray shot a 72 in the tournament's final round to finish with a 2-under-par 211 total.
Champion: Kevin Johnson (65-69-65-67=266/-18)
The 2009 Rex Hospital Open came down to the wire as Kevin Johnson edged Jeff Gallagher (64-69-69-64=266/-18) in a one-hole playoff. The win was the fifth of Johnson's career on the Nationwide Tour. He finished the tournament with an 18-under-par 266 total.
The victory came with plenty of drama for Johnson, a Clemson University graduate. He began Sunday's final round with the lead, lost the lead to Gallagher later in the day and then rallied to force the playoff. Johnson made four consecutive pars on numbers 14, 15, 16 and 17 before forcing the playoff with a five-foot birdie putt on number 18.
Johnson and Gallagher, Nationwide Tour veterans who played in the Tour's inaugural event in 1990, returned to number 18 for the first playoff hole where Johnson ended the match with another birdie putt, this one from four feet away. Gallagher had a chance to tie, but was unable to make his five-foot birdie putt.
Champion: Scott Gutschewski (67-69-68-66=270/14)
Scott Gutschewski battled stifling heat to shoot a five-under-par 66 in Sunday's final round to earn the 2008 Rex Hospital Open title, his second on the Nationwide Tour. Gutschewski finished the 72-hole tournament with a 14-under-par 270.
High temperatures made it difficult for golfers at TPC Wakefield Plantation, but Gutschewski, who started the final day four shots off the lead, turned in an impressive performance on the tournament's final nine holes to hold off runners-up Chad Ginn (68-69-64-71=272/-12) and Esteban Toledo (72-67-64-69=272/-12). Gutschewski earned the two-stroke victory with strong putting down the stretch, saving par on numbers 13, 14, 15 and 17 and sinking birdie putts on numbers 16 and 18.
Champion: Kyle Thompson (64-65-69-70=268/-16)
Kyle Thompson fired a 16-under 268 at the 2007 Rex Hospital Open to earn the first Nationwide Tour victory of his six-year career. Thompson, a South Carolina graduate, held part of the lead for all four days of the tournament, becoming the first player in tournament history to accomplish the feat.
Despite Thompson's consistent play, the win did not come easily. After starting Sunday's final round four shots back, Bob Burns cut into Thompson's lead and trailed by one shot heading to the 18th hole. Burns (69-63-70-68=270/-14) played aggressively on the final hole to try to catch Thompson, but hit his second shot into a rocky hazard in front of the green, effectively ending his chances.
Champion: Brenden Pappas (66-68-65-69=268/-16)
The 2006 Rex Hospital Open came down to the final hole as South African Brenden Pappas sank his 25-foot uphill putt on the 18th hole to outlast Charlie Wi (67-69-65-68=269/-15) and earn his first Nationwide Tour victory.
Pappas and Wi battled each other throughout Sunday's final round with Wi holding a one-stroke lead over Pappas with two holes to play. Pappas sank a short birdie putt at the par-four 17th to tie the match and then made his final birdie putt on the 577-yard par-five 18th to gain the lead by one stroke. Wi missed a 20-footer to tie, and Pappas won the tournament with a 16-under 268 total.
Champion: Eric Axley (69-67-67-67=270/-14)
Left-hander Eric Axley, who earned a spot in The Rex Hospital Open after winning a playoff in Monday's qualifier, garnered his first victory on the Nationwide Tour after shooting four consecutive rounds in the 60s at TPC Wakefield Plantation.
Rain washed out Friday's second round and tournament officials decided to play 36 holes on Sunday. Axley battled through the long final day, posting back-to-back four-under-par 67s to finish at 14-under-par 270 and earn a two-shot victory over Troy Matteson (68-65-70-69=272/-12). With the victory, Axley became only the third lefty in tour history to win an event.