By Peter Koutroumpis
RALEIGH, N.C. – The 2018 Rex Hospital Open got underway at TPC Wakefield Plantation on Thursday.
The 156-player field once again presents a talented grouping of up-and-comers and veterans on the Web.com Tour.
The Rex, in it’s 31st year, is a jumping-off point on the Tour schedule that has enabled many past champions to eventually end up in the Top 25 on the Money List and earn their card to play on the PGA Tour the following year.
Alongside the pros, a full slate of fun events for avid golfers, fans, and family are available throughout the weekend.
By the numbers:
5 – The Web.com Tour’s current Money List leaders include Sungjae Im, Kyoung-Hoon Lee, Scott Langley, Adam Svensson, and Jose de Jesus Rodriguez.
4 – Raleigh native Carter Jenkins makes his fourth career Rex Open start at TPC, a course he knows well, having qualified for the event as an amateur twice while in high school at Leesville Road High School in 2011 and 2013. Finishing T52 last year, Jenkins earned a sponsor’s exemption into this year’s event looking to build on his first season on the Web.com. following an appearance at the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship earlier this month.
3 – The record number of Rex Open titles that former champion Kyle Thompson owns – having raised the crystal in 2007, 2011, and 2015 – for three of his four career wins on Tour. With nine starts and cuts on the PGA Tour in 2018, Thompson returns to Raleigh to put in some productive reps, and with as much experience playing the course as he has, will be one to follow in pursuit of his fourth Rex championship.
2 – Raleigh native Ty Tryon earned his second Web.com Tour start of 2018 via Monday’s open qualifier after carding a 5-under 64 at Greensboro National Golf Club. However, that wasn’t enough as Tryon eventually earned his spot following an 8-players-for-6-spots playoff.
1 – Earning an exemption into the Rex by winning the Stitch Intercollegiate Invitational back in April, Campbell University junior Ray Kraivixien is the lone amateur in the field. The native of Bangkok, Thailand is playing the layout at TPC for the first time and will be put to the test after finishing his NCAA season as Big South Conference golfer of the year, earning three tournament wins highlighted by his school-record, 11-under-par 61 at the Stitch.
Peter Koutroumpis: 401-323-8960, @pksport