RALEIGH, N.C.- Following a year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 2021 Rex Hospital Open, the 12th stop on this year’s Korn Ferry Tour, teed up play at the Country Club at Wakefield Plantation on Thursday.
Andrew Novak was the initial clubhouse leader at 10-under par before the skies unleashed a torrential downpour along with thunder and lightning that stopped play at 1:21 p.m.
The weather and playing conditions rendered the rest of the day a wash and all play was suspended until 8 a.m. on Friday.
Second-round play is expected to eventually start around 1 p.m.
Novak’s career low 61 was one of only 30 posted scores on Thursday as the rest of the field continues on the course with remaining groups having teed off through 10 a.m.
Not a stranger to the area, having been born in Raleigh at Rex Hospital and living here until he was seven years old, Novak finished T13 at the Rex in 2019.
He entered this week’s event ranked No. 19 in the 2020-21 Korn Ferry Tour points standings.
Taking a substantial lead early set a bar for the rest field.
“I just knew I was swinging it well and was going to go attack,” Novak said.
“I knew some of the pins were gettable. The conditions… ball in hand with softer greens, I knew I could get after it if I could get some putts going in. Got the putter going, and that helped to get the round going with positive momentum.”
Notables: Novak carded the sixth round of 61 or better on the Korn Ferry Tour this season…Four bogey-free rounds were posted on Thursday – Novak (61), Charlie Saxon (64), Nicholas Lindheim (66), Grayson Murray (69)… This week’s purse is $650,000 with $117,000 going to the champion; the champion will also receive 500 Korn Ferry Tour points.
Peter Koutroumpis – 401-323-8969, @pksport