Rex Hospital Open: Tour’s bottom of the pack at the top

Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network
Peter Koutroumpis, Triangle Sports Network

RALEIGH, N.C. – Don’t be surprised if you don’t recognize everyone who’s at the top of the leaderboard following the second round of play in the 2015 Rex Hospital Open played at TPC Wakefield Plantation on Friday.

Two-time Rex Hospital Tournament champion Kyle Thompson currently leads the field at 11-under par after carding a 68.

Following closely behind and tied for second are Steve Allan (-10), Richy Werenski (-10), Drew Scott (-10), and Darron Stiles, finishing 8, 6, 6, and 5-under respectively on the day.

Allan’s finish was good for low round of the day.

Patton Kizzire, who sits T6 with eight others at 9-under par, including Allan, are the only Top-25 players in the mix.

Kizzire assumes the No. 4 spot with earnings of $162, 099 on the Tour’s Money List, while Allan is ranked 17th with $82, 626.

With the exception of Thompson and Wyatt who are unranked and playing in the tournament with exemptions, every other player currently sitting between first through sixth place rests between 31st and 175th.

Not exactly a marketing director’s dream with many big name players contending, but an intriguing set of circumstances for the golf purists in the area to follow into the weekend.

When you add up the year-to-date earnings of those contending outside of the Top 25 – Darron Stiles (31st– 63,412), Drew Scott (73rd-$28,186), Peter Tomasulo (74th-$27,943), Seamus Power (83rd-$23,923), Brian Richey (92nd-$18,031), Richy Werenski (95th-$17,561), Trey Mullinax (107th-$12,572), Garth Mulroy (119th-$9,469), David Venegas (138th, $6,160), and Dominic Bozelli (175th, 2,048) – they’ve collectively made a total of $209,305.

That sum would be good to lead the entire Tour, but really just goes to show that there’s not a lot of money to go around.

With all that said, there’s a lot of golf to play, and others in the top 25 are close, including No. 9 Dawie van der Walt, No. 13 Steve Marino, and No. 20 Henrik Norlander – all sitting at 8-under par.

With the heat and humidity expected to remain high, it can be assumed that more players will go low during the final two rounds of play.

It wouldn’t be surprising to see this year’s tournament end in a playoff of some sort.

However, trying to predict anything more about this field’s performance, especially after the first two days, would probably prove futile.

It’s anyone’s tournament to win.

As much of what is not well known about many of Friday’s frontrunners actually is the most intriguing aspect of following them into the weekend.

By Sunday, the Tour’s cream may finally rise to the top to claim the title, or more hungry contenders will just thicken the mix.

That’s what a Rex Open win has done in the past – cinched possession of a PGA Tour card, or at least provided a giant step closer to one.