Kyle Thompson emerged from a crowded leaderboard with a birdie on the final hole Sunday to win the Rex Hospital Open in Raleigh, N.C., setting the stage for this week's Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open.
Thompson, 32, won the Nationwide Tour event for the second time in five years, firing a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to finish at 14 under for the tournament. He edged Scott Brown, Troy Kelly and Martin Flores by one shot at TPC Wakefield Plantation to earn $99,000 and climbed to No. 6 on the tour's season money list.
"I never counted myself out all day," Thompson told PGATour.com. "Before the day started I thought 16 under would be enough. I knew nobody was running away with it today so every shot was going to be important."
Thompson landed his approach shot to the final hole within seven feet, then knocked in the right-to-left breaker. Nobody in the final threesome playing behind Thompson was able to catch him.
"I putted tremendously all week," said Thompson, a three-time Nationwide winner. "I've played enough times out here to know that you have to be patient, so I kept my nose down and kept plugging away."
Australia's Mathew Goggin, who tied for 66th, retained his spot atop the tour money list. He has earned $195,898 in eight events.
Austin, Garza in Shootout field — PGA Tour veteran and Derby resident Woody Austin, and former Wichita State All-American Dustin Garza are scheduled to participate in tonight's Scholfield Hyundai Shootout, which begins at 6 p.m. on Crestview Country Club's North course.
Ben Bates, the 1997 Wichita Open champion, is also scheduled to be part of the two-man scramble format, which will pair a Nationwide Tour competitor with a local club professional. Admission to the six-hole shootout is free.
Auburn Hills, Sand Creek to host qualifiers — Monday qualifying tournaments for the Wichita Open begin at 8 a.m. at Auburn Hills and Newton's Sand Creek Station.
The Auburn Hills field includes 77 golfers, while 75 will compete at Sand Creek. The top seven from each will earn spots in the 156-man field on Thursday at Crestview.