Thursday, June 20, 2013

2013 Rex Hospital Open: A look back and ahead with Billy Casper

Billy Casper tours Rex Hospital in Raleigh - Rex Hospital Media

Three-time major champion and Hall of Fame golfer Billy Casper toured Rex Hospital and visited with patients and doctors in the run-up to this week’s Rex Hospital Open on Tuesday.

Casper, an inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1978 and PGA Hall of Fame in 1982, visited the heart station, catheterization lab and a heart floor and learned about the hospital’s anticipated expansion of a new heart and vascular tower recently approved to be built. Funds from this year’s Rex Open will benefit Rex Heart & Vascular services and programs.

The visit to Rex marked another stop during a busy week for Casper, who also serves as co-chair of this year’s Rex Hospital Open, along with Captrust’s Jimmy Talton.

A Masters and two-time U.S. Open champion, Casper will also host an exclusive dinner event at 6 p.m. on Saturday at TPC Wakefield Plantation.

The dinner event begins with a reception followed by a five-course dinner during which Casper will recount stories of his playing experiences, including his relationships with golf legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.

He will also be signing copies of his book, “The Big Three and Me.”

The dinner costs $150 per plate and space is limited.

To reserve a spot, contact Carson Gilbert at or (919) 345-5830.

Raleigh Sports Examiner @pksport for onsite tournament updates 


2013 Rex Hospital Open: Round one birdies and bogeys

Two-time Rex Hospital Open champion putts on 18th hole - PKS Consulting LLC

As the morning groups at the Rex Hospital Open finish making their way around the course at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C., on Thursday, local product Chesson Hadley used his hometown discount to take the early lead, carding an 8-under par 63.

Hadley was closely followed by former two-time U.S. Open winner Lee Janzen whose 6-under score of 65 kept him close, using up his stored up shot-making abilities after being DQ’d back in June from a U.S. Open-qualifying round for wearing metal spikes.

Kent Jones equaled Janzen’s 65 as the board was littered with 50-plus players who shot under par to set the standard for what looks to be a very exciting week of PGA golf to take place in the Triangle.

As much as many were scoring low on Thursday, others struggled including two-time champion Kyle Thompson, walked off the course disappointed after carding an 8-over par 79, while 2009 champion Kevin Johnson finished at even par (71).

Round 1 - Rex Hospital Open Leaderboard


As afternoon groups begin to tee it up on a sunny day with temperatures in the low 80’s and a slight breeze, conditions are ideal for players and spectators alike, local golf fans should filter in en masse to take in local junior product, amateur Carter Jenkins, who will tee off at 2 p.m. on the 10th hole.

He shot an 8-under 63 at TPC to earn his shot at getting an exemption to tee it up against the pros, hoping to make the cut and improve on his first experience at the Rex when he fell below the cut line, scoring rounds of 76 and 80 accordingly.

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