Riegger wins rain-shortened Rex Hospital Open

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John Riegger earned his second Nationwide Tour win without hitting a single shot on Sunday.
May 23, 2010
Joe Chemycz, PGA TOUR Staff

RALEIGH, N.C. -- John Riegger collected his second career title Sunday, winning The Rex Hospital Open without having to hit a single shot. Riegger, the 54-hole leader, was declared the champion when thunderstorms prevented the final round from being completed and forced tournament officials to revert back to the third-round results. Riegger fired an 8-under 63 Saturday and bolted to a five-stroke advantage over Chris Nallen.

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"A win's a win. I'm not going to complain," said Riegger, who finished at 20-under par, collected $99,000 for his efforts this week and jumped to No. 10 on the 2010 Nationwide Tour money list. "I would have rather had it with a normal routine today and played. I knew what the forecast was for today. I've been through this before so I was mentally prepared for whatever Mother Nature threw at us today."

The start of the final round was delayed three hours in the morning when a heavy thunderstorm rolled through the area and dumped an additional .70" of rain on the TPC Wakefield Plantation course that received the same amount the night before.

Riegger's original 11 a.m. tee time was pushed back to 2:00 p.m.

"I was still on the putting green. I still had almost 20 minutes when that storm started rolling in. I was ready," said Riegger. "I had probably my best warm-up today. Every other day I just hit it horrible on the range and I get on the golf course and it was pure. I don't know if I was even more focused today or what."

Another storm popped up and forced officials to suspend play at 1:45 p.m.

"We have a regulation on this Tour that doesn't allow us to play on Monday unless half the field finishes," said Nationwide Tour Tournament Director Jim Duncan. "We can't start or re-start a round just to get half the field finished. So we pretty much had a 'go' point that we needed to be playing golf again by 3:25. Obviously with the last rain we got out of the most recent batch we just weren't going to be able to continue. We were looking at another 2 ½ hours before we could have gotten the golf course playable again."

As a result, the tournament was called, leaving Riegger in the winner's circle for the first time since the 2007 LaSalle Bank Open.

"It's a crazy game," said Riegger, who broke the tournament's 54-hole record by four strokes with his rounds of 66-64-63. "You never know when you're going to come out and play the way I did this week."

Final-Round Notes:

• The last time a tournament was reduced to 54 holes was the 2005 Oregon Classic, where the fourth round never got underway. Jeff Gove was the winner.

• The last time a tournament was reduced to 54 holes after the fourth round had begun was the 2002 Nationwide Tour Championship. The final round was underway in that event and all players had teed off but an afternoon thunderstorm halted play at 1:20 p.m. and officials determined the course was unplayable. The scores on that Sunday were wiped out and the tournament reverted back to the 54-hole standings, where Patrick Moore held a two-stroke lead. Moore was declared the winner.

• High school sophomore Grayson Murray finished T55 this week. Murray posted scores of 73-66-72 -- 211 (-2) and became the second-youngest player ever to make a cut in a Nationwide Tour event (16 years, 7 months, 20 days).

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