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    • Houser, Smalley win Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational

    • Alex Smalley and Grant Houser won their respective division at the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational.Alex Smalley and Grant Houser won their respective division at the Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational.

    RALEIGH, N.C. – This year’s Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational produced two winners. Grant Houser, from Campbell University in Buies Creek, finished with an even par 71, and Alex Smalley, from Wake Forest High School in Wake Forest, finished 2-under-par 69. Each played outstanding golf and won their respective division at today’s Rex Hospital Open Junior Invitational at The Player’s Club at Wakefield Plantation. The victory earned both Houser and Smalley coveted spots at this week’s Rex Hospital Open, an official Web.com Tour event held May 22-25.

    Rex Hospital Open tournament staff decided early on to create two fields of play for this year’s tournament. “It’s an incredible thing for the players, to have the collegiate players on one side and to have the junior players on the other side,” said Eric Murray of Tarheel Golf Foundation. “It’s so special to see these players grow up from the time they were 7 or 8 years old playing with the Tarheel Golf Foundation and as they go through the junior ranks and on to college. They’re both really good solid players and they’re going to make an impact.”

    Their excellent play today provides Houser and Smalley with the rare opportunity to compete in a major tour event alongside seasoned pros.

    “It hasn’t really hit me yet but I’m sure when I start playing some practice rounds over the next few days for the tournament, it’ll sink in,” said Houser. I’ve come and watched the Rex Open a couple times over the years so now that I finally get the chance to compete in it, it’s pretty cool.”

    “This opportunity means the world to me, especially since I live about 10 minutes away,” said Smalley. “It’s nice and local so we don’t have to drive too far, and it’s going to be a great experience.”

    “It was exciting to witness today’s event,” said Carson Gilbert, tournament director for the Rex Hospital Open. “These players are the future of golf. I look forward to watching Grant and Alex play in the Open and to following the golf careers of all of this year’s Junior Invitational participants.”

    The Web.com Tour is the path to the PGA TOUR. Professional golfers travel from around the world to compete in the Rex Hospital Open, which is the Triangle’s premier charity golf event.

    Since its inception, the Rex Hospital Open has raised more than $8.5 million for patients in need right here in our community. Funds from this year’s event will benefit Rex Heart & Vascular services and programs. TPC at Wakefield Plantation will host the tournament. Tickets to the Rex Hospital Open are $10 for a Grounds pass, valid all week, or $50 for a VIP View Box access pass, which includes snacks and beverages.

    For more information, visit rexhospitalopen.com

    About Rex Healthcare

    Rex Healthcare, a member of UNC Health Care, is a private, not-for-profit health care system with more than 5,400 co-workers. Rex Healthcare has 660 beds (433 general acute beds and 227 skilled nursing) and treats nearly 34,000 inpatients each year. Rex offers dedicated centers for cancer, surgery, heart and vascular, post-acute rehabilitation and skilled nursing care, wellness and women’s care plus dedicated services for bariatric, heartburn, pain management, sleep disorders, diabetes education, wound and emergency care. Rex’s medical staff includes more than 1,100 physicians and 1,700 nurses. Rex provides various health care services throughout Wake County with facilities in Apex, Cary, Garner, Holly Springs, Knightdale, Wakefield and downtown Raleigh. Visit rexhealth.com for more information.

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