Power Rankings: The Rex Hospital Open

June 06, 2011
John Dell, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

After a record-setting performance at the Melwood Prince George's County Open at the University of Maryland Golf Course, Steve Wheatcroft will try to keep it going this week. The Nationwide Tour will play the Rex Hospital Open at TPC Wakefield Plantation in Raleigh, N.C.

Wheatcroft lapped the field this at Maryland with rounds of 66-60-65-64 to shoot a record 29-under, the lowest score in a 72-hole tournament in the 22-year history of the Nationwide Tour. He beat Ryan Armour and Jon Mills by 12 shots for his first career Nationwide Tour victory.

What was even more impressive about his record-setting win was he never let up on the gas pedal. After just missing a 59 in Friday's round and settling for a 60 he kept making birdies on the weekend.

"Friday was one of those crazy days and I just tried not to look back," Wheatcroft said.

Power Rankings: The Rex Hospital Open
Rank   Player Comment
It's not hard to pick the hottest player on Tour this week. All the former Indiana player did in getting his easy win was stockpile 31 birdies, an eagle and had just four bogeys in 72 holes. And, oh by the way, he moved up from 32nd to second on the money list.
There's always hope that coming back to a tournament where you won the previous year is a good thing. Riegger hopes that's the case this week because he's struggled this season making just one cut in four starts. Last year at the Rex Hospital Open he shot 66-64-63 then, when Mother Nature got in the way, he was the winner.
Lost in the dominating win for Wheatcroft was the outstanding play of Armour, who jumped from 42nd on the money list to No. 13. He's coming off a 62 in Sunday's round and don't be surprised if that carries over to this week. Armour is coming off his best Nationwide Tour finish since tying for second in 2005 in Australia.
On the Nationwide Tour for the first time since 2007, he's starting to make a move. He's improved to 37th on the money list after finishing fourth on Sunday. Before that he tied for 31st and is getting his game in shape at the right time.
It's hard to believe that Tryon just turned 27, but the Raleigh native is in this week's field. He made his first PGA TOUR cut back in 2001 when he was an amateur and was just 16-years-old. He turned pro at 16 and qualified for the PGA TOUR when he was 17, but never made an impact. He is trying to gain some traction on the Nationwide Tour this season.

John Riegger, who is in this week's field, is the defending champion after shooting 20 under in the weather-shortened 54-hole tournament a year ago.

John Dell has covered golf for the Winston-Salem Journal in North Carolina for the last 17 years. His views do not necessarily represent the views of the PGA TOUR. You can reach him at johndell@triad.rr.com.