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Thompson wins Rex Hospital Open with late birdie



Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Kyle Thompson birdied the 18th hole Sunday to win the Rex Hospital Open by a single stroke.

Thompson closed with a three-under 68 to finish at 14-under-par 270.

The victory was his third on the Nationwide Tour, with his other titles both coming in 2007 at this event and at the Oregon Classic.

"I never counted myself out all day. Before the day started I thought 16-under would be enough," Thompson admitted. "I knew nobody was running away with it today so every shot was going to be important."

Troy Kelly and Martin Flores were two of the three third-round leaders and had a chance to force a playoff with a birdie at the last. However, both closed with pars to shoot one-under 70.

They were joined in second place at 13-under-par 271 by Scott Brown, who shot 68 in the final round.

Ryan Armour, the other third-round leader, managed an even-par 71 on Sunday to share fifth place with Kyle Reifers (70) and J.J. Killeen (66) at minus-12 at the TPC Wakefield Plantation.

Thompson poured in three straight birdie chances from the third to jump to 14- under. After a pair of pars, he tumbled back down the leaderboard with a double-bogey on the par-four eighth.

The 32-year-old Floridian got one shot back with a birdie at the ninth, but slipped back to minus-12 when he bogeyed No. 14.

Thompson grabbed a share of the lead when he birdied the par-five 15th. He parred the next two holes, then drained a seven-foot birdie putt at the last to earn the win.

"I putted tremendously all week. 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," Thompson said.

Kelly had three birdies and two bogeys on the front nine. He dropped another stroke on No. 11, then birdied the 15th to move back to minus-13. Kelly parred the final three holes to end one back.

Flores had two bogeys and a birdie through eight holes. Around the turn, he birdied the 11th and 13th to get to 13-under. Flores parred out to share second.

Brown was in the third-to-last group. He birdied four of the first nine holes to jump to 14-under. However, Brown managed just one birdie to go along with two bogeys on the back nine.

NOTES: Thompson earned $99,000 for the victory...Kelly has finished second in two of his last four starts...John Riegger, last year's winner, closed with a one-under 70 to finish tied for 34th at five-under-par 279...The tour is in Kansas next week for the Preferred Health Systems Wichita Open, where Jhonattan Vegas won last year.

06/13 11:35:35 ET


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