Big changes are coming in 2023, including new tournament name and new location.
RALEIGH, N.C. – May 23, 2022 – The Rex Hospital Open returns to North Raleigh in early June, with 156 professional golfers competing in one of North Carolina’s premier tournaments.
The Rex Hospital Open is the largest and most successful annual charity fundraiser supporting patient care and services at UNC Rex Healthcare. Proceeds from this year’s Rex Hospital Open will benefit the UNC Rex Mobile Mammography Program, which helps underserved patients get much-needed screenings for breast cancer.
It is also an important stop on the Korn Ferry Tour schedule. This year’s tournament, held at The Country Club at Wakefield, will kick off with a Pro-Am on Wednesday, June 1, followed by tournament competition June 2-5. The tournament will feature unlimited free admission for all fans, sponsored by Drive Shack.
“UNC Rex is proud to sponsor the Rex Hospital Open with our other key partners and help bring some of the world’s top golfers to Raleigh,” said Ernie Bovio, president of UNC Rex. “The tournament provides a week of family friendly activities, exciting golf and an opportunity to support our community. We encourage fans to come out and enjoy the fun.”
During the past three decades, charity golf has raised more than $10 million for patients, programs and services at UNC Rex.
Starting in 2023, the tournament will see some big changes:
- The tournament’s name will change to the UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH.
- After 18 years at Wakefield, the host venue will shift to Raleigh Country Club, another course owned and operated by McConnell Golf. Raleigh Country Club ranks among the top 20 courses in North Carolina and was designed by renowned architect Donald Ross.
- The total purse will increase to $1 million for the first time.
The changes will help increase the tournament’s impact, raise more money for charitable initiatives, and attract a broader base of fans from across the state.
“We look forward to an outstanding event this year, as we begin preparations for some exciting changes to the tournament in 2023,” said Dr. Wesley Burks, CEO of UNC Health. “We believe these updates will mark a new start for one of North Carolina’s top professional tournaments, benefitting both golfers and fans alike, while supporting health and wellness in the Triangle region. As someone who loves watching and playing golf, this is a week I look forward to each year.”
“We are grateful for our partnership with UNC Health and all the amazing things they do to make a positive impact in the Triangle,” said Korn Ferry Tour President Alex Baldwin. “We are thrilled about the three-year extension to continue playing the Rex Hospital Open through at least 2025, and we are excited to celebrate the announcement at this year’s tournament. The Country Club at Wakefield has been a great host for nearly two decades, and we’ll continue to build on the event’s history as the tournament changes names to the UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH and moves to Raleigh Country Club next season. As always, we are appreciative of the tournament staff, the volunteers, the club’s members and the hospital staff at UNC Rex for all they do to make this such a special week every year for our Tour.”
Some of the professional golfers expected to compete in this year’s Rex Hospital Open with ties to North Carolina include:
- Ben Griffin – Chapel Hill native who played at UNC-Chapel Hill and is now No. 9 on the Korn Ferry Tour Regular Season Points List
- Akshay Bhatia – lives in Wake Forest, won the Korn Ferry Tour’s season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic in January
- Trevor Cone – born in Charlotte, lives in Concord, won his second Korn Ferry Tour title Sunday
- Stephen Franken – played at N.C. State and is both a native and resident of Raleigh
- Will Gordon – born in Davidson
- Albin Choi – played at N.C. State and resides in Raleigh
- Jonathan Brightwell – graduated from UNC Greensboro
- Patrick Cover – played at UNC Wilmington, born in Mooresville
Other highlights of the 2022 Rex Hospital Open:
- The 156 professional golfers will compete for a total purse of $750,000, with the champion winning $135,000.
- UNC Rex will offer one of its title sponsor exemptions to the top-ranked player in the Advocates Professional Golf Association (APGA) Collegiate Ranking.
- University of Georgia standout Trent Phillips will make his professional debut.
- The Fan Fairway, presented by the Carolina Hurricanes, will offer food trucks and other family activities.
- Championship Sunday (June 5) will be Service Appreciation Day, presented by First Citizens Bank, with military vehicles and personnel on site.
- STITCH is the presenting sponsor of the Wednesday Pro-Am and also a Premier Partner of the Rex Hospital Open, along with First Citizens Bank, Brasfield & Gorrie and the Carolina Hurricanes.
- The Carolina Hurricanes Public Viewing Bench will offer a great view of No. 18 green for spectators.
- Food and drink sponsors will be available on site, including Coke, Tito’s and R&D Brewing.
For more information, including details on how to volunteer and reserve tickets, visit rexhospitalopen.com.
ABOUT THE REX HOSPITAL OPEN
Professional golfers from around the world travel to The Country Club at Wakefield each year to participate in the Korn Ferry Tour’s Rex Hospital Open. The tournament’s charitable efforts, coupled with its family and fan-friendly environment, attract thousands of golf fans each spring. In 2017 the Rex Healthcare Foundation was named Charity of the Year on the Korn Ferry Tour for its community efforts. During the past three decades, charity golf has raised more than $10 million for patients, programs and services at UNC Rex Healthcare.
ABOUT THE KORN FERRY TOUR
Founded (1990), owned and operated by the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour identifies and develops golf’s next stars, preparing them to compete and win on the game’s biggest stage. The Korn Ferry Tour, which has served as a path to the PGA TOUR since its inception, began providing 50 PGA TOUR cards annually in 2013. Each season, the top 25 players secure PGA TOUR cards via the Korn Ferry Tour’s regular season and an additional 25 players secure promotion through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. With more than 600 PGA TOUR titles, 27 major championships and six FedExCup Champions, Korn Ferry Tour alumni make up over 80 percent of the PGA TOUR’s current membership. To learn more about the PGA TOUR, the Korn Ferry Tour and to follow the season-long quest for a PGA TOUR card, visit PGATOUR.COM or follow the Korn Ferry Tour on social media.
Six Korn Ferry Tour events are televised annually on GOLF Channel in the United States, with tournament programming also available via 22 linear TV partners in 170-plus countries and territories. Over 70 hours of live coverage is available in 130-plus countries and territories. Programming is also available via the OTT platform GOLFTV powered by PGA TOUR in every market outside of the United States (240-plus countries and territories), excluding China, Korea and Russia, with live coverage