Originally created 06/05/06

Pappas wins Rex Hospital Open



RALEIGH, N.C. - South Africa's Brenden Pappas won his first Nationwide Tour title Sunday, holing a 25-foot birdie putt on the final hole for a 2-under 69 and a one-stroke victory over Charlie Wi in the Rex Hospital Open.

Playing two months after his father's death, Pappas matched the TPC Wakefield Plantation record with a 16-under 268 total and earned $81,000 to jump from 27th to sixth on the money list with $135,492.

"I've been dedicated to this, stubbornly, for two months," Pappas said. "I've worked hard and my whole preparation has been around winning. I didn't do it before my dad passed and that was something that was difficult for me."

Pappas, who also birdied No. 17, won when Wie (69) missed a 20-foot birdie putt on No. 18 after getting a huge break on his third shot on the par-5 hole.

Wi's shot sailed into the creek that cuts across the front of the green, hit a rock, bounced to the back of the green, caught the slope and rolled within 20 feet.

"Getting over what happened to Charlie was tough," Pappas said. "I mean his ball pitches in the hazard and bounces out onto the green and now I'm out for 4. I stalked that putt from every angle. It took me a while to get my breathing under control and my adrenaline under control after that."

Pappas' uphill putt was perfect, forcing Wi to make his to tie.

"I got very lucky to be on the green and have a birdie putt at it," Wi said. "It was a double-breaker. Those are tough. Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don't."

Tripp Isenhour (67) and Michael Putnam (68) tied for third, four strokes back.