Trey Mullinax wins Rex Hospital Open for first title

Trey Mullinax (Brian Strickland/Contributed Photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. – Trey Mullinax won the Rex Hospital Open on Sunday for his first Tour title, shooting a 3-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over Brady Schnell.

“It’s unbelievable. I still can’t believe it. It hasn’t hit me, but it will,” said Mullinax, five strokes behind Schnell with nine holes left. “This year hasn’t been long, but it’s been hard on me, dealing with expectations and being able to come out here and just have a free attitude and do what I need to do.”

The 23-year-old former Alabama player finished at 14-under 270 at TPC Wakefield Plantation. He earned $117,000 to jump from 33rd to fourth on the money list with $154,486. The top 25 at the end of the regular season will earn PGA Tour cards for next season.

“I think winning kind of changes some things. When you win, it changes your whole year. You can take off, but I don’t feel like I want to even take off,” Mullinax said. “I’m playing well. I’ve got a good attitude. I’m enjoying what I’m doing and I really just want to keep doing this.”

After playing the front nine in 2 over, Mullinax birdied the next three holes and chipped in from 20 feet for eagle on the par-5 15th.

“I got it up there real close to the green and had a pretty easy chip,” Mullinax said about the eagle. “In my mind, I thought I could make it and when I chipped it, it kind of took a good bounce to the hole and it went in.”

He two-putted from 45 feet for par on the par-4 18th.

“I got up there, and the crowd was obviously having a good time, and some guy yelled, ‘If you two putt this, you’ll win,”’ Mullinax said. “I thought, ‘Hey, thanks buddy.’ As if this wasn’t hard enough.”’

Schnell shot a 72. He bogeyed the final two holes, three-putting from 50 feet on the par-4 17th and hitting into the back bunker on 18.

“Looking back on it, probably tried to make too many pars and got a little conservative and a little gun shy with some shots out there,” Schnell said. “Just kept leaving myself with too long of putts, too long of opportunities coming in.”

JT Poston had a 69 to finish third at 11 under. Cameron Percy (67) and Dominic Bozzelli (73) followed at 10 under.

Toronto’s Albin Choi tied for 10th at 7 under.