by Clellie R. Allen
WAKEFIELD — Born in Raleigh, at Rex Hospital no less, Chesson Hadley was definitely the hometown favorite at the Rex Hospital Open — the Web.com tour event at Wakefield TPC.
And when the crowd of people who followed Hadley around all tournament long — Chesson’s Calvery — broke into cheers as he was named tournament champion, it was like a dream come true to him.
“Everything about this week was perfect,” Hadley said. “I’m incredibly blessed.”
Just 25 years old, Hadley entered the last day of competition five shots behind Danny Lee. He played 7-under-par (64) in the last round and wound up two shots ahead and 19-under-par for the tournament. It was the first Web.com Tour victory for Hadley and he will move up to play in the PGA Tour this fall.
Currently living in the Bedford at Falls River community, Hadley graduated high school from North Raleigh Christian Academy, where he was a three-time All-State performer as well as a five-year letter winner.
He got his first set of golf clubs when he was 6. By the time he was a senior at North Raleigh Christian, he was winning every conference match.
Hadley turned professional after he graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in business management in 2010. Until the Rex Hospital Open last year, he played on the eGolf Tour.
Now that he’s won the $112,500 purse, he’s ranked third out of the top 25 in the Money List.
“Chesson gave his hometown crowd a huge victory, and made this tournament one that we’ll always remember,” said Carson Gilbert, director of the Rex Hospital Open. “We’re thrilled for Chesson and his family, and know he is destined to accomplish great things on the course and in life.”
Chesson and his wife, Amanda, who is his elementary school sweetheart, are expecting their first child later in the fall.
As the Triangle’s premier charity golf event, the Rex Hospital Open has raised more than $7 million for patients in need since its inception. Funds from this year’s event will benefit Rex Heart & Vascular services and programs.
The Web.com Tour is the path to the PGA Tour. The top 25 earners on the Web.com Tour money list are automatically granted a PGA Tour card the following season. The Web.com Tour continues June 27-30 in Newburgh, Ind.