Grayson Murray wins AdventHealth Championship for second Korn Ferry Tour title
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Written by Staff @KornFerryTour
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Grayson Murray, a previous winner on both the PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour, won the 2023 AdventHealth Championship by a stroke over Wilson Furr and Rico Hoey, despite a double bogey on the 72nd hole after a wayward tee shot. Murray earned his first win in PGA TOUR-sanctioned play since the 2017 Barbasol Championship on TOUR, as well as his first Korn Ferry Tour win since the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship.
“It hasn’t really sunk in,” Murray said. “Six years is a long drought, far longer than I wanted. Sometimes your highs are high out here and your lows are low. It’s a very humbling sport. I’ve been working really hard, and this is a testament to the hard work.
“My parents have been through hell and back basically for the last six years with me fighting some mental stuff,” Murray continued. “It’s not easy on me, and the people around me that love me, they don’t like to see me down. They’ve been my No. 1 supporters. There’s a few friends as well that have been there, and it makes these moments a lot more special when you can share it with them.”
Murray’s comeback victory began Saturday evening, when he birdied his final four holes and moved within two strokes of Furr, the outright 54-hole leader. Murray closed with a 4-under 68 Sunday, and the double bogey on par-5 18th was just his second score of bogey or worse all week, with his only other blemish coming at the par-4 seventh in his second round.
Even with an opening birdie in the final round, Murray trailed Furr by three strokes through six holes. Murray birdied the seventh and moved within two, Furr’s bogey at the par-3 eighth halved the deficit, and another birdie for Murray at the par-4 10th pulled him even with Furr at 18-under par.
The two remained tied until the par-5 13th, where Murray made his second eagle of the tournament and took a one-stroke lead over Furr. Murray’s birdie at the par-4 16th coupled with Furr’s bogey at the par-4 17 gave him a three-stroke lead as he walked to the 72nd tee.
“It was really the worst shot… definitely the worst shot of the week,” Murray said of his tee shot at the 18th. “I pulled it and hit a tree and it ended up out of bounds. It’s never easy to win.”
Murray drained an 8-footer for a one-stroke win at 19-under 269, tying Cameron Young (2021) for the lowest 72-hole score in the four playings of the AdventHealth Championship since its relocation to Blue Hills Country Club in 2019.
“I’m rededicating myself in the gym and doing a lot of mental stuff to really easy my mind out here. I felt so calm this week,” Murray said. “It was probably the calmest I felt on the golf course in a long time. I struggle with anxiety, and that’s a very tough thing to do when you’re playing golf is to go through anxiety. It’s never going to be a walk in the park and every day’s a new challenge.”
Murray, who has split time between the Korn Ferry Tour and PGA TOUR the last two seasons after consecutive finishes at No. 191 in the FedExCup Playoffs and Eligibility Points List, entered the week with a season-high finish of T37 in his three Korn Ferry Tour starts, and two made cuts in seven starts on the PGA TOUR (T15 at the 2023 Puerto Rico Open, and solo 33rd at the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orelans). Sunday’s win took Murray from No. 142 to No. 14 on the 2023 Korn Ferry Tour Points List.
“It’s going to be interesting to see what I focus on, because I think maybe my best chance would be to just stay out here and play on this tour since there’s 30 cards given this year instead of 25,” said Murray, who previously earned PGA TOUR cards via the Korn Ferry Tour in 2016 and 2019. “But we’ll see. I’m going to enjoy this one first.”
Murray turned professional in 2015 following collegiate golf stints at Wake Forest University, East Carolina University, and Arizona State University. Murray finished T74 at Final Stage of the 2015 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament, earning conditional status for the 2016 season.
Murray earned his first start of the season via a Monday qualifier, though he missed the cut and failed to improve his status. A sponsor exemption for the UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH, the eighth event of the 2016 season, turned into a T10 for Murray; he followed it with three top-10s in his next five starts and, just under three months after his first top-10 in Raleigh, North Carolina, lost to Wesley Bryan in a playoff at the AdventHealth Championship.
Murray’s win at the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship locked up the No. 2 spot on the season-long Korn Ferry Tour standings, only leaving him behind Bryan, a three-time winner that season.
As a PGA TOUR rookie, Murray finished a career-high 66th in the 2016-17 FedExCup Standings off the strength of his win at the 2017 Barbasol Championship. Murray made the FedExCup Playoffs the following year, but did not finish higher than 186th in any of the next four seasons.
Murray made 12 PGA TOUR starts and 10 Korn Ferry Tour starts last season, with the highlight being a T4 at the 2022 AdventHealth Championship.
Grayson Murray (1st/-19) joins Ben Silverman (The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club) as the only other winner this season who double bogeyed the 72nd hole
Rookie and Monday qualifier Parker Coody (T5/-14) ties Logan McAllister (T9/-12) for the low round of the day, a 7-under 65, and posts his first top-25 in his sixth start of the season; Coody, who finished No. 13 in the PGA TOUR University Class of 2022 and won the 2022 CentrePort
Canada Rail Park Maintoba Open on PGA TOUR Canada, earns a spot in next week’s Visit Knoxville Open with his top-25 this week
Rookie Wilson Furr (T2/-18), the outright 54-hole leader who held at least a share of the lead after each round this week, follows his first career top-25 (T7/HomeTown Lenders Championship) with another career-high finish; he set the tournament course record earlier this week with a 9-under 63 in the first round and posted the lowest 54-hole score (17-under 199) by two strokes in the four times this event has been played since its relocation to Blue Hills Country Club in 2019
Only two of the nine 72-hole events this season were won by a 54-hole leader/co-leader (Ben Silverman/The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club; David Skinns/Club Car Championship at The Landings Golf & Athletic Club)
Rico Hoey (T2/-18) plays his final seven holes in 3-under par to record a career-high finish in his 82nd career start on the Korn Ferry Tour, as well as his fifth top-10 in 10 starts this season; his previous career-high finish on Tour was T3 on two occasions (2023 Veritex Bank Championship, 2023 Astara Chile Classic), and he entered the 2023 season with four top-10s in 72 career starts on Tour
Rookie Alejandro Tosti (4th/-16) birdies the 72nd hole and rises to a career-high finish, as well as his third top-10 in nine starts this season (T10/Veritex Bank Championship; T7/Astara Chile Classic)
Rookie Jackson Suber (T5/-14), who finished No. 9 in the PGA TOUR University Class of 2022, plays his final 12 holes in 6-under par for a career-high finish and his second top-10 in seven starts this season (T10/Veritex Bank Championship)
Jake Knapp (T9/-12) closes with a bogey-free 4-under 68 for his fourth top-10 in nine starts this season; he entered the 2023 season with one top-10 in his previous 36 career starts on the Korn Ferry Tour (all in 2020-21 season)
Logan McAllister (T9/-12), who finished No. 3 in the PGA TOUR University Class of 2022, logs his third top-10 in his ninth start of the season and his second top-10 in his last three starts (P2/LECOM Suncoast Classic; T10/The Bahamas Great Abaco Classic at The Abaco Club)
Knapp (4-under 68) and McAllister (7-under 65) each recorded one of Sunday’s six bogey-free rounds
Rookie Mason Andersen (T9/-12), one of eight players who advanced through every stage of the 2022 Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying Tournament (beginning with pre-qualifying), posts his second top-10 in his 10th start of the season (T7/Astara Chile Classic)
Two-time Korn Ferry Tour winner Jamie Lovemark (T54/-4), who won the 2013 AdventHealth Championship and holds conditional membership in the “Past Champion 5-10 Years” category, posts his first result of the season and becomes eligible for the next reshuffle, which will occur following the conclusion of the UNC Health Championship presented by STITCH (June 1-4)